By Chris Heide
Let’s be real for moment. I hate dating. I hate everything about it. It’s a terrifying, awkward and emotional experience. For someone like me, who is hugely driven by emotion, dating can be an exhausting process. There is something so uncomfortable with making yourself open a vulnerable to someone who you don’t quite yet trust. I like to think that I am an excellent friend and a loyal boyfriend. I love being single and I also love being in a relationship. The whole dating thing, the process of feeling someone out, however, is not exactly a prime source of confidence. The over thinker in me constantly wants to question and analyze everything about the person I am interested in when dating.
As someone who is currently going through the dating process, I have noticed a few things as to why dating might just be so terrible for so many people.
1. People suck at communicating
In a culture filled with ghosting and avoidance, it’s no wonder why dating can be such a frustrating process. It’s amazing how many issues can be avoided and assumptions can be dispelled simply by TALKING TO THE PERSON YOU ARE INTERESTED IN. Communicating honestly can be uncomfortable, but it is less uncomfortable then showing up in any relationship with a lack of integrity and truth.
2. People don’t know what they want
Do you just want to hook up with some friends? That’s perfectly fine. Want to have a fuck buddy? That’s more than okay. Looking for a long term monogamous relationship? That’s another great option. Honestly, we are adults. Know what you want and be clear about that with any potential prospects. You’ll avoid a lot of drama and save yourself some heartache down the road.
3. People are quick to blame and make assumptions
Ever hear of the five love languages? It's 5 different ways that people can show their love and affection for another person. Some people need words of validation in a relationship. Other people use touch as a method of demonstrating affection and care. Always be open to the fact that the way YOU express care may not be identical to the way another person expresses it. Never shame someone for showing you they care, even if it is different from how you do it. Don’t make assumptions about why they show up the way they do. Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts that they do make.
Despite my frustrations with dating, I will keep dipping my toe into that turbulent pool. There is very little worthwhile in life that comes without a little struggle. Trial and error is how we learn, after all.
Dating is hard enough. There is no need to make it even more difficult than it already is. Respect other people. Communicate. Know what you want and state it. Decide whether you want to be in a relationship and don’t waste someone's time. Don’t mistake fear for intuition. And for god sakes, don’t ghost people.
If all else fails, just remember this- be yourself and don’t be a dick. Because karma really is a bitch.