I've been dealing with a lot of issues lately concerning men and relationships and icky first dates and such. Nothing really felt right and I wasn't sure what to do or what to think or anything. I finally got smart and turned to God about it and made a decision based on that and my own comfort level.
I decided I am no longer dating. Not at all.
Here's what's wrong with dating:
1. I hate first dates. They suck. I do NOT enjoy it, so why waste my time doing it? The argument is so that I can reap the benefits of a dating relationship, but I have never gone on a date with someone and had it turn into more, so what is there to show me that it's going to start now? I don't like them, therefore I don't want to go on them.
2. Dating is incredibly fake. Everyone puts out what they want you to see and you never really get to see a person for what they are. You see how they act with you and with waitresses and such, but you never get to see how they respond to daily life situations. At least not until you're already emotionally invested in the situation. Then you find out they're really assholes and it sucks even more. Might as well not bother.
3. Dating is done under false pretenses. Societal pressures force you to make a decision about the romantic possibilities with a person based on little information about them or your potential with them. It's unfair decision making. For example, on The Bachelor...15 women fell in love with Bob. Bob fell in love with a few of them. Why? Because the show set it up so that that's what they were expected to do. People had this image of what could be and tried to make it real. Of course it's not real, it can't be that soon...not with all of those people...but it sure seems that way at the time...then these people devote their lives to it and turns out not to be later? that sucks. Not for me. Dating is the same thing. You go out on a date with someone and you have an expectation that you shoudl have something romantic with them. based on what? a five minute conversation you had while helping them find a book or waiting in line at the grocery store? I don't think so.
4. Dating, if it proceeds to a relationship, leads to intimacy, which leads to either marriage, or heartbreak. Considering that most people plan to get married once, but start relationships many more times than that, that's a lot of heartbreak. Unlike some advocates of my new position, I do NOT believe that we should guard ourselves from heartbreak until marriage. However, I've had enough. I've had, what...2 really serious heartbreaks and a few milder ones...that's enough learning experience for me, thanks. Of course, if you're ready to delve into a real relationship, that risk is necessary, but when you're not read for marriage yet anyway, what's the point? If you know you aren't at a point in your life where you think marriage is a possibility, why bother getting super close only to have to end it? This is the exact reason I ended one of my serious heartbreaks. Why did I let it get there? It's like playing house, but the emotions are real. I refuse to let this happen anymore.
5. Dating takes my focus away from being happily single. Dude, I'm on my own, I get to do whatever I want with my time, focus on things I love and want to work on...FOCUS ON ME! But instead, I worry about who I like or who likes me or what I'm doing Friday night or if I should call him or whatever. Nope...that's over. I haven't been without someone in my life since I was 17. When I didn't have a boyfriend I had a guy friend I flirted with and talked to every night and kinda dated occasionally. When the last serious heartbreak happened, I was all about focusing on me. But I wasn't over the heartbreak, so instead I kept my focus on new guys. I kept people in my life that were there so I wasn't alone. Well, now I'm over it (possibly more on that later). Completely over it. It's fabulous! But it means my focus gets to shift. So NOW my focus can be completely on me. why waste that on more guys that will probably never even have the opportunity to audition for the whole husband thing because I'm nowhere near ready? That just hurts them and me. Instead, I get to focus my attention on me and my future and my relationship with God. MUCH better, i think. I went to church Sunday...you know why? Because I wasn't up talking to someone so super late that I couldn't get up in the morning. I spend my time with my jobs, with my family, on my interests, and on God. Not on guys. Def. a good thing.
6. Real life never lives up to the fantasy. So you have a crush on someone, you think they're amazing. You'd have beautiful children and he'd be perfect and you'd be happy forever (damn, think what mine and kiefer's kids would look like...we should soooo get together). Yeah...it never happens. Our fantasies RARELY include the bad stuff, but humans are fallible. Even the most perfect man will not live up to our fantasy because we don't fantasize about not being able to pay the bills and fighting over dishes being done or what happens when he really really wants me to spend the weekend with him and his obnoxious teenage nephew who thinks its funny to grab my ass on occasion...There will be problems. Yeah, we'll get through them, but if you build up the fantasy first, it's not gonna be a good situation because you're constantly going to be thinking there's something that will live up to that fantasy. Yeah...I'd rather just have my crushes and never act on them. Then life gets to be perfect in my head for a while. At least while I'm planning ons taying single :)
The alternative to dating:
1. Friends. Great friends. Friends that don't come with strings. I have way too many male friends that I can't talk to about these issues or about other guys because the focus was always us as a potential something, not as friends. That sucks. I want real friends that I can go to in trust, not afraid they have an agenda or that I have an agenda. I can be super manipulative, especially with men, and I need tog et that out of my life. I'd much rather have friends.
2. Getting to know someone before getting invested. In a friendship relationship, you get to see how someone interacts with others, how they respond in certain situations, and how they are different with youand with their dates (assuming they talk about them) BEFORE you decide to invest any emotions into the deal. Also, you don't have to do your hair before you head out. Much nicer :)
3. When you have a really great friendship, if you think the person is attractive,when you're both ready it can just happen. But there's no pressure for anything to happen before it should. meaning now, when I'm planning on going to Germany and have no idea what will happen after that. I can't deal with pressure to answer certain questions to which I can't possibly have answers. I get to focus on me, and have great friends,and not deal with romantic bullshit.
1. I've kinda already done this already. By having people who were so far away, I could have a friendship and then have the romance when we were together, but without the pressure. The problem with me is that my focus has always been on the other person more than on God and my own future and development. Now I'm shifting that so that no one person becomes more important to me than anyone else. I have my girls that mean everything to me, and no one guy should overshadow that. If someone does, I need to back off because at that point I know I am becoming too intimate with him.
2. This does not mean I'll never go on "dates." I'll still go out with male friends sometimes. I do think that for awhile, until I'm more into the swing of this, I'll stick to group things, but at some point I'm sure I'll want to hang out with someone and he might happen to be a guy. That's cool. I can deal with that. Just not oging to think about it like a date, and make sure he knows that, and we're cool.
3. Also does not mean that I'm all of a sudden super pure and will never end up kissing a friend or a "date" or whatever. I'd like to avoid all of that for some time, until I can clearly understand exactly what place that has in my life...but really, it's not necessary for me, I don't think. We'll see.
4. I get to keep my crushes and dreams and hopes of the future without ever feeling like I'm settling. I also get to work on myself and those things I love so that when I do decide I'm ready for marriage, I know that I'm the best person I can be for my husband.
5. The people in my life have been surprisingly supportive. The Russian guy understands. WIth him I think i knew right away that I wasn't interested, but this way I get to back off without really hurting his feelings :) another plus...you can say no to a date without hurting someone's feelings :) sounds great to me. It also takes the pressure off those relationships that were starting to suffer. Now I get to learn more about these wonderful men and really develop a comfort level with them without worrying about agendas or manipulation or romantic feelings.
Yay for me.
For the first time in a long time, I feel really really great about all of this stuff. I feel at peace with my decision. I feel like God really led me to this. What's even cooler...i came up with this on my own. That's never happened, I don't think. There's always been a book, or a person that has influenced me. This one, I just knew all of a sudden that it was right. It happened in the space ofthe 15 minute drive home fromMGs one night last week. Nobody helped me come to this...it was all about me and God.
Now that I've made the decision and people have suggested the book, I've read I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I like it and it really helps me understand some of my feelings and reiterates things I had already decided. I don't completely agree with everything in the book, but I do think it's a good start to understanding this position if anyone is interested. Anyway, this is important to me and I wanted to share it with those who think I'm important enough to read my blog. If anyone wants to comment or talk about it, please email me, I'd love to.