Long for comfort
comfort to seek
seek our desires
desires no need
I’m just going to start this the way many of us are feeling: dating is a nightmare. But why? Sure, it’s easy to go out with a bunch of friends and find someone to take home for the night. But lets be honest…that’s not really what we’re searching for, are we?
Temporary Thrills vs. Complementary Souls
Someone catches your eye- you can’t help but think they may be the person you have been searching for. But is what caught your eye enough to sustain what’s in your mind? Probably not. This is just a temporary thrill. This is why dating is a nightmare. So many of us are intent on finding “the one” based solely on a temporary thrill. Sorry, but this method isn’t going to find any of us relationship-based happiness. It takes much more effort to dissect someone’s perspective on the world than it does to have a physical spark.
We must be willing to overlook our thrills and seek what matters more: a complementary soul. This can only be done if we truly know ourselves, truly know what’s going on in our own minds enough to recognize the same thinking in others. If you are confused at all about what’s going on inside your mind, then it is time for reflection and introspection, not dating. Happiness comes from within, not from another being. That’s why its called a “complementary soul”. To complement what our own soul already feels. To allow us to grow together in the same direction…
But how do we know a temporary thrill can’t grow into a complementary soul? How do we know the difference? We don’t…at first. Dating is a nightmare because we often take the gamble and hope a thrill turns into a complementary soul. However, it often doesn’t and we are left feeling like we wasted our time. But no time is ever really wasted because those thrills and what we learn from them help us to better recognize the complementary soul we seek. We need to reflect on the places we are finding these thrills. The bar? The club? Your chances of finding a temporary thrill are much higher in these settings, and thus the chances of finding a complementary soul here are slim to none. Rather, focus must be placed on what makes our hearts beat, what gives us inspiration and meaning. Love nature? You’ll find your complementary soul in such a setting. Love music? Likewise. I’m no relationship expert but I have read enough about social patterns to understand that our chances of finding like-souls are much higher if we focus on what makes ourselves tick.
“I am so in love with the way they think, but I just am not attracted at all!” Physical attraction is important in a relationship, but it isn’t everything. This is something I personally struggle with (curse the Scorpio zodiac). I have found myself on dates with attractive men, but conversation lacks and there is no personality spark. However, I have not found myself on a date with someone I did not find physically attractive but felt a major personality connection. Dating just doesn’t work like that- and we often only go on dates if the initial physical spark is there. This excludes many potential complementary souls, and we are left feeling like there just aren’t enough fish in the sea. I urge you to take a chance if you feel a major connection but lack physical attraction. You may be surprised to find that over time, the beauty within radiates to skin-surface. If you find yourself admiring and inspired by the way someone sees the world, ask them out. Do not let physicality dictate your prospective relationships. It will never work. And if you find yourself admiring an insightful mind, AND are attracted? Well then consider yourself a lucky dog and do not let this one slip through your fingertips. Go. For. It.
Rejection, Self-love, Mutuality
You asked someone out. Go you. But they said they had a significant other, or they weren’t interested, or you are coworkers. Whatever excuse, you were rejected. Big deal. It stings at first, I know. What is wrong with me? Why? Pouring over these questions won’t get you anywhere. Chances are, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and that person just had different idea of whom they desired. Don’t make a person feel bad for you. Be confident, even in the face of rejection. It’s okay- the important thing is that you were able to ask the question. Now you will never have to lay in bed wondering what could have been. You will never go home thinking “wow that girl/guy at the coffee shop was so cute and I was too chicken to do anything and now I can’t stop thinking about how much of an idiot I am and I’ll never see them again!” If you would have just asked….
I asked out a guy in a similar situation. Tall, mountain-man-esque. Totally dreamy. I gave him my number, said I had noticed him and that I’d love to get coffee with him sometime. We texted back and forth and I found him pretty refreshing and promising. Then he kept pushing back the date. Whatever miscommunication there was-we obviously weren’t good at communication and never went on a date.
Instead of viewing it as a loss or something that was wrong with me, I took it in stride and moved on. I had the guts to go up to him and introduce myself. I was proud of myself. It didn’t work out but I will never have to worry that I missed out on dreamy mountain man because I was too chicken to talk to him. What does Frost say about life? Oh…it goes on!
If someone turns you down, move on. If you have to convince someone why they should like you, it isn’t going to work. Mutual feelings-both parties- have to want the same thing. It seems obvious…but temporary thrills are dangerous and can lead us to view what ought to be through jaded lenses.
Like I mentioned earlier, happiness comes from within rather than from another being. If you aren’t happy with yourself and do not love the way you see the world, then the priority should be reflection rather than dating. If you aren’t happy with yourself, how can you expect to be happy in the presence of another? Love yourself first, but be careful not to cross the line into narcissism.
Gender Stereotypes and Chivalry
*Written under heterosexual assumptions, expanded in concluding paragraph.
James Brown? Is that you? This is a man’s world! But it wouldn’t be nothin’ without a woman or a girl. Whose job is it to ask someone out? A man? It’s 2016- traditional gender roles have been shattered. Women-stop sitting, waiting and wishing. Men-don’t feel obliged. My sister has been married for almost four years now. Guess who asked out who? She did. If you want to go on a date with someone, ask. It isn’t anyone’s “job.”
Now, when I go on a date, I do expect a man to open the door, offer to pay, all that jazz. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t open a door for you or offer to pay. You spoil me, I spoil you. Chivalry is dead in the historical sense. Chivalry in 2016 means equality, that we both work towards each others happiness, we both work, we both pay, we both open doors, we are each others knights in shining armor. Now, I can’t speak for all women, and some may want the old historical, traditional gender roles. But women beware- if you want a traditional male, you must be a traditional female. Personally I would prefer an egalitarian relationship-we both work, we both clean, we both cook, we both pick up slack when slack needs picked up. I urge you to take a good look at what you think gender means in a relationship before you start one-and make sure you both are on the same page.
*I want to add that as gender dynamics are no longer black and white, our roles are dependent upon a very gray area. The LGBTQ community has opened a world of opportunity and shattered traditional gender norms. The point I want to make in this section is that it is no one’s defined role to perform one task for another. What does matter is that both parties effectively communicate what is expected of the other.
Lessons: Physical attraction only gets us so far. Date someone who inspires you. If they inspire you, physical attraction can follow if you let it. Love yourself first. Gender stereotypes are no longer black and white and require discussion, do not assume based on traditional roles. Lastly…Should I quote Kelly Clarkson? Take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and break away. TOTALLY works here.
It is human nature to long for comfort, for stability, for love. And in those moments we actively seek, we find comfort in knowing we’re all the same in this respect. So we seek based on our values, our desires, what we could create to be our perfect mate. Instead, we must realize our superficial desires are of least importance and there is no need for perfection. It is only in this moment that we can find love. Open-mind, free of every social norm that has shaped our dating world; that’s when we begin to understand each other….that’s when we begin to feel instead of just see.
Thoughts are more than welcome!