Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dating Ain't Easy

The Game has changed. We’re on the precipice of a new era of dating. Infinite distractions compete for our attention, less people are getting married and singles are struggling to master new tactics to stay relevant in the minds and lives of the opposite sex. The era of independence and individual success is among us. We’re living at a much faster pace than ever before. Convenience has spoiled us. Everyone is just a text, tweet, email away. When so many people are trying to advance an ego-based agenda –my company, my band, my script --this rise of independence may not be conducive for building meaningful, lasting relationships.
New Era
When did flowers, surprises, and romance go out of style? And what happened to throwing pebbles and declaring love from below a window sill. It all seemed much easier in black and white. These days if they don't respond within 5 minutes of a text they're clearly not interested and it's on to the next! Dating Ain't Easy or perhaps, is dating is too easy? When was the last time you put a lot of effort in trying to court someone? And why has our vocabulary become so explicit and spoken without caution or care? If it wouldn't make your grandma smile, don't say it to me! Too often we say too much and do too little. We have the latest and greatest technology and tools that oversimplifies the very complicated process of dating and getting to know someone.                                  
Dating is difficult because not only do you need to find someone you like, but their agenda has to be similar to yours. Success criteria: Lay out objectives. Are they just dating and exploring what's out there? Or are they open to a relationship? Do they some day want to marry and have children or do they have their mind set on traveling the world with their dog?

Making plans
If you actually call me, and you actually pick me up, and we actually go out ...then that sounds great! Convenience is huge and if the distance apart is more than 30 minutes ...forget about it. I barely see my friends if they don’t live within 10 miles of me and even that’s a stretch.

Love is easy in the way that once you know it, it's easy to give yourself to it. But it's hard in the way that we let our imperfections get in the way.

Nothing compares to having that tingly, fluttery, butterfly feeling for someone. Once felt, I try to purse the lips of my potential suitor and prevent them from saying anything that may ruin the fairy tale I've created where no deal breakers exist and everything they say and do is exactly what I've been searching for.
They are perfect! They like me. I like them. It's warm when we cuddle. And in their absence I think of them still.
But then we start talking.
They have cats. I'm allergic.
They are gluten-free. I love pizza.
Kids are their worst nightmare. I've already named my firstborn.
They're agnostic. I go to church every Sunday.
They've been intimate with over 50 people or "around there." HUH?! 
They lack enthusiasm. I appreciate the small things. And once again the curtain closes.
Shhhhh.... don't speak!
If we just skipped the getting-to-know-each-other part this would last a lot longer.
Serving up disappointments hot!

Put Your Pride Down
Accept the challenge of being childlike and cry instead of turning your emotions off. Don't be afraid to look weak and vulnerable, it’s important to be open to the idea of finding happiness or ...you won’t. When I was younger, I saw possibilities instead of probabilities and magic existed. I was open to things and I want to feel that way again, we all do, but it takes practice. It takes growth in your mental state and it's difficult, challenging, and can end in embarrassment. It’s about putting your pride down and allowing curiosity to spark an adventure. Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, and trusting them not to. Life is about memories and if you get the chance to make some you gotta drop your pride, and see the worth in accepting an almost certain test of mental and emotional strength. Pride is mostly an internal debate that appears unclear/confusing on the outside to others who cannot see this internal struggle. And what others say about you matters a lot more than what you say about you so don’t trip over something others can’t even see.

Some people will always be looking for the next best thing. I look at any relationship as an opportunity for growth. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t. There’s something to gain from everyone we date, whether that’s musical taste, a great film, or a good habit. Exploring life with others allows your world to widen just a bit and perhaps help you see things from a fresh perspective.

Great Expectations
I just want a boyfriend who makes me feel the way the sun does. Is that too much to ask?! I think love means different things at different times in our lives, but we're all looking for that sense of security, admiration, love, and dependency that we had for our parents when we were little. You may fall in love with someone because they are very attractive or because they spoil you like no one else has. But I think it's more about loving the choices that person makes on a daily basis, loving how they spend their time and money, and admiring their unique qualities that define them. You want someone to stimulate, challenge, motivate, and bring out the best you. Perhaps, even make you a better you. Even if you eventually have to manufacture what you want, you can find it. It’s not easy but it’s equally hard for all of us. So go ask that somebody on a date!

Too often people think they need to sleep with each other in order to feel connected. Why can't we just concentrate on the friendship first? The relationship is uncomfortable because both parties are insecure and worried that the moment anything goes wrong their love interest will run away. But if we focus on developing the friendship first we won't feel like we're stepping on eggshells around them.

No, I don't want to get coffee sometime! Take notice of what they like before approaching them and put some effort in planning a date they can't say no to. Or ask them in any other means than a text, facebook message, email, call. We might be surprised at the benefits of adopting the ways of our ancestors or favorite old movie.  

With a little effort, I think it can all be cinematic. Challenging, wondrous, but, a gift, no less.