Six reasons why you need to change your outlook of dating
By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. February 3, 2016
It’s been years since I’ve dated. If you dropped me back into the dating scene, I wouldn’t turn cool, confident, and desirable; I would become feral, become the creepy guy at the club, or become a loner who waits around until one of my other single friends calls me up to hang out. That’s because the term “dating” is scary.
I don’t know how to date. I never did. I never had an online dating profile or anything like that. I don’t believe dating, in the traditional dinner and a movie sense, is the way to meet people. At least, it shouldn’t be the origin of a relationship. Dating is like gambling. You are betting on a person, on a night, or on an event to turn out in your favour—which is selfish. Dating can be any activity, but dating itself should be invisible. It shouldn’t be quantified (ex. first date, second date, etc.).
Because of conventional thinking, dating garnered this negative connotation and it plants a bad seed in our minds, psyching us out. In this article, I’ll look at six different ways to look at dating that will give you a more positive outlook on your prospective love.
1) A relationship is a friendship, so start with a friendship. If you are having trouble even getting your friends to hang out with you, you need to reevaluate. There is nothing wrong with hanging out with a friend. Having someone loyal—even if they have put you in the friend zone—helps people understand you. Don’t look for a spouse, look for a friend.
2) New experiences offer new opportunities. Do what you want to do and invite people who want to join you. Don’t make plans around people; make plans for you. If someone wants to join you, they are more than welcome, but regardless, you will have an experience. If you go alone, you might even meet someone along the way.
3) Learn something and work together. Take a class or invest yourself in a project. A relationship is all about learning and collaborating together. By participating in an educational experience with someone, you can determine whether you can function together.
4) Find an anchor. Don’t be persistent; be steady. Romantic comedies have ruined many people’s understanding of romance. The never-say-die attitude is poison in a sprouting relationship. Romance, after all, is not something you commit 100 per cent of your life to. You have to steady your own ship before other people will hop on. Get an education. Get a job. Move out of your parents’. Focus on more than romance. If you are unrelenting with finding dates, you are merely pushing people onto your sinking vessel.
5) Be vulnerable. So often dating can seem like a job interview where we try to look our best. It’s not a job interview. You won’t lose anything for being genuine. Obviously, don’t end up weeping over your ex, but open up your world and be open-minded when your date does the same.
6) Make plans. Life is the moments you spend making plans. You can tell if you’ve found the one if the two of you are able to follow through with the plans you’ve made. Mortgage, marriage, vacations, or mundane things like a trip to the supermarket—these are the plans you’ll make while growing old together. A date is really just a plan that you kept, and it’s not so scary.