n the earlier years of my life, I dreamed about what it would be like when I was finally old enough to date. I started dating at the young age of sixteen. In these short five years, I’ve had my fair share of relationships, and have learned some ways to make dating more beneficial to me. With these relationships, I’ve found that I come closer and closer to figuring out what I want out of life. I’ve dated them all from the jocks to the nerds to even the British boys. A word of advice, stay FAR away from the British ones.
We often go into relationships imagining the perfect life with this special someone. We project our own expectations onto this person and fail to take a step back and remember that they are a separate and unique person. Projecting these expectations onto any other person will only disappoint us in the long run. We also have to keep in mind that even though the media and society make us think we need to have it all figured out by twenty-two, the reality is, most of us have no clue what we want out of life by then. We can get caught up in looking too far into the future. We dwell on things that don’t really matter right now. I used to look at dating as strictly for marriage. This made dating the most difficult and complicated thing I’ve ever done. One day it hit me: dating shouldn’t be an obstacle course to find the love of my life.
When you stop dating for marriage, your dating pool triples in size. You start dating people who do not fit into your predetermined mold of a “perfect” partner. People are not meant to fit into the mold of our expectations. Dating should be about finding someone who makes you laugh, someone who holds you when you cry, someone who celebrates your victories in life but also mourns your losses as if they were their own.
Too often, we get caught up in superficial and materialistic aspects of relationships. Dating shouldn’t be about finding someone who can give you what you lack in worldly possessions. Who has ever had a successful and happy relationship when they’ve dated someone for things such as money, looks, or even social status? It may take some time, but you’ll come to realize how little these things matter. We complain and complain about how men treat us like items and how we wish we could find the right guy, putting the blame solely on men. In reality, what would happen if you took a step back and actually considered why you were dating these men? With my most recent failed relationship, I asked myself, what first drew me to him? It was the fact that he was cute and British. I painted this picture of the life I wanted with him in my head and failed to consider that maybe he didn’t want these same exact things. I wasn’t considering his heart and life goals. I just wanted this life that looked so good in my head.
As women, we have more power than we believe. We now have the ability to get a date with a few simple swipes. We are denying ourselves the opportunities and experiences that men have always had because of the underlying fear of being slut shamed. There is nothing wrong with dating different people to help you figure out what you want out of life. Once we stop looking at dating strictly for settling down, we become more liberated, independent, and ambitious.
~ Kaitlyn [ @kat.malonee ]