I want to date you not marry you!

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 nuptials. 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 with our adult responsibilities. 

It seems in either case the whether you are 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.

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7 Reasons You May Be Single – Perspective

After two relationships that each lasted about 3 years I found myself reevaluating everything. Looking at what I brought to the table, what I accepted and what was expected. I had to be honest with myself. In conversation and through observation with friends and associates over the past few years, I found some common dating issues:

7. Everyone knows everyone. Well at least social media connects everyone. So that may make it difficult to date someone, one of your “friends” has not dated. That is if you care about that sort of boundary. However for some the thought of dating a popular person or someone a friend or associate dated is a turnoff.

6. We do not create interactions that facilitate the type of relationship we want. Here is an example. You want to casually date someone. Nothing serious, just brunch, happy hour, dinner or movies occasionally. The catch is you indulge in frequent communication (daily text and phone conversations or day long exchanges) and you’re planning romantic experiences. That behavior then sends a message that this is not so casual. However, because many of us are not introspective we can push it off on the other person as being clingy or pushy.

5. You don’t really know what you want or you are scared to be honest. You sort of want a Netflix and chill situation, but you also want someone to confide in. You want a friend that you find attractive, but you also want late night pillow talk. There are a good portion of us who never take time from dating to learn what it is we want long term from a partner. We live in a time where sex is readily available, thanks to social media and some people are afraid to just be honest about what it is they desire or what is most important to them.

4. You are carrying old baggage everywhere. That old relationship and the person involved that left you broken, damn near homeless and distanced from family & friends (hopefully all 3 did not occur) is now who you see in everyone. The guy/ girl who shows active interest and wants to communicate with you or senses when you’re not quite yourself is now smothering you and you push them away for the slightest resemblance of the person you never should have dated months or years back.

3. You are scared. Look I get it! You are scared of commitment. For me committing to buying a pair of underwear is a huge commitment so imagine how I view relationships. Who wants to spend months or years, countless dollars and energy dating someone only to possibly be disappointed? The answer is nobody. Here’s the thing, every interaction does not have to turn out with you blocking them on every social media channel, blocking their friends and their number and avoiding local functions so you do not see them. It may be that the young man or woman you dated just had a different vision of what short term or long term looks like. That’s ok! Forgive yourself, better yet do not beat yourself up for dating someone that did not come with a warning label.

2. You will not own your role! Too many of us (myself included) have tried to do everything for everyone. As a result we do not spend enough time working on our own shortcomings. If you find yourself scouring your potential or partners social media pages and searching through their phone only to start up an argument about an emoji a fan left. If you are dealing with a non confrontational potential or partner this can send them running for the hills or shutting down.

1. Take your time. This generation is a microwave society. We want a relationship with 5 year benefits within 6 months. Before introducing someone to your family learn as much as possible. Before you two are double dating with the other couple that you know, find out if they can handle their alcohol are they responsible or if you even have real chemistry. Rushing into a relationship where you do not give yourself time is a recipe for disaster. We have all seen it on our social media timelines. They date for a month then they flood our timelines with the infamous “bae & I” pictures at the grocery store, in the bathroom, at the movies, in the car you get it I’m sure. Or how cold we forget the annoying hashtags #whenyouknowitsreal, #futurewifey, #futurehubby, #mybackbone then 3 months later the person is wiped from social media existence after a breakup that could have been spotted with a little more patience.

This post is not about critiquing anyone other than myself. I swept around my own door and found these gems. I then saw people around me dealing with similar issues. I hope this helps someone. If so do me a favor, Like this post, subscribe below and share it with your own network!

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Prerequisite

For many the word prerequisite reminds us of the term we became familiar with while taking undergraduate courses.

The term, identified courses you had to take prior to taking next level courses. In many cases it meant taking your basics or making sure you mastered the basics.

Prerequisites, are also a must depending on the type of job/career you have. In the workplace a certain amount of work experience and practical knowledge is necessary to get and maintain your job/career.

Now that we all have become familiar with the term prerequisite is it safe to say that many of us have the wrong set of prerequisites when it comes to dating? On any given day as I scroll on social media or even view posts in one of the Facebook groups I am in, I notice individuals stating their prerequisites are a job, car, education, passport stamps and financial stability. For many years I too placed a good amount of weight on those qualities and add in education (formal). I felt like those things would yield an ideal partner. Am I the only one who has done this? The question is, “Is that all it takes?”

As I have matured my prerequisites are no longer the same. After having a fairly successful professional life (before the age of 30) I decided to stop slaving away for others to pursue my own passion. For about a year and a half I transitioned out of a life of excess and into a minimalistic life style. That transition taught me a lot. I found out who I really was and not what my car, trips, house, bank accounts and passports stamps portrayed me to be. I value integrity, a spiritual connection with a higher being (for me that’s Jesus), someone with a zest for life (with or without me) honesty (with or without me) and a intelligence (formal or informal). The reality is all of those qualities do not coincide with a certain vehicle, education or even home in a certain area.

I found that the superficial and dare I say materialistic prerequisites I had longed for were often masking ugly spirits, unattended insecurities and spiteful behavior. That is not to say everyone with an education, who is well traveled, drives a nice vehicle and had reached a certain socioeconomic level.

What I found is the qualities that I now valued were someone’s character and their aptitude had little to do with where they received their degree, their formal education (or lack there of) or even how many passport stamps they had. My prerequisites changed.

The the number of dates began to dwindle, when cute just did not cut it anymore. The number of nice restaurants I visited on dates significantly decreased and my bank account was happier for it. Intimacy was few and far between, because of the mental stimulation I now required. I rest easy knowing I have not wasted time seeing potential. Instead I see reality.

So while reading this I hope this does not read as an indictment to the well educated, well spoken, lavish home living, frequently passport stamped and well funded. In fact I hope it is encouragement to reveal more of who you really are and to require more than just the superficial as your prerequisite. A man/woman who works hard, has integrity, intelligence and is honest can achieve and attain as much if not more than the individual who is simply book smart, fiscally successful and cosmopolitan. You just cannot build character in a person who does not see the value in it.

What are your prerequisites?