#106 - The frustrations of Dating
Do you have expectations of what dating should be like? Are they realistic or unrealistic? Are your expectations based on a romance novel or Hollywood romance movie? Are your expectations based on what someone else told you that dating was supposed to be like based on their wants and desires? Do you expect every date to be magical?
If you are dating based on a romance novel or Hollywood movie script, be prepared to be disappointed! While we all would love to find the man or woman of our dreams, ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after, it just doesn’t happen that way. Life gets in the way and we don’t have the novelist or screen writer to craft the perfect lines for us to recite for a happy ending to every situation.
When friends or family give you advice on dating, take a look at their relationship. Are they living what they are telling you? Are they in an extraordinary relationship? Or are they sharing with you what they only wish they could find themselves? Taking dating advice from family and friends is often like taking financial advice from a broke person.
Over time, dating can become frustrating. We don’t find the knight in shining armor or the fair maiden we are looking for. We’ve looked and looked (or so we think) and yet we are still alone. Why is that? As I see it, there are a couple of different possibilities. First, are your expectations unrealistic? Second, the common denominator in all of your dating experiences is YOU! Are you the person you would really want to date? Since I address this second question a few weeks ago, let’s focus on being realistic about dating.
Can you expect to find your soul mate, that extraordinary mate that will make your heart skip a beat, give you butterflies in the pit of your stomach and make you go weak in the knees? Absolutely and unequivocally yes! But that’s where the fairy tail ends. Most of us have to kiss a lot of frogs to find our prince or princess. That is one of the hardest parts about the journey to finding your soul mate. There are a lot of one-and-done dates that have to be had. There are people we date for a short period of time only to start spotting red flags or deal breakers and it’s back to the drawing board.
Next, we have to understand that life happens and rarely does any relationship go unchallenged at some point in which it takes a lot of work to hold it together. The death of a parent or loved one, job loss or any other life changing event can place stress on a relationship that will test it to its limits.
For me, the biggest frustration is having to start over after the end of a relationship. Life is so much easier when you have someone to share your life with; the day’s frustrations, the day’s successes or plans for the future. The problem with this mindset is that it becomes easy to settle for less than extraordinary just to avoid the pain of having to start the dating process all over. We either return to a past relationship or jump into a new relationship so we have someone to share our day with.
In the search for your extraordinary relationship, dating needs to be viewed as a good thing, as a fun thing (even though sometimes it seems like drudgery). Approach each new date with a sense of adventure. What can you learn about someone new today? What can you learn about yourself today? Each date should be a learning experience about what you like and don’t like about yourself and others. This process is not about judging others and determining if they are good or bad. It’s a process of finding the one person that is the best fit for you.
In the dating process, listen to your gut instinct. We have that for a reason. If the date or situation doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t right. Don’t fight that feeling. You will save yourself a lot of headaches and heartaches by doing so. When someone mistreats or misjudges you, be gracious; don’t retaliate! Don’t fret about a broken date or a bad date. It was broken or bad for a reason. Learn from it and move on. Don’t date to rescue others. Just because you feel sorry for someone doesn’t mean you have to get into a relationship with them and to rescue them from their problems. The got there for a reason. Don’t change to please someone else. The change won’t last and you’ll both become resentful about the change later on. The only reason to change anything about yourself is to become a better you.