Dating for me in the last few years can be summed up in one word, “anxiety.”
Gen Y or Millennials are a group with more options for dates, due in large part to dating apps and social media. With that comes the promotion of unhealthy coping mechanisms that are easily spread to those who are not independent thinkers. Daily we see people reposting and sharing statuses like, “Don’t catch feelings, catch flights” or some other pessimistic and flat out crazy message.
One trend I have noticed is individuals who want to date, but are afraid of getting burned, so they are team “no feelings.” Team no feelings has a lot to say and actually probably feels a lot of emotion, but instead of letting out those thoughts and emotions, they dismiss them. So if you even mention anything beyond casual sex, drinks, or Netflix and chill, they are running for hills for fear of showcasing their feelings.
To these individuals, I say chill! I just want to get to know you and uncover the layers of you. I do not want to marry you; I just want to spend time getting to know you better. For me, it is hard to balance multiple people. I have too much going on professionally and with family to add in 2-5 more people like I was able to do in my 20’s.
Me dating you just means I want to get to know your favorite foods, what you like to drink, how you cope with stress, what makes you smile, what makes you angry. Those important things that help you build a friendship and then down the road (6 months) we can assess where we are and are NOT compatible.
Next, you have those individuals who act like dating is a race to the finish line. Everything is quick. We all know these people. After one date and a great conversation, with moderate attraction, they are planning the weddings and discussing couples activities like destination trips, intimate dinners, meeting each other’s family and apartment/ house shopping.
To these individuals, I say, “pause!” Why are you in such a rush? You do not know if I snore (I do when I am tired or sick), what about our values, what about the fact that when I am hungry, I am not always the nicest person. I need you to understand that in my case, I moved to LA without a car or a place of my own, so while I am interested in potentially dating, I have a lot to accomplish.
Let’s take a step back and work on developing a deeper understanding of our possible coexistence. See each other maybe once or twice a week, but have somewhat consistent communication. We do not need to talk all day or text every minute of the day, but let’s establish a consistent pattern that is timely and responsible for our adult responsibilities.
It seems, in either case, whether you team no feelings or the rusher, we need to be super clear on how we feel about ourselves, about our past dating experiences and about what we want long term.
So if and when someone like myself says I want to date, you just understand that is an opportunity for us to get to know each other, nothing more, nothing less.