Written By Alexa Loebel
BIO: Just your typical 20 something-year-old Midwest gal being young, making mistakes, enjoying spontaneous adventure, and finding her way coast to coastin’. Website: CharmingSanfranciscoBlog.com - Facebook: @alexa.loebel - Instagram: @alexaraeloebel - Twitter: @alexaraeloebel
My absolute favorite topic to discuss — dating (sarcasm, obviously). Dating in today’s world is one of the most stressful and annoying things we get to experience — #truth. One of the most common ways to go about dating has basically boiled down to the act of swiping left or right for a yes or no based on a potential physical attraction, above anything else. Don’t get me wrong, dating apps work for some people, but in my opinion, it’s just not worth it.
If you ask 10 couples if they thought they would end up with the person they’re with today, more often than not that person will tell you no; that their SO’s personality [not physical appearance] changed everything. That the more they got to know their SO, the more attracted to that person they became after spending time together.
If you’re not on any dating apps — good for you, that’s the mature and realistic way to go about dating in actual attempts of putting yourself out there with the right people in the right type of settings. For the rest of us, well, I think we can all at least agree that our experiences with dating apps have given us some pretty terrible, funny, and/or interesting stories to share, with the chance of meeting some pretty terrible, funny, and/or interesting people along the way. Whether or not you’ve felt a connection with someone, no matter where you have met them (dating app or not), at the end of the day all that matters is that you’re putting yourself out there to experience something/someone new and give “potential” another chance. Personally, I’m pretty terrible at that. I don’t even know how to play the “dating game” because given how
people approach dating today, it’s just confusing and exhausting — point blank, end of story. It’s a huge reason why I don’t date, to begin with, which some people might be surprised to hear.
1.) Being genuine means more to me than playing games.
If we’re all being honest here, there is a fine line between playing a flirty hard-to- get game with the person you’re “seeing” or “talking to”, versus just being a dick about communication. True or false — in a real relationship or marriage, poor communication and acting distant will help draw your SO closer to you and help solve the problems you’re facing. FALSE. Wow, that was a hard one.
In my book, communication is the foundation of building a trusting friendship first, that can help guide your interactions into something more down the road if the feeling is mutual on both sides. Communication is the foundation to knowing what it is your SO likes and doesn’t like —
emotionally and physically. Communication is the foundation when it comes to anything moving forward in the right direction, whether that’s on a friendship level or relationship level.
2.) Fear of rejection.
Everyone — both men and women, have a significant fear of being rejected. Women, let’s dial the assumptions and expectations down a notch — men don’t always have to make the first move because whether you believe it or not, they are just as scared, if not more, of being rejected.
Think about it, society places so many expectations on men when it comes to dating etiquette, needing to always be the one who initiates all contact. Well, if you ask me, the process of dating and getting to know someone is a two-way street.
With that said, men, stop thinking that all women want to take it to the next step with you if they start initiating contact, or want to see you again. If you enjoy talking to someone and had a good time with them, doesn’t it make sense that you’d want to continue to get to know one another? By no means does “I had fun, let’s do it again sometime” mean I want a commitment — but it does mean we’re interested in continuing to get to know you.
If your version of getting to know someone is through texting, well you do you. If your version of getting to know someone is going off of how one date went and one date alone, well you do you. But to really get to know someone and see if there’s potential for a friendship or a
connection at all, it takes allowing yourself to let loose a bit and just explore it — more so in person than behind blue iMessages and snapchats.
Best advice on this one? Grow a pair and just take a chance. You’ll realize who is actually worth taking a chance for along the way. Imagine that?
3.) Ghosting — WTF.
I’m not quite sure there is anything that is more childish than “ghosting” someone. Really? Dude (referencing both men and women here…), just be straight up with the other person. A simple “Hey there — I had a great time, think you’re great, but to be honest I’m not really seeing this going anywhere” would suffice. Short, sweet, to the point without being a douchelord. It saves both parties a LOT of wasted time and unnecessary emotional exhaustion. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend your time with someone who actually wants to get to know you? Yeah, we all do.
4.) Play the single game.
After spending 7 years of my life in a relationship at a very early age, this is my absolute favorite piece of advice for everyone and anyone. Be single! Enjoy this time living the single life because you can’t get your young, fun, and crazy single 20’s & 30’s back.
You learn so much about yourself in the time that you spend on your own — learning new things that you’re passionate about, finding new hobbies, figuring out new talents, fears, and adventures that you would never have known or experienced had you not done a bit of soul-searching. Once you’ve lived your best single life, you will feel more confident in knowing what it is you like, what you don’t like, what you want, and what you’re truly looking for.
5.) Expectation vs. Reality
If there’s a connection, explore it. Who said I wanted to be in a relationship with you right this second? Because I know I most definitely did not. It’s the same thing for both men and women — we put this ridiculous notion in our head that if things went really well with someone and
there’s an obvious and exciting connection, there’s got to be some sort of “label”. Having a great time with someone does not mean you’re automatically in a relationship — if I have a great time with you and enjoy getting to know you, of course I’m going to want to continue to do fun things and explore that connection. Does that mean I want a relationship with you, at this point in time? No, it certainly does not, it means just that — I would like to continue to get to know you.
I’m speaking on behalf of both men and women on this one. Some people have a fear of commitment, that’s totally fine and even normal. But there is definitely a fine line for both parties when it comes to where you’re at and being honest about what it is you’re actually looking for right now. Bringing it all full circle — here is where communication in today’s world of playing the dating game gets misconstrued. Commitment vs. just plain, simple, getting to know someone. Expectation vs. reality. Just be real and honest with this person. I promise you, it is not as hard as you play it out to be. You can still be fun, flirty, and mysterious while also just being a real and genuine person.
It all becomes so routine — this type of out-of- the-blue silence, rejection, or assumptions with no indication as to why. I’m the last person who will ever fully understand it, but if I do know anything, it’s that trying to deal with the out-of- the blue silence, rejection, or assumptions just isn’t worth it.
There are no time limits when it comes to dating. If someone isn’t interested, let them move on with their life and do the same with yours — you’re still so young with the world to experience, and a lifetime to be with someone else. Now may not be your time — right now might just be your time to figure it all out.
Right now, this is your time to be you, taking advantage of being completely on your own, running wild and free through life, solo. You are enough, just the way you are. Believe in that, because this is your world — it isn’t going to continue to spin ’round if it isn’t the right time or opportunity in front of you.