Gone are the good ol’ days, when you meet someone at a local event, at work, or even at the grocery store. You get their number and wait a few days to make an actual phone call. You talk a bit and set up a time to meet either for coffee or dinner. You take this chance to get to know the person a bit better through the way they interact and present themself.
Instead today, dating has become more of a screening process based on the way you digitally present yourself, or a version of yourself. Consequently, this new-aged dating has often been blamed as the reason dating is so hard.
I imagine that if you were to rewind the times, you will find it hard pressed to find that dating has always been hard. I think that could be attributed to the fact that dating and vulnerability go hand in hand. And being vulnerable is never easy!
And just to complicate matters, according to Griffin Wynne of elite daily, current online dating culture makes it even harder to be vulnerable, if that doesn’t make it even more confusing.
One reason I think dating is hard is because you don’t know what you want. It’s like going to the grocery store hungry. Everything looks good, smells good, feels good, because you’re hungry and you want food. Now! You want that quick fix that will satiate your hunger, for now.
If you are on a budget, or simply responsible with your time and spending, you may have learned that it is better to go to the store with a list. And not when you are hungry.
I will admit that I didn’t use a shopping list for a longggg time. On purpose. For a reason. You see, if I forgot something at the store, it meant that I had to go back. And going back meant that I could buy more chocolate. And buying more chocolate always made me feel better. In the short term.
But I kicked my chocolate habit and now I use a list. I come home with everything that I need, give or take a few items, and feel set for the week. I don’t have to run back and forth to fill satisfied. I am happy with what I got.
The same goes for dating. I think we often wait til we are hungry, forget the list, and just head to the store and take whatever jumps out at you off the shelf, whatever feels good in the moment. But when you do that, you may find that when you get hungry again, and you go to make youself some food, that you are missing some ingredients. This leads to dissatisfaction, and possibly prolongs the hunger.
The same goes for dating. If you enter the dating scene based on being hungry, and without a list, you may only get a portion of what you really need. You may end up picking a quick fix yummy food, but it leaves you feeling guilty, bloated or breaking out in blemishes.
There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you are looking for. Maybe you want those Cheetos, regardless of how they will look on your waist. The point is, know what you want.
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to be with someone? Am I dating because I am lonely, because I want a friend, because I want a partnership? You need to know what you want.
More importantly, you need to know where you are at. Because you attract where you are at. If your self-esteem is suffering, you will attract someone who is about at the same level even though you may exhibit this differently.
What I often see with clients is the dynamic between the giver and the taker. The giver does lots and lots of nice things for the SO. They are happy to do this. It makes them feel great to know that they can care for the other, even though the other does not do the same in return.
What this does is help the giver to feel like they are giving what they themself need. They have shut off the need to get, because at some point in the past, what they needed from others was not available.
Consequently, this person grows up feeling like they are not significant, or very special. And we all need to feel like we are someone of value. So the mind creates a protection plan. It says, “I’ll just stop needing, and give instead. That will make me feel good.”
On the other hand, the taker is in the same boat. They too experienced a time when their needs were not met. Where they would share a part of themself and it was not acknowledged. So their mind created a different protection system. Their mind decided that it just won’t give anymore, because, what’s the point.
The two dynamics then end up in a relationship where one is giving and the other is taking. This is exciting for the one receiving as they finally feel like they are being recognized. They still don’t have the capacity to give because that would be too painful. So they enjoy taking, even begin to expect it in order to feel valued and loved.
When the giver stops giving or the receiver stops caring, contention arises.
So you gotta know where you are at and what you want if you want to make the dating process a bit more comfortable. If you are only the cheetos, then expect the cheetos. If you are wanting a pantry full of food, first fill your pantry with food, and then that is what you will attract.
If you want to attract someone that you can grow a relationship with, then you need to become a person that has the characteristics that can grow a healthy relationship (which starts with being able to manage your own emotions).
The point is, know what you want before you go shopping, and don’t go shopping hungry, unless you want to come home with all the tasty quick treats that make you feel good for the evening, but not so great the day, or week after.
Griffin Wynne. Why Dating is so Hard According to 5 Relationship Experts. June 15, 2019.