I recently came across this article, "Dating Sucks — But Here's How I Stay Positive" on Refinery 29 and it hit me pretty hard. For those that don't know me, I'm heavily (HEAAAVILY) involved in "the dating scene", both in New York and in Atlanta.
I've found myself in many moments dishearted by dating as a whole. I've had my fair share (and then some) of ghosting, I've been cheated on, and I've had things fizzle out when they seemed like everything was going great. In these moments, all I want to do is throw my phone against a wall and swear off dating forever. And I'm not going to lie, those moments sting and suck and hurt. They really get you down about you as a person and give you that "I'm going to die alone" type feeling. And when that comes creeping in, it's hard to jump back up.
When things don't work out with someone, my first instinct is usually to jump back on the bandwagon and swipe until I get carpal tunnel syndrome. For me, I've found it fun, but often brainless to mindlessly swipe through people's profiles on dating apps. It doesn't feel substantial, and it feels like a childish, cheap version of a rebound. More often than not, I have to talk myself down, and remind myself that there's actually this whole other world outside of dating that I often lose track of when I get caught up with one person and focusing on them. For me, I've found that this idea of jumping back ties into the idea of intentional living I've spoken about recently on the blog. You have to jump into life wholeheartedly when these situations get you down. If you jump back into dating blindly, you're going to end up creating your own bad situations for yourself that replicate themselves time and time again.
I've found that dating brings out the biggest contradictions in people, and I've even noticed it in myself. I'm someone who has difficulty trusting people off the bat, yet in dating, I'll immediately assume the best about someone I've just started dating. I'm someone that doesn't like getting crossed, but I'll dole out second chances to people because I so badly want to see the good in them. Then, if/when things don't work out, I find myself berating myself for being so giving, instead of being frustrated with the situation, or with the other person.
I've also found that in terms of the ends of relationships, it's often more hurtful than helpful to place blame on any party. I know that one point on which I and some of my friends/family disagree is that you should be willing to place blame on other people for the ending of a relationship, I've been in many situations where the people around me don't really understand why I'm not willing to call an ex out on ghosting me or go after someone who became disinterested. I've found that sometimes it's simply not worth it. I can find closure on my own, without getting it from another person who may or may not "owe" me my closure. I've often found that when exes do come back into my life to apologize for any past wrongdoings, I usually rather that they didn't. For me, it's unnecessary because I took care of it myself. I healed those wounds, and moved on and I don't really need to be apologized to six months after the fact. I'd rather us head our separate ways and be okay with that.
For someone that's particularly... particular about having control over so many aspects of their life, dating surely also falls under that umbrella. I often wish I could know what others are thinking instead of having to play the waiting game (or the dating game). However, I've found that what puts me at ease the most is stepping back and trying to not place expectations or wants onto another person. Simply approaching someone as a romantic partner date by date, and moment by moment spent together makes it so much easier than looking at it with an expiration date or trying to set goals for a relationship that hasn't even grown into anything yet. This also gives you a chance to just enjoy the other person, which is really what dating is all about.
I hope you check out that Refinery29 article- it's worth a read!