Why you shouldn’t casually date

I am sure I will get totally bashed for this post, and that is fine.

I have to start by saying, up until recently, I was a firm believer that everyone should date whoever they want whenever they want and as many people as they want. I decided that unless you were in a committed, Facebook official, labeled relationship, you could do whatever you wanted without the other person having the right to get upset about it.

Granted, I haven’t been asked on too many dates in my day, but I just knew that when I finally did get asked, the ball would start rolling and if two guys asked me out in one week, I’d go with both guys on different nights and not think twice. Because that’s the no-feelings, heart-of-stone attitude all us independent women are supposed to have these days, right ladies?

Wrong.

Since when did tossing other people’s feelings aside become the “independent” thing to do?

Those people asking you on dates, yeah they are people with feelings, too. If they took the time and courage to ask you on a real date, not “hey let’s like hang out and watch a movie at my place or something,” but a real spend-time-together, get-to-know-each-other, plan-an-actual-date kind of date, then they probably already have some feelings invested.

Going on a date with a guy or girl doesn’t seal the deal and mean forever, and you never have to go out with them again if you don’t want to. But if you do, then you’re saying to them that you are maybe interested in furthering the relationship into something more.

So, if you go do the same thing with three or four other people, are you saying you are interested in a serious relationship with all of them?

This isn’t The Bachelor. We don’t get to have dates lined up exiting a limo to win our hearts. We don’t get to toy with all their emotions and then finally pick a winner. (Yeah I love the show, but it is in no way realistic or healthy).

Hanging out with people is fun. Getting to know people is fun. And there’s nothing wrong with being “interested” in more than one person. But pursuing more than one person – that is making a conscious decision to begin a relationship that has the possibility of becoming serious and eventually leading to marriage. That should not be taken lightly.

This goes for girls and guys. Guys are not the only ones pursuing. Ladies, once a guy does pursue you, it is your choice to let him or to stop him before hearts get broken. A relationship always, always goes two ways. If it doesn’t, it’s not a relationship.

So, if you’re being pursued by one guy on Monday and another guy on Tuesday, you’re confusing three people – both guys and yourself.

Guys, if you’re pursuing two or three girls, then you aren’t pursuing anyone. You may think you are being a gentleman and trying to date the right way, but the only right way is to focus on one person.

“Casual dating” is such a thing in our society today. Going for dinner or drinks or coffee or whatever is labeled “harmless”  – that way, it isn’t really serious dating so we don’t feel obligated to be committed.

If you aren’t ready for some type of commitment, then stop letting him pursue you after date four or five. Because if there’s a fifth one, chances are he wants there to be a sixth or seventh one.

If you aren’t ready for a commitment, just stay single until you are. IT’S OK TO BE ALONE I PROMISE.

Hang out in groups and get to know multiple people, sure. Go eat lunch with your guy or girl friends. Go grab coffee. Hey, get crazy and watch a movie. But when you know there are real feelings involved and there is potential for something serious, don’t play the field because you will end up losing.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too, and you can’t have a relationship with all the people you’re “dating” and be at peace about it too.

Life is full of decisions, and dating really is an important one. Every date is a potential mate – corny, but absolutely true.

So, don’t treat the person who could be your husband or wife like just some article of clothing you’re trying on.

If you decide to buy that really great sweater, it’s usually because you really like it and it feels right. You aren’t going to go out the next day and then the day after to buy a different sweater that just feels alright for the time being.

Treat the person you are pursuing or you are being pursued by exactly how you want your children to be treated when they start dating. Treat them as a human being with tons of emotions if nothing else.

Refraining from “casual dating” and “playing the field” really teaches you a lot about yourself and about each person who comes into your life.

You don’t have to stay with the person you’re dating forever. You have the right to decide when something or someone isn’t making you happy.

But if you never give them your undivided time and attention because your mind is foggy with feelings for four people, you might never know if they are the one who fits so perfectly.

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