It all brings me to my next topic of conversation. There are a few key tendencies that people have as daters that I really want to talk about. This is a bit lengthy so I'll just jump right in. I’ll emphasize the point that both men and women are guilty of these things; I know because I have been on both ends. I am going to point out and add some insight into these general mishaps.
First, we misread the signs and the signals. We take what people say and twist it around, making it into what we want to hear. It’s not that we do it on purpose or because we’re crazy. We do it because we want to be liked almost as much as we don’t want to be alone. We want the person we are interested in to be interested in us in order to validate our feelings of self-worth. Now some people can be very hard to read or even send mixed signals. I get that; I probably do it, actually. But some of us need to take a step back sometimes and pay attention to body language and tone of voice. I think that the majority of a message can be heard right there. When we try and read into words and actions and make them more than what they are, we are just setting ourselves up for disappointment later on.
Also, when we find someone we are interested in and they don’t return the interest, we make up excuses as to why they didn’t; there’s the old “they lost my number,” or “they aren’t a big texter,” “they’re busy,” "they're not ready for a commitment," or “they must be gay.” I get that it’s a defense mechanism and most of us are just trying to protect ourselves from feelings of inadequacy, but let’s all just stop making excuses. If someone is truly interested in you, they will call or text or show up at your door. No one is too busy and they probably aren’t gay. We can call them an A-hole or a b**** for not being interested in us, but let’s be honest here; they’re probably really nice people. They are probably so nice that they don’t have the heart to tell you to your face that they aren’t interested, and that’s probably why they’re ignoring you or not responding. Stop wasting time on people that don’t feel the same way and aren’t eager to be with you.
Then we have what my dad likes to call “rose-colored glasses.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this is when a person can do no wrong in your eyes; everything they do is as good as roses and you can't distinguish the red flags. While it’s great that we can accept faults in the person we love, it’s necessary that we at least recognize them. The glasses- ya, they’re blinding. We will tend to completely ignore or choose to overlook certain negative attributes about a person because we obsess over the fantasy. Here, the idea of a future with this person is much better than the actual reality. We’ll overlook anger or drinking problems, the fact that they aren’t financially stable or responsible, or that they are just plain A-holes. We do it because we want them to be something they’re not. We find one attribute that we like, and we hone in on it in hopes that the rest of the person will play catch up. Guess what? Stop hiding behind the glasses and realize that the person just isn’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Dating can suck. It can. But I think often times we make it way worse than it actually is because we waste so much time on nonsense. Instead of being honest with ourselves about what we want and what we know, deep down, the people around us want- we drown ourselves in the drama of this fantasy. Well I am going to give everyone a little tough love here. Sometimes you are going to get rejected. Sometimes you are going to do the rejecting. You live and you learn. Sometimes it will hurt and other times it’ll feel like a relief. Stop wasting so much time trying to make something into something it’s not. If you’re with the right person, you shouldn’t have to read between the lines because they’ll tell you they love you or they like you- and you certainly shouldn't have to convince them to feel that way. If you’re with the right person, you won’t need excuses. If you’re with the right person, you’ll simply recognize and accept their shortcomings. So for everyone that finds themselves doing any of the above, KNOCK IT OFF! Trust me, being alone isnt half as bad as the mess you're making trying to make something wrong into something right.You’ll thank me later.