I can’t spare you the vulnerability of the complications of dating.
I believe in dating. I believe in both of you meeting at a neutral location for a planned event that both of you will enjoy, grow and be romanced at. I believe you will learn a lot about you and you will be fascinated about this other person–even if he/she turns out to be a drip. I believe dating is not always romantic and rarely easy. It is most always complicated. I can’t sugarcoat this truth.
- You have to be vulnerable with a stranger. There is that big part of dating again–vulnerability. It is simply a part of dating you can’t avoid. You want to have you be the one a future someone falls in love with which means that someone has to vulnerably know you. Not all of you on that first coffee date though! Just part of you so this stranger knows enough about you to want to see you again. Of course, the stranger you are on this coffee date is most likely someone you know at least a little bit but he/she is new enough to your circle of life that you have to brave into your vulnerability so this person gets to know the true you. That is scary which is why it is also considered brave. Not dumb. Dumb would be not keeping your boundaries and exposing all of you way too early.
- Navigating social media is already complicated, dating complicates that even more. I didn’t date during social media. Lucky me. This is a whole other complication that adds to a relationship. Social media complicates regular life enough already. This I do know as I am a living being so I have social media decisions to make about my own life. Then there is this whole other complication of social media with your dating relationship. So many decisions to make, decisions to make that you hope won’t lead to regrets because what’s on social media never seems to go away.
- You’ve had previous bad matches that make you skittish about anything in the future. Remember that a bad previous match does not define you anymore. You have learned a lot about you since then. This is that you on this date. You are wiser, you have better boundaries, you are choosing better because you have learned so much about you.
- You have a void in your life, whether you have identified it or not. You may be fully aware of this void and how it affects your decision making. But some of you haven’t identified this void and this void is leading you to make some bad decisions. Dependence dating is not attractive. Caretakers love to take care of people. Fixers love to fix people. But these are people you don’t want to be in a relationship with. In the end the broken people will still be broken and you will be worn out.
- It is a budget item and no one really likes a budget item. Dating costs money. You may rather save your money for that vacation than the risk that a date may be. If you make this decision, then do not whine about your days and years of being single. You made this choice.
- You need to constantly be on guard to figure out if someone is lying. Is it the person you are dating? Or even harder, are you lying to yourself? Lies We Tell Ourselves to Stay in a Relationship. (Must read.)
- Relationships move so fast. Does one date make a relationship? Definitely no, but too often one may assume that one date means this is now an official relationship. Whether verbalized or not. Then there are the non-verbal ways that a relationship moves too fast, particularly when it comes to kissing, etc. All of that behavior points to a relationship of something when one person may just be “enjoying the benefits.” By the way, “friends with benefits” is such a farce. Friends wouldn’t treat each other like that. Friends wouldn’t be so selfish to each other.
- Relationships are hard to define. Kudos to the brave one who can actually find the right words to define the relationship at the right time. It is most often at the wrong time for one of the two. That is if anyone is brave enough to put words on it. Too often it is easier to assume the relationship is going in a certain direction. But do both parties have the same assumptions? Most likely not. Hence why there are lots of fights and tears shed when one person figures out his/her assumptions were not the same. Defining relationships are hard. I can’t change that truth. It is what it is.
So if dating is so complicated, why do it? Why take part? To find your love for a lifetime, of course! Do you want your love for a lifetime to come to you without risk, without vulnerability? Do you want your love for a lifetime to be chosen by someone else so you are not invested in this choice at all? Or do you want to be all you making this big you decision because all you went through the complications and decided that he/she is the right match? Do you want to be all you on your wedding day waiting at the end of that aisle for this right match you navigated for and have no regrets or worries because all you faced every complication and chose wisely? Of course! #goals I hope for you.
Dating is complicated. And a worthy story to live. Be brave.
(Photo credit: https://michaeljfite.com/2017/03/27/how-do-you-find-simplicity-in-your-complicated-life/)