I was talking with my friend T the other day. She met a guy that is actually a mutual friend of mine, and they had some really great dates together. She’s a confident, hardworking chick with a stable job at a fantastic company and she deserves a sexy ass man with the same set of characteristics. Our mutual friend has a lot going for him, and I can see why she has a blast when they are together. She isn’t trying to rush anything but also doesn’t want to waste her time with someone who may not develop the same feelings as her. Which leads me to the topic of dating limbo, a phrase defined as the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing if you should pursue the person immediately or push them away before someone gets hurt. Here is some insight into our convo:
I feel like my generation doesn’t quite understand what it means to date. It’s ok to not know where you are headed with someone you are interested in, and just to enjoy living in the moment. Why must we either push people away or make them commit when they aren’t ready? Why can’t we embrace the unknown and frolic happily in dating limbo until we learn more about the person and what we actually want. To me, there is a significant difference between these three categories: Single, Dating, and in a Relationship. Allow me to elaborate.
Single: You give zero fucks and you’re loving it. You go out with your friends, not looking for anything but also not not looking for something (notice the double negative). You’re ready for whatever but are content without someone to come home to every night. You’re open to meeting new people all the time and just living it up. Or you’re the type of single individual that isn’t into going out a lot, because you enjoy to spend the little free time you have alone. And it makes you happy-AND there is nothing wrong with that.
Dating: You have a few people you’re interested with perhaps a few players on the bench. You aren’t necessarily with just one person, but you’re also not going out attempting to bang anything with a pulse. You may have just one person you are dating which may develop into a relationship. Or you may be dating a few people but not certain which one is worth settling down for. This is the category promotes some blurred lines, and a lot of people fail to grasp what dating really is. Let’s give an example.
I met this guy D right when I moved to san diego. He has a lot of what I’m interested in: tall, hilarious, smart, athletic, hates cats (winning!) and I enjoyed being around him. We have always just been friends but started going on a few dates together last year. Things got a bit more serious towards the end of November, even bought him a late Christmas present (because I fucking love giving people surprises). But I definitely didn’t think he was my boyfriend and I thought we were on the same page. DON’T EVER ASSUME the other person Is on the same page unless it is CLEARLY communicated. I learned that the hard way. I was still going on dates and hanging out with other guys because I thought we were in the same boat. Things were fine and we always had an amazing time together, he is one in three guys in my life that actually made me laugh. Which is important. Well everything changed once his best friend texted me a slew of fucked up things claiming I was “slutty” and I “lead him on” and that he was “extremely disappointed”. Jesus that was unexpected. I then reached out to D and asked why he assumed we weren’t seeing other people if it wasn’t communicated. And he goes “I thought we were dating”. Which brings me to my point. Dating is different than actually being in a committed relationship. Or at least In my book. I obviously understand that everyone has different ideas of what dating truly means, so I’m not judging your opinion. But what is the difference between dating and a relationship? Let’s move on.
Relationship: You have a significant other and that is the only person you are seeing (unless you live in Utah and that’s your jam). You are not dating other people and it has been CLEARLY confirmed that both parties want to get serious and be with just each other. You aren’t jokingly playing on Tinder or going to clubs making sexual advancements towards other people (unless you’re in an open relationship, which is not my cup of tea so I will end that there).
Why can’t we find comfort in being in relationship limbo? Why do you have to rush to get into a relationship or hastily push people away to stay single. Can’t we just find happiness in enjoying the ride and allowing everything to settle into place? If you force yourself to distance yourself from anyone that you start to get close to, you will probably start practicing this in everyday life. Pushing away coworkers, pushing away family, pushing away friends, not just the opposite sex. But if you force a relationship when one of you aren’t ready, either cheating, resentment, or breakups are likely to ensue. Can’t we just enjoy meeting people, enjoy their company, and see if they are worth pursuing? Why do people have to have ALL or NONE?