Welcome to the second week of Sam and my blog series on getting through your twenties. Today we are discussing DATING (ohh hell), and last week we discussed careers. Share your stories in the comments!
Be sure to check out Sam’s dating post here.
I can tell you how to be in a longterm relationship, and what not to do in one. I can tell you how to be perpetually single. I can tell you how to awkwardly tell someone that they have the “X-factor” you’ve been looking for… Yep, it happened, but in my defense it was long before that damn TV show existed. However, I cannot tell you how to “date” because a) the obvious and simple answer is to go on dates, and b) my experience within that arena is very limited.
I’ve had two first dates. The first first was a dive into the deep end, and the start to a serious relationship that I probably wasn’t ready for. The second first was spent freaking out about what personal information I was allowed to omit and what I wasn’t, because I don’t really have an internal “too much information” filter. Whew, stressful stuff. After forcing a second date, we agreed there wasn’t enough chemistry to go out again.
Two first dates and two very different outcomes, both of which I learned a lot from. And there you have my adult “dating” history. Therefore today there will be nooooo advice giving, ’cause this sister is as clueless as the next. But instead I will bring to you four discussion points that I hope you will weigh in on!
On doing something about it.
I really don’t care if you’re a guy or a girl. These days it seems that anything goes and I’m sick of being told what is the “right” way to do it for your gender. I myself still have a penchant for being pursued the old fashioned way, if I’m honest. But that doesn’t excuse me from participation entirely. For example, a simple smile to allay any fears of rejection will surely go a long way. So whether it’s walking up to someone and making conversation to express interest, or right out asking them for coffee. Lady or Sir reading this; do something. For dating to exist, we all need to be playing a part. Hint, flirt or just say it outright. Let’s get this party started.
On being honest with yourself.
I’ve lied to myself and to friends about men I’ve been interested in. I’ve allowed myself to only see the fantastical romance and not the blaring red lights, in either him or me. Do you really like them, or are you just avoiding loneliness? Are they really good for you and to you? If your best friend was dating this person and being treated this way, would you approve? Please, don’t kid yourself for love or mere attention. You’re worth way more. Personally, and I truly mean this, I would rather be single for years on end than unhappy in the wrong relationship. My heart and time is too valuable, and so is yours.
On not discounting yourself.
The possibility of a wonderful man walking into my life and pursuing me with honourable intentions, today, takes my breath away. And not for good reasons. Fears flood my mind; “But I’m not good enough yet. I don’t have enough to give. I don’t have my finances, career or future sorted. I am not Godly enough yet.”
The truth is that I am enough, for some man, as I am right now. I don’t have to do, correct or change anything. He will be human and I will accept him, and I need to accept myself too. If you’re trying to sort yourself out before you meet someone, quit now. You will be imperfect when you meet them and that’s a honest-to-goodness fact. Sort yourself out for the right reasons because it doesn’t stop when you find someone. It continues during dating and marriage and furthermore, for the rest of your life until the day you die. You will just have someone to do it alongside. You’re loveable as you are, right now.
On enjoying it.
You and I, us kids in our twenties; we will never get this time back. Fleeting eye contact across a crowded room and engaging in conversation drenched in chemistry is awesome. Having complete freedom to mold a life you love is exhilarating. If you cut your losses with the assholes, you will be able to enjoy dating and singleness. It doesn’t have to be stressful. Notice what you do like and what you don’t in the opposite sex. Make loads of friends without analysing if you would date them, because taking the pressure off allows you to be you. (You will probably end up marrying one of them, by the way. Kidding! What do I know?)
Laugh about it, talk about it or cry about it. Dating is what you make it. We’re a collection of messy little hearts, roaming this earth in the pursuit of love and acceptance. But it doesn’t have to be complicated, confusing or painful. It can be fun, interesting and full of growth. As long as we say what we mean, respect people above all and be kind to ourselves, we can’t go too wrong. Oh, and not talking about family on first dates is worth noting.
Do you have anything to add to the above discussion points? What do you identify with the most?