Where do I being: Because I have no ground zero to begin, it’s all over the place. Before you read this, I would like to say that these thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone, and I am not forcing it on anyone. They can change, pivot, and diverge, but it’s all part of growing up as a human being.
I have a very different concept of love. My parents never got married, but they seemed okay for what its worth. Then I saw people get married three times and still miserable. – I always wondered what that the person didn’t do for the first two times that they had to go three for three. I have no fundamental understanding of marriage. For me, if two people truly and genuinely love each other, there is no need for a paper to define that. Getting a third party (Government) involved in two people’s lives only causes additional strains, and the relationship can start getting sour.
A lot of people look down on online dating (I did too), calling it shallow. It is superficial – Our first impressions are someone’s photos, and we judge to connect/talk with someone within 3 seconds. We created social media and the urge to look at photos of people acting like they are living their best life where they are miserable deep down.
Whenever I think of dating, I think of an in-depth text, conversation. I always thought the point was to exchange numbers, test the chemistry in a live discussion and graduate to the in-person date. The people we meet or get to know should have meaning; the dates should be heartfelt rather than meet for a date that will have some version of “state what you want” and “don’t waste my time.” Shouldn’t this be before an in-person meeting? To clarify, when you usually meet and chat for a bit in person, that quick interaction can establish a strong initial attraction. If there’s that little fire, numbers are exchanged, you have a handful of great phone/video calls, and then the actual date comes.
The sad fact is that many people are somewhat damaged whether we’re talking about online/offline dating. If it were possible to create an app that helped people be more empathetic, get past old hurts, and have a more realistic view of themselves, that would be great – but probably no one would use it. Meanwhile, as individuals, we have to be as kind as possible, recognizing that even the most annoying people generally operate out of a place of suffering.
Humans have forgotten that love roots from attraction, not desperation. You can never beg someone to love you. And you can be the perfect human being on the planet, and someone can still not love you. People are not Rubik’s cube or Tetris blocks to fit in with each other.
I heard this statement which said, “We can only be as happy as we allow ourselves to be.” This runs deep.
I ended up with a lot of empathy for the unpleasant dating situation women find themselves in. Most men aren’t aware or know how to uphold conversations or talk, dress, walk, or what virtue means. And for that, I feel sympathetic to the very few women trying to find genuine connections out there. Most women are willing to let go of false positives than accidentally accepting a false negative into their life.
I don’t care what anyone says – We all want a desirable partner. Period. Nobody wants to be with an alcoholic, addict, dependent, superficial, and downright horrible person. There’s no double standard for thinking of being with a person who is healthy, educated, or stable, but only if you are the same. Expecting all this from a partner if your own life is in shambles is hypocritical.
I see many people (women included) try to woo and look for partners with a top emphasis on looks. Make no mistake; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that mentality. Still, they shouldn’t be surprised if that person leaves them for someone better. It’s like the new iPhone paradox – there will always be a better one. At first, having someone high maintenance can be pretty attractive. People love a challenge. But overly assertive partners can be ‘demanding’ and ‘controlling’ over time, and it’s easy to be blind in a relationship’s honeymoon phase.
Things were pretty good in the old days. Dates were actual dates and not in flip-flops/gym or spandex clothes. Letters and gifts were hand-made, which denoted emotions and had meaning to them. I honestly don’t know where we went wrong. Dating was about who you were rather than what you liked to do. It was about what you wanted to do with your life than what you brought to the table. It was about what could be achieved “together” if you clicked than “You need not work because I can take care of you.” It was about listening to the person than trying to impress with how cool you were. It was about finding a person who appreciated your unique qualities and you, theirs.
The dynamics of dating has certainly changed over the years:
Flashback to 1995: The only way to meet strangers is in bars, coffee shops, libraries, and if you’re bold, you might approach them on the street or in some other public space. Then, you might have one or two phone calls back and forth. You might call them sometimes, and they wouldn’t pick up, so you’d leave a message. Letters had meaning; they were wholehearted, carried feelings, values, and emotions. They were actually “cool.” Men and women had class. Chivalry wasn’t misrepresented as desperation. People were not as “woke” as now. Doors were opened out of respect. Most people had pious intentions towards each other. Times were good.
Fast forward to 2021: Dating apps give you access to the city’s singles in the palm of your hand. You can happily chat with matches while on the toilet seat. Have apps made things better? Maybe. But not the toilet seat thing; that’s gross. But I think most people use it wrong. Again, for people who are just looking for lust and sex, all power to them. But people have forgotten to do stupid/dumb things, being authentic, and most importantly, telling the truth.
This is the advice I give everyone: If you want to feel respected and appreciated, try and find someone who makes you feel that way. Your baseline standards should always reflect your values and desires for a partner to find successful relationships.
The problem nowadays is people constantly talk and get advice from their friends. Although friends want what is best for you, the idea of people setting a level of unrealistic expectations can turn into a game of finding a significant other to finding a unicorn. Many people like to dish out advice while being unhappy/regretful in their own situation, so they try to push pitfalls to others.
A person who is seriously looking for a relationship is looking for a teammate, and someone sounding angry or judgmental (from past experience) does not send the message that they are doing the same (even if they are).
There are so many ifs and buts with everyone that you can actually scare off people who might want to know you. It’s one thing to have a set of desired expectations, and it’s another thing aggressively demanding expectations as a mandatory condition. There is a thin line in defining expectations with someone you meet; many people end up threatening these conditions, which makes them look psycho that should be avoided at all costs.
Everyone is trying to find a mature person. But how many individuals take a step back and reflect on themselves to think if they are mature themselves? Maturity is not something you buy at a stationery store. It’s about self-realization, acceptance, and understanding that nothing can ever be perfect in your life. You will always miss out on something or the other. It’s about having empathy and compassion towards people even when they are hurting you out of spite. You choose not to hurt them back, knowing that you can cause severe damage. You do not become mature overnight. You become an emotionally mature person through reflection, admitting your faults, living life, and making many mistakes. It’s something you find when you’re deep in the trenches of your most challenging times. Many people looking for mature partners want them to tolerate their own tantrums and childish behaviors, not to build an everlasting and healthy friendship/relationship.
Everyone has the same questions:
“What are you looking for in your next relationship?”
It’s funny because in reality, most people:
- Only tell you what you want to hear.
- Have limited knowledge of themselves.
- Don’t say what they genuinely think.
Either way, their answers are likely not reliable or valuable.
“What are your goals and ambitions?”
I’m not sure what is achieved by asking this question (at least on the first date).
A few people who ask this question are basically asking to see:
- “Am I better than you?” (Can I do better?)
- “Am I more driven towards goals than you?”
- “Am I going to be more successful than you?”
- “Am I going to make more money than you?”
- “Are my ambitions bigger than yours?”
Well, in reality, nobody knows how life can hit them:
- A driven person can become utterly lazy.
- A lazy person can get slapped in the face and get their shit together.
- A successful person might need to file bankruptcy.
I am not angry or spiteful of how things are. I am low-key disappointed. 4 Billion years of human evolution, and we still haven’t learned much. We should be progressing, not going backward.