Dating is exhausting. It’s an endless cycle one needs to repeat unless they’d rather remain single. Sure, I guess there are rare instances where it works out and stops –people do marry, and some don’t even get divorced…But then there’s that other chunk of us who scroll through our FaceBook newsfeeds day after day and wonder how it’s possible another person we know has gotten married, engaged, or pregnant each and every day when we haven’t even added anyone new in the longest time. Most of us witnessing this phenomenon are in our 20’s and 30’s, and have probably wondered about hitting our 40’s and see it all changing to “so and so’s relationship status has changed to divorced” day after day. Those of us dating over the last less-than-10 years are really the first to experience this social media craze in which our relationships are now broadcast more than ever. It’s a new norm we’re settling into and feeling the pressure of “keeping up” with those around us even more. Early into your 20’s is when you can still remember all too well, the general reaction being “Oh no!” over “Congratulations” upon finding out about someone’s pregnancy…But after some time it settles in that you’re an adult now. Only, sometimes dating doesn’t feel so adult. People play games, there seem to be unwritten rules to these games, and then we find many who just end up acting childish.
It’s the cycle that tires me. -The one in which you meet someone new, you think they may have some potential of being the type of person you’ll develop feelings for, and so you spend time with the person again and again. You talk and talk. You ask each other questions. You explain yourself to them, and learn about every bit of them that you can. You share and experience with them, all until you’ve developed some sort of positive connection. Money is spent. Thoughts are spent. Time is spent. You make sure you don’t check in too much, but still call just enough. Though, “just enough” is a different amount for everyone. You slowly work on getting used to someone new, feeling comfortable around them, understanding them, and hopefully they develop an understanding of you as well. You put your best impression out there while remaining yourself and the not-so-great rest of you is eventually exposed, as well as the other’s. You might even feel “love” (however you may define it) at some point beyond feeling “like.” And then when you’ve completed exhausted all of your energy doing this and feeling comfortable and accomplished in all you’ve gotten through, one of you will crush the other. One of you will end the relationship. And if the rejection, and acknowledgment of no longer being able to speak to or see someone you’ve come so accustomed to being with so often isn’t devastating enough, the fact that you will now need to repeat this entire process from the beginning with someone new will be. Even if you are one of those people that can eventually look back at something and remember the good, appreciate the experience, learn, and enjoy for the sake of experiencing, it still takes some time for that to settle in.
Now all of that is “best” case scenario, I must remind you that before you even get to “you meet someone who you think might have potential” you meet a lot of people who don’t. You weed through them on the internet, or in real life. You go to parties, to bars, to shows, to social gatherings of every type. You meet, and meet until you find someone who just “might” and even then they might not end up being a great match for you. There’s also often rejection in asking someone out, which is an even more personal type than the kind you might get on a job interview…Remind me again why those moments you shared where you were laughing and close outweigh the downsides of dating? Or is it that people get to a point where either the loneliness or in-the-moment good feeling temporarily blinds us from what dating is really like? Don’t forget the relationship quarrels as well! When my last relationship ended I found the fact that I’d have to start the cycle of dating from the beginning all over again, more upsetting than the fact that this person would no longer be a big part of my life. Maybe it’s just harder on introverts. Whether you’ve associated yourself with being an introvert, extrovert, or neither, I recommend reading “Quiet, The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.” (I’m sure it’s on amazon.com or something.) Introverts like social interaction, but are drained by too much of it. I know that for me personally, the amount of social interaction one must go through to find a date has always been pretty draining. Enough dating can make one think, “is it really so bad to settle?” But I got a text from intellectual-conversation-guy which means a first in-person meeting is in the works…And so, I move into the next stage of the cycle…again.