Dating is hard.
It makes it even harder when you’re also trying to figure out who you are, what you want, and what makes to happy, all while trying your hardest to stretch your last dollar so you don’t send your bank account into overdraft… or maybe it’s already in the red.
You step out of university/college with your name on a paper which implies you have the knowledge required to enter the workplace, but you don’t know shit. You apply to a job in your field, and then another, and another, and another. Guess what? You don’t have any experience. You take a job that’s not related to what you studied at all, a job that, maybe, just maybe, pays the rent and the bills. Sometimes even working 40 hours or more a week, you can’t manage to pay your bills, so you move back home.
As time passes, maybe a few of your friends are actually starting to get jobs in their field of study. You’re still stuck, working your minimum wage job, or jobs, still living in your childhood bedroom. You start to realize that your friends, who are in relationships, have been for many years. They are serious with their partners. Moving in. Decorating houses together. Maybe even getting married, and having kids. You start to see the things they have, and you want that. Sure, you still want to have some fun… but, you start to actually want to have someone who will be around. Who will love you even when you look your worst, who will still be there for you even when you make mistakes, who will support you through anything.
You get out there and start dating, and it’s still the same as it’s always been, people just having fun, except now they are busy. Too busy. We are so busy and stressed out about money, about work, about these shit jobs they don’t pay us enough to do, but we deal with it because they know how desperately we need the money. So, we don’t want to spend the free time that we maybe do have spending time listening to someone’s problems or having a serious conversation. You end up having just as many failed “almost relationships” as you did in school. You start to read those articles about how everyone is dating wrong. How people don’t care anymore. About how it’s so easy to cheat. So many people feel so strongly that dating sucks, and it does.
But then we don’t change anything!!
We say how much we hate modern dating and want things to happen how they used to, but yet we don’t delete our Tinder account or anything. We just share the article on Facebook with a comment “This is so true!” I’m not writing about this to bash anyone who does this as I am 100% guilty of this too. I think we do this because we are afraid. Afraid to be alone, even for a moment. We keep seeing our friends falling in love, or what looks like it, and we panic, looking for the easiest way to fall in love, or pretend to fall in love.
People, including myself, then start to jump into acting like you are in a relationship that you aren’t even in. You may hardly even know anything about this person, but you are sooooo in love because that’s the stage that you feel you should be at in your life, but you’re not, and every time… every. single. f*cking. time. that forced relationship will fail. So then your start scrambling again for the next forced relationship that isn’t actually a relationship.
Then, one day, maybe someone asks you, “So what are your hobbies?” and you actually just draw a blank. You can’t think of the last time you did something that was a hobby. You’ve just been working, sleeping, and forcing relationships. You’ve forgotten to do the things that used to make you happy. What even makes you happy anymore? How are you supposed to be able to give someone a part of yourself and love someone when you don’t even know who you are anymore.
People always talk about self care, there are articles all over Facebook about this too, but I don’t think you really understand how much it’s necessary until you reach a low in your life where you have to do it. You might read these articles or hear people preach about it, and you think “yea yea, I get it, but like.. I’m fine”.. and you keep telling yourself that until the moment after all this failed dating, these job searches, and living a home, that you realize, “maybe I’m not fine.” It’s great of your parents to let you live at home and note pay rent, but it’s not where you thought you would me. At least you have a job, but that’s not always enough. There is still time for dating and finding someone, but it’s true. How can you love and care for someone else when you don’t even love and care for yourself properly.
I’ve started trying to pull myself out of my old ways. It’s hard. Sometimes you feel lonely. It can be hard not having someone to text or call whenever you want. It’s hard not having someone there the way a significant other is there, even if they are just temporary. But it’s necessary. Cut off those guys you talk to just when you have no one else and they are always there… Read a book, go to the gym, go for a hike, take a class, learn to paint.
Get a hobby.
And as harsh as this might sound, get a life.
A life that is yours, a life that you like, and from there, you’ll grow into someone who is independent and knows what they deserve (which isn’t that almost relationship that random guy from that crappy date). Someone who loves them self and cares for them self. I know changing old habits is hard, harder that the crappy dating you’ve been experiencing but it will be worth it. You’ll be able to know that you don’t need those almost relationships; you don’t need someone all the time. In not going from guy to guy, you might actually stumble across a good one when you least expect it. From there, things might just fall into place better than you think.
…If it makes you feel any better, I’m still working on it.