I’d like to preface this post with a few things…
- I have never had a successful romantic relationship before, (successful meaning it ended in marriage) so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I probably, most likely don’t know anything.
- To future Ellie, I’m sorry. At some point in your life, you are going to look back at a post like this and regret posting something so personal for the entire world to read. It’s okay, don’t be embarrassed, we were learning, growing and we did what we thought was best. Sorry future Ellie.
- Please comment your thoughts, opinions, etc. below! I’d love to hear them.
Now, let’s talk about some things I’ve learned about dating in 2017. Dating in 2017 is confusing and hilarious really.
We judge people based on their Instagram feeds and if they can hold a good conversation via texting. If you admit to wanting a relationship you are considered too needy and if you don’t you are too independent. Your standards are unrealistic or you are settling. People don’t want to talk face to face and they don’t meet organically anymore but online dating is still considered “taboo”. Some people tell girls to be forward and ask guys out and other people tell girls that they should wait on guys to make a move. People forgo actually giving good people chances because they aren’t their freaking list’s come to life.
Can anyone else vibe with my confusion? All of this funniness being said, here are some valuable lessons I’ve learned, some advice I’ve given other people (advice I’m now giving you), and pep talks I’ve given myself while dating and being single in 2017 (and many decades before)…..
- CALM DOWN. It’s just another day. I’ve seen the wild panic in some peoples eyes as they are about to approach 30 and they are still single. I can totally sympathize with you, but let’s believe it’s going to be okay. No one ever died due to singleness. Please don’t have an aneurysm. You aren’t going to be single forever. And even if you are, you are the one who determines if you will still live an epic life or if you decide to stay inside with the cats (that you don’t yet own or like) forever. Everyone take a deep breath.
- You only have to make it work once. For years I’ve been telling myself “you only have to make it work once, Ellie.” I hold onto this and I totally believe it. So all of the people that don’t work out are making room for the one that will work (and will be epic!). You only have to mutually fall in love with one person (in most cases).
- Don’t make dating so freaking high stakes. I mean sure, when you start dating someone you should absolutely see marriageable qualities in that person but just because you go out to coffee with someone doesn’t mean you have to marry them. 99% of your relationships will fail…Only 1% (hopefully) works. This is why we have sequences of events. There’s dating, engagement and THEN marriage. Sometimes (especially in the Christian world) I feel like people think it just goes straight from engagement to marriage. Nope. Go out, have fun, get to know each other, date, get engaged and then get married. Or don’t get married and break up. Because when you are just dating you have the ability to do that. I hate seeing people get married to the wrong person just because they started dating them…you know?
- Chalk it up as a good learning experience and move on. When something doesn’t work out, or even when it does, switching my mindset from one of disappointment to one of learning really helps. Dating is such a good way to learn, grow and to figure out more about who we are. Every date I’ve ever been on has taught me a little bit about myself and I wouldn’t take any of them back. Not even the super awkward, bad or weird ones. If you don’t marry the person you are dating, you didn’t fail, you learned.
- Confused identities create confusing dating. If you are totally lost about who you are or where you are at in life you probably shouldn’t be dating. Yep, I just said it. Being single for a little while in order to figure out who the heck you are and get your barrings isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I don’t think you will ever regret that. If you are confused and dating, you are like a loaded cannon. You are going to hurt people with your indecisiveness. Let’s all be honest with ourselves.
- Forget your list, listen to Jesus. I love lists….I’ve made hundreds, maybe thousands of them. I’ve even made a list of what I want my future husband to be like and I’m sure most of you have as well. And while that “list” is super great and good to keep in mind, I’m saying that speaking from a Christian standpoint, if God is the creator of the entire universe; that means he knows exactly what I need for all of my life. When I am 25 or 75 and all of the years in between. If that’s the case then I should probably listen to him for advice on who I need to be with. I need to listen to the Holy Spirit and let him lead me to the person that I’m supposed to end up with. Standards and lists are good but I don’t want them to keep me from the best that God could have for me just because they don’t match up to my “list”.
- Don’t ever settle. I saved the most cliché point for last. No, but seriously, you are so valuable, your calling in life is so huge and it’s just not worth it to settle for someone who isn’t bringing the best out in you (and vice versa).
All of this to say, all I REALLY KNOW is that dating is fun, wild, crazy emotional, and we will never know how it really should have been done till the other side of heaven. Every person is different therefore every person’s dating experience will be different. Just go with the flow and whatever approach you take, have a good time and enjoy whatever season of life you are in because they are all beautiful in their own way. Enjoy being single, dating, being married, having babies, getting old.
And this is where my dating rant ends. Don’t burn me at the stake for being a heretic; these are my current thoughts that are up for debate (well some of them any ways). They will probably change tomorrow. I’d love to hear thoughts….comment below!…..