Let’s talk about the wonderful world of awkward dating. I feel the inherent right to unleash my vast knowledge of the subject. What gives me that right? I am the longest running single twenty-six year old in my district (kisses three fingers, and holds them up to the sky). All jokes aside, I am hesitant to boast of my own dating style. It has not maintained any form of a healthy relationship with a companion.
In theory, I deem a healthy relationship to be a mutually established connection filled with trust, lust and admiration. In reality, I seem to think it is acceptable to categorize a fictitious bond with a potential significant other as ‘pretty serious’ immediately after we have exchanged social media handles.
Unfortunately, social media does not help your real social life. Go figure. So what is considered the correct way to date? For someone like myself, I’ve struggled to define what a relationship is and how to communicate feelings effectively. Many will agree that these two factors can and will be the undoing of a potentially healthy relationship.
My previous dating record can trace its earliest failed dating attempts back to primary school when Trevor Glassman denied my youthful display of undying love (presented through cut out hearts and confetti) and proceeded to push me off the swing set when bestowed with this glorious gift. Thus began my skewed understanding of how to maintain a one-sided infatuation at an early age. So back to the ultimate question: what is the correct way to date? There are so many factors that go into this ancient courtship. A mutual understanding of what both parties seek to gain from the relationship can create an open relationship as well as stimulate the conversation for future plans.
When a relationship is missing this hearty verbal exchange, the focus transcends toward lust and strays away from addressing all desires. Dating is also often weighed down with the constraints of social dynamics. Gender roles, the consideration of a long-term relationship and eventually wondering of how and if your family will accept your significant other might muddle your mind.
These preconceived notions are hard to ignore. For myself, there is an unwritten checklist that will tell me if this significant other is going to last a week, let alone a year. Within the first conversations engaged, I seek humor, a healthy conversation and a compassionate connection. I look for a stimulating mind that doesn’t expect me to carry the weight of dialogue.Don’t get me wrong, I also try to understand how the date is going from their perspective. This is where my over-thinking comes into play. Am I controlling the conversation? Is there something in my teeth? Am I smiling too much? Is he only interested in my appearance or should I open up and allow him to dig deep?
In the end, these significant others can be ejected from the dating game if something like the comparison of past relationships occurs. I don’t want to hear you put me in the same category as another individual and continue to imply all of the damage I need to undo. I am not Atlas and I will not lift the globe from your shoulders. Dating needs to be taken slow so as not to over rush emotions. I understand that we’ve all had relationships that might have left a sour taste or bad impression. However, carrying over that weight to a new relationship will sink it into the abyss. Take your time. Discover your own wants and needs as you explore your significant other.