For many, dating is an investment that may pay romantic dividends, where you pin your hopes on the end-game and curse your ill-luck should nothing tangible come of it. There is no middle-ground. Either you win big, or you live to fight another day.
The purpose of this article is to argue that dating should not be considered an all-or-nothing scenario. That there is always something to gain should we shift our perspective away from the end-game to the present. It becomes both a way for us to learn about ourselves and others, while having fun in the process.
I hereby present you with a hand-picked selection of reasons why I believe that dating, while difficult, means far more for us than simply finding a suitable romantic partner.
Dating is fun
It would be ironic of me to claim that the first step to enjoy dating would be to free ourselves from expectations. After-all, what is a date if not an expectation? However, I do feel that insecurity and cynicism can be taken too far.
If we resolve to enjoy the experience regardless of how our partner in crime reacts, even if the process comes to an abrupt halt, it was worth our while. This might mean:
- Doing something you genuinely feel like doing on a date (forget the job interview style inquisition).
- Creating a positive and transparent atmosphere by employing humor, self-irony and transparency.
- Taking the experience at face value rather than investing in the outcome.
By enjoying yourself you are not only catalyzing attraction and improving your odds, you are also making it far easier for your partner to break the ice and curb their own insecurity. Humor is the most natural and endearing way of subconsciously signaling intelligence and strength.
Dating makes us stronger
Dating has a steep learning curve. The more we do it, the better we get at it. This may seem like a superficial way of catalyzing emotional “growth”. However, I do feel it teaches us a series valuable lessons. And the longer we keep at it (the more mistakes we make), the better the pay-off is with regards to eventually finding a long-term romantic fit.
A failed date is not senseless. Meeting the wrong kind of person has it uses. Any form of rejection or disillusionment is a chance for us to strengthen our weaknesses and improve our self-confidence.
- Dating is a fantastic way for us to learn about compiling and enforcing personal boundaries.
- We progressively learn to streamline and crystallize our own expectations, while remaining realistic.
- We learn how to take a hit without becoming insecure of our own merits.
- By dating more we also improve our odds at meeting someone compatible.
They key to becoming “all we can be” in a romantic and existential sense is deeply rooted in our ability to monitor and salve our self-esteem.
Why dating is difficult
Forgive me for my apparent masochism, but in a way I feel blessed by how difficult dating can be. If finding a fulfilling romantic partner was as easy as asking for one, we would forgo half the value and half the joy of building a relationship.
Romance and love would be nothing without passion, but it would also be nothing without pain. Fulfillment is always relative to loss. In a way, all the reasons that outline why dating is difficult only end up making success all the sweeter in the long-run.
While I don’t advocate being overly skeptical, after-all, there is every chance that you do end up meeting someone special right away. It does mean that from a logical perspective we should equate “special” with being rare. And precisely because the odds aren’t in our favor, we should strive to use dating as an experience to improve ourselves rather than pin all our hopes on an all or nothing outcome. Because when someone special does finally come around, we will then be in a position to sweep them off their feet.
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