When looking for a potential partner, dating becomes a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s fun to meet new people, learn about them, and explorer new places in the city. On the other, it starts to feel like a job you have to do in order to meet your potential match. If you’re going out on many dates, you need to strike a balance between the two sides, if you don’t, life becomes difficult.
To better explain this, you need to understand the following: A dinner date, full of conversation and laughter, which then turns in a romantic stroll and a passionate kiss goodnight, can still result in your date not wanting to see you again. It doesn’t matter if you do everything right, people are individuals and they have their own motivations for doing things. Some people are just looking for one fun night out. Others are looking for commitment. You don’t know what another person wants until they tell you, and when dating, that can be devastating.
Since my long-term high school romance ended way back in 2013, I’ve thrown myself into the dating scene. I’ve had a handful of short-term relationships, and have lost track of the amount of first dates I’ve been on. I’ve had dates that go as described above, which seemed to go perfectly, only to have the girl later say she wasn’t interested (or just ghost me and not say anything at all), and I’ve had dates the turn into something more. The problem is that you cannot tell which is which until several dates in.
After a good date, you can build up this image of a future with a girl, only to be crushed when she stops responding to your messages. This devastation is brutal. And, when you are throwing yourself into the dating scene like me, it’s extremely frequent. So what’s a person to do? Honestly, not much.
In my mind you have two option: 1) Date less and deal with the heartache each time, or 2) Withhold excitement until the third date when things are more stable. For me, I go with option two, which leads me back to the double edged sword: where I have fun, but feel like dating is a job. I do everything I can to restrict myself from getting too attached or excited with a potential match so I don’t end up devastated in situations like the above.
In future blog posts, I’ll no doubt go into more detail as to why this can become a self fulfilling prophecy of doom, but for now, my point is this: If you are looking for your potential life partner, and are throwing yourself into the thick of dating, it’s okay to look at it a bit like a job. Yes, dating is supposed to be fun, and you should go in expecting to enjoy your dates, but thinking of it like a job ensures you’re not getting too excited while still implying that you will get your pay cheque someday.
Atlas’s Note: This blog has been inspired by a girl I’ve been chatting with for the last week. I have a date with her tonight and despite my best intentions, I have become excited. Despite my past, I am still optimistic, but I won’t be surprised if I’m burned again here. Will update after.