Dating: Our Worst Fears?

I have posted a couple of times on here some dating advice, and some rules I found helpful in dealing with some specific challenges.  And yes I completely agree that dating can be a big and scary place.  This seemingly endless abyss, where by humans feel like they are in constant limbo looking to escape and find a soul mate.  Just knowing you are in limbo sucks, thus it is not a far stretch in understanding why so many of us complain about dating.  The idea of dating has a negative connotation in our society.  Rarely do we brag about dating an endless line of dead end people.  We are joyful when we say we met someone amazing.  So it is quite draining and emotionally difficult riding that up and down wave of initial butterflies followed by rejection and rock bottom.  We rush to delete that single status and jump directly in relationships because dating is hard.  But it may not have to be.
There are so many sayings that I could use right now such as, good things come to those who wait, or the best things happen when you are not looking for them.  And yes I do think that these ring true, but what are we doing in the meantime?  Sitting alone playing video games, or dressing up and walking around the mall hoping for serendipity to occur?  Maybe for a short time, but a better use of our time is to start dating.  This world of dating is so much more than just meeting your “one true love”; it’s about honing up on our social skills, small talk interactions, and working on our people filters.  These skills are so much more valuable than just picking up; you can meet some amazing people.  As well your interactions at the workplace and networking skills will improve as a result. 

Look at the big picture when it comes to dating, as it is not just about voiding the loneliness.  But rather about the skills that you will pick up so much quicker and are able to apply to various aspects of your life.  It is more than just learning positive social skills, it is also about learning how to deal and react with negative ones.  If a person is rude and condescending, use the advantage of this being a perfect stranger to watch how you react and then deal with them.  This will directly transfer into the workplace if you ever have a boss that treats you with little or no respect.  Or how about a person who is an emotional train-wreck?  Figure out how best you handle dealing with them, work on not playing into their games which will help immensely if you have a family member who suffers from poor me syndrome.  It sounds cynical, but use the situation that you find yourself in to the positive.  Benefit from all these strangers surrounding you and work on your BS filter or any other skill that you know you lack.  Dating then evolves from this terrifying world with only one true purpose into making you a more stable individual who can adapt and work effectively in a variety of situations.
So my dear friends who have found themselves single for the New Year, I hope I have offered some encouragement to dating.  And may this New Year find you the happiest and most fulfilled even during times of stress and adversity.  Life after all keeps moving forward and rolling and adapting is what we humans are best at.  And of course if you really want to take dating to the next level, I would recommend searching some dating expert books.  I am happy to e-mail you a few of my favorites if you are curious J

Love…?

Or Lust in Hindsight

“Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave” – David Bowie, Labyrinth.  This quote is my all time favorite quote.  At different points in my adult life it has meant different things to me and the people I am in relationships with.  Personally I have been in love twice, and in lust twice.  I only was able to recognize the lust in hindsight and the love was never love at first sight.  It was a gradual occurrence where feelings naturally grew and developed.  The funny thing is that none of these four experiences have anything in common.  I would argue that I am fairly perceptive, but I cannot make a list or even explain why these feelings grew.

I was in love for at least a solid half of my 8 year relationship with my ex.  Which statistically they say is really good.   I think the average is 45% of the time you have to love the one you’re with.  I wonder how much these stats would increase if people took more accountability for making themselves happy?  At any rate, it took a long time but I can now recognize a lot of great times that were shared during my time with him.  But I failed by forgetting to make myself joyful first, and this contributed greatly towards the less than 50% ratio of joy.

Now I am in a relationship that is so much different.  The feeling of love is present, but there are so few similarities between why I am happy.  It really makes me want to reconsider these many cliches about what love really is and what it means.  Is the English language just too small and ill suited for expressing the word love in the type of society we live in?  I do not commonly hear people say, “oh man am I ever in lust with so and so”.  But shouldn’t it be more commonplace to hear? There is a natural sugar coating in our society towards these situations.  For example,  how often has someone you know said, “oh the ex wants to hang out, should I?” We translate in our minds that this is a booty call, then try and analyze the mental capacity of both parties, then give our reply.  But why can’t the conversation just be more open from the start with both parties expressing what they want?  And more to the point, by being able to say yes or no to the propositions.

I fear it is the same with love.  It is all to easy to mix up love with lust or vice versa, and I personally have had my little feelings trounced on when I mistook lust for love.  It is painful and all too common.  We fear the unknown, love the attention, and lust over the possibilities.  And then we add sex into the equation, where it is the physical act for men, and the emotional connection for women.  So what is the poor heart to make of all this?  Honesty people!  Honesty is the only solution.  If your feelings change, develop, lessen, whatever happens, just communicate.  We have the ability to talk and express ourselves even if the language is not always well suited to making this easy.

I enjoy being in love. It’s a great feeling and of course I want it to continue for a long time. Nothing is perfect but happiness is what life is all about.  Chase your dreams and enjoy the people that you take on your journey to reach your potential, whether for the here and now, lust, or the longer term love.