Recently, I had a conversation about dating, and why I don’t date very often. This is something I’ve given a lot of thought to lately because in my past, I dated far more frequently than I do now. Part of that is getting older and busier, and part of that is just because a lot of the time, I don’t enjoy dating. Not all of the time, or most of the time, but a lot of the time I find dating to be a drag. So, every once in a while, I just stop dating. Or I cut down on my dates. And you know what, maybe you should too.
Here’s the thing, we’ve normalized dating so much in popular culture, made it so easy for people to find a date without actually trying very hard, that a lot of people date because it’s easy, not because they want to. Think of your dating life, and your friends and peers dating lives. Would you say that you enjoy dating? Would you say that your friends enjoy dating? I don’t think it has to be a binary system where you either enjoy it or don’t but let’s get more granular. Do you enjoy dating more, even if only slightly more, than not dating? I’m going to be honest and say, I don’t think most of you enjoy dating.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily think that everyone, everywhere hates dating, or that if you complain about dating you don’t enjoy it, I just think a lot of people don’t enjoy the dating process. Most people enjoy being in a relationship though, they just hate the journey. Which is perfectly okay! Some people enjoy flying, and some people hate flying, but likes where flying takes them. Neither type of person is bad, or wrong, it just is what it is.
Want to know a secret? You don’t have to date. If you don’t enjoy dating, you could just stop dating right now and the world will keep turning. If you’re reading this blog, it’s fair to say that you probably have control over your dating life, are an adult, and you’re probably not worried about being married off to a stranger, sight unseen. Can’t say that’s true for 100% of you reading this, but if I had to guess, I’d say the number is 99.99% of you get to choose who you date and when. If you do not enjoy dating, stop right now. Delete your apps, stop going on dates altogether, and never look back. You don’t have to date if you don’t want to. You know what I hate? Liver. You know what I haven’t eaten since I had the ability to decide what I eat? Liver. Because I’m an adult and I don’t have to do the things I don’t want to do, if I can opt-out. So, opt-out of dating if you really hate dating, It’s that simple.
While I stand by the idea that if you don’t enjoy it, don’t date, I also realize that yes, dating sucks but if you want to be in a relationship, it’s something you have to do. If that’s the case, let’s rework the idea a bit:
If you don’t enjoy it, don’t date the way you currently date
There are two questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to figure out how to change the way you currently date: What don’t I enjoy about dating and Can I fix it. If you hate dating, but don’t want to stop altogether, try answering these 2 questions. Please remember your answers as this is a self-guided quiz, thank you
1. What don’t you enjoy about dating?
Is it something about the process itself, your dating pool, dating apps, singles events, speed dating, the pressure you might feel from family and friends, or something I haven’t listed? If you have a nebulous dislike of dating, but can’t place your finger on why off of the top of your head, try giving it some serious critical thought. This is a self-exam so I can’t give you the right answer, because there isn’t one, but people’s most frequent complaints around dating are usually a lack of quality people, meeting someone, hitting it off and then they abruptly end things, or meeting people who don’t want the same thing as you but aren’t upfront about it. Whatever your main driver of dissatisfaction is, try to identify it
2. Can you fix it?
Look, I’m not going to say that any dating issue can be fixed, but most can. If you hate the “hookup culture” of certain dating apps, SPOILER ALERT, you never have to use them.If the guys you meet on Tinder are consistently terrible and you hate all of them, STOP USING TINDER. If the women you match with on Bumble can’t string a complete sentence together to save their lives and it frustrates you beyond belief, STOP USING BUMBLE. If you feel like your friends keeps pestering you about your dating life and it makes dating miserable, stop talking about dating with them. Don’t bring up your dating life, if they press you for details decline, and if they continue to press you for details stop responding. A conversation only works if you engage in it, so don’t engage if you don’t want to. If that sounds weird or uncomfortable, that’s the point. If talking about dating with your friends makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. If they persist, make them uncomfortable.
That’s really all there is to it. Once you’ve answered both question, figure out your solution. Yes there are going to be some problems that you can’t fix completely, but try to come up with solutions that make dating a bit more bearable to you if you decide you still want to date. You can delete dating apps, you can stop being setup by friends, you can stop going to bars on dates, and you can stop doing anything else that you dislike about dating.
Just because your peers date a certain way doesn’t mean you have to date that way, especially if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy dating either stop, or change the way you date. I’ve done it and trust me, dating your own way is much better than dating the way everyone else is and being miserable about it.
Good Luck Out There.