November 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
I have to admit: I’m not a fan of dating, at least as it’s defined today. This view developed slowly over time through countless dates, lots of boyfriends, lots of heartbreak, lots of drama, lots of wasted time with nothing to show for it except bitter lessons learned. I think the final straw came after being engaged to a guy I wasn’t really too crazy about. I dated this person for over a year, accepted a marriage proposal, bought a house and moved in with him while convincing myself that he was as good as it gets. Then I snapped out of it, and began the slow process if piecing my life back together. I’m happy and thankful to God that I’ve been able to move on as if the whole thing never happened. Unfortunately for a lot of people, their stories don’t play out the same way. Some get married to the wrong person, have unplanned pregnancies or just survive in loveless relationships.
I think these are all side effects of a flawed dating philosophy. The whole process of building a good relationship starts with a rock-solid friendship. Friendship is not about sex or the feeling that the other person belongs to you or that you belong to them. Friendship is a bond that doesn’t and shouldn’t depend on those two things. Looking back on my own life, I really do know that to be true though it took a long time to really understand it.
So taking lessons learned from my past, I want to move forward and do the opposite of what I’ve always done.
A guy has to prove that he’s capable of being a good friend. In the past I let guys take me on dates. If date one would turn out ok, then there was a date two and a date three and so on. After a few dates we would become exclusive and practically live together. No more of that. No dates. No one person paying the restaurant bill. We just hang out and enjoy each others company.
No shedding of clothing, at least until there’s a wedding date on the books. This is going to be a hard one but I think the payoff will be well worth it. Every committed relationship I’ve ever had that involved getting horizontal, sucked. The reason it sucked was because one, there was no real friendship and two, the guy always ended up taking me for granted. They get comfortable because, in their minds, they’ve already won you over. They are also less likely to break up with you if things are not really progressing. That’s why in 100% of those relationships, I’ve been the one ending them. I don’t want to do that anymore.
The downsides to the new approach are obvious…it’s not really easy. Not easy for me or whoever I’m seeing. That said, it’s been done before numerous times so it’s not impossible and definitely not unrealistic.
Third thing…no commitment. Not yet. This one is hard because it forces you to deny yourself for the sake of the other person. Something only a true friend could do. A man should never commit until he’s engaged…period. That’s not to say he should go out and take a bunch of girls out up until that point. All I’m saying is that if he’s not sure about where things are going, he should. And the same goes for girls.
So there you have it. I’ll let you know how it goes.