The hardest lesson in dating

The hardest lesson you learn while in various relationships is this:

You can’t change people.

 

While you’re young you might have made a list of your ideal partner. Then you started meeting suitors and you realized the perfect partner doesn’t exist. You meet a guy with some potential but you’re both still young and growing your careers. You can’t stay with someone’s potential, waiting and hoping for them to change and grow up. Next thing you know, it’s two years wasted and he’s still exactly how you found him. Plenty of people grow into their potential, but you can’t stay in a relationship where you’re waiting on change. 

 

You are not the same person at 23 that you were at 18 and even that person has evolved at 29 years old. Your education, beliefs, and characteristics you’re looking for in a partner all change. Just as you can’t change people, you also can’t stop them from changing. Important life goals like wanting to get married or wanting children can change over the years. It’s heartbreaking but you have to know when partners in a relationship have changed so much that they’re no longer on the same path. 

 

Another thing women tend to do at a young age is try to fix the guys they want to date. You meet a guy who’s giving you attention and he has good qualities but his coping mechanisms are stunting his growth. Life lessons have shaped all of us and it’s up to us to seek professional help if we feel like we need ‘fixing’. It’s not our job as a partner to be someone’s mother and therapist. We’re your partner and we will support you but it should not fall on our shoulders to fix you up. Above you had to know when to end a relationship, but here you have to know when you shouldn’t even start one. 

 

Nagging or mothering someone into changing only leads to resentment and exhaustion. The ones who do make any type of change or improvements did so themselves. You can be motivation or a support system but they have to put in all the work. Even after all this, there’s no guarantee for a successful relationship. 

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Instead of trying to change someone, you have to know when it’s time to change your plans. After a few years of dating you’ll know what you’re not willing to settle for and you’ll probably figure out the hard way of when it’s time to cut your losses on a partner that will never become who you need them to be. 

 

How are you still single?

When you’re out in the dating world, a time or two you’ll probably hear this:

How do you not have a boyfriend already?

(normally continued with ‘you’re so great’)

I’m not sure if it’s my history with self esteem or if everyone feels this way, but this question definitely gives me pause. I think this phrase could be termed as a backhanded compliment since it comes off as a compliment but it’s challenging you as well. 

 

It’s pretty confirmed that they think you’re great. They’re vibing with you and playing with the thought of you as a girlfriend. They’re thinking “I totally want to date this girl. Wait how is she not wifed up already? Is something wrong with her that everyone else sees but I don’t?”. Basically, they want to know if you’re single because all the guys you dated were crazy or because they all ran away from your crazy. They’re worried you might be too good to be true and they just haven’t found your glaring flaw yet.

 

Your answer could give them very important information:

You could say you recently became single and they may realize you’re not over your ex or just not ready to get back in the dating game yet. 

 

You could tell them that you just haven’t found the right one yet, which could mean you’re really picky and high maintenance. Or it could just mean that your small town doesn’t have a ton of options! Or you’re a girl with standards who isn’t going to settle!

 

You could tell them that you just haven’t had the time. Is it because you’re focused on your career, you’re very independent, or you’re actually too scared to put yourself out there and that’s your best excuse?

 

 

They’re also testing you, they’re putting you up against a wall a bit. You now have to prove yourself to them that there’s nothing wrong with you. They’re poking you to see if any flaws fall out. It’s a compliment that requires an explanation as a response. People want answers, they want to know they’re not being fooled. It’s not the innocent compliment it comes off as.

 

SHORTCOMINGS

You’ll need to have enough patience 

for two because I’m always losing mine. 

Sometimes I’ll pull out my hair from all the stress.

I can’t always keep my cool 

so I’ll clam up in frustration 

fearful that I could shout something I’d regret.

 

I think being late is a sign of disrespect 

and I don’t like to change my mind.

It will sometimes take me a beat 

to figure out what’s right.

But understand these hang ups

and I’ll always do right by you.

Talking to Multiple Daters

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching so I thought it would be a fun time to talk about why it’s okay and common to talk to multiple daters at the same time while using dating apps.

 

When on dating apps you tend to get a batch of matches at the same time. This increases your chances of starting multiple conversations at the same time. Based solely on numbers, it’s nearly impossible to only talk to one person at a time. You could miss out on making a great connection if you wait too long to talk to someone.

 

Since you’re getting batches of matches on different days, you’ll progress in conversations at different rates. You’ll be ready to meet one guy as you start out with hellos with someone else. When meeting someone for the first time, you still don’t know how much you like them and if there’s any in person chemistry. It’s perfectly normal to still keep up conversation with other people so that you’re not starting from complete scratch if the date doesn’t go well.

 

Having connections with more than one person, helps with the let down when a date doesn’t go well or if someone randomly ghosts you. You don’t have to keep all your eggs in one basket. You also don’t want to seem needy or lame, so talking to multiple people helps keep each conversation casual and replies at a normal speed.

 

Talking to multiple people is a completely normal practice in the modern online dating world and you can delete the apps or stop talking to daters at your own speed. Just be honest about what you’re looking for and what your expectations are.

 

Darling Blues

Oh darling, won’t you swing those sweet blue eyes my way?

Oh darling, I see the way you’re smiling at him

and I wonder what I could do to have you look at me that way.

 

Oh darling, I promise you tears only from too much laughter

and when the pain comes I promise to hold you through it all.

 

Oh darling, I know he makes you happy

But you could still turn around and give us a chance.

 

-Oct 2019

I Wonder If I Cross Your Mind

I wonder if your sister ever got married.

I wonder what you taste like.

I wonder if your friend likes his job out of state.

I wonder how strong your arms

would feel wrapped around me.

 

I wonder if you wonder about me.

I wonder if you remember the details of my life

like I do yours. 

I wonder how deep your love

could fill my chest.

I wish I didn’t have to wonder at all. 

 

 

-Sept 2019

Digital Love Language

Some of us may be familiar with the 5 love languages but I thought with this modern dating era, there might be a second layer.

 

Constant Texting

Some people want that constant connection and interaction. They want to talk about their day, about events with friends, and random childhood memories. They want to learn everything about you, every detail and corner of your mind. These couples place high value on long notes detailing how much you love them and being the first thing you think of when you wake up. 

 

Facetime  

You don’t need the constant communication but when you do communicate you want it to have more quality. You want to vent and tell stories to each other with full animation and all the tea. Some couples just feel more connected by being in the same environment together and not necessarily talking. You want to see that smile, hear that laugh, and see their face light up when talking about their day

 

Sending Memes

These individuals may have a hard time expressing how they feel in their own words so they use art and published words to tell someone how they’re feeling. This is an easy, maybe passive way of keeping a connection which can be good for when you have a crush on someone. It also works well in long term relationship as a simple way to show that they’re thinking about you throughout the day. This is a way to make your partner laugh or communicate the type of mood you’re in.

 

Social Media  

They need everyone to know just how much they love you! They’re so proud of all your accomplishments, they’ll have a picture and paragraph for every one. Their social media followers will know of every good deed you’ve done from cooking dinner to trips to the beach. They may also know about every fight or embarrassing act you’ve done as well though. For better or worse, their followers have front row seats to your relationship.

 

I’m happy I don’t really care about dating apps right now

I knew when I downloaded the apps that I didn’t want to jump right into anything. I also knew it takes a long time to meet someone you actually want to go on more than one date with so I wasn’t too worried about it. The reason I downloaded the apps in the first place right after the break up was because I wasn’t sure I could handle all the sudden down time and lack of daily communication to someone. 

People would ask what I was looking for on the apps and I found it kind of difficult to answer because I really didn’t know. As some conversations progressed to the potential of meeting up I found out that I really wasn’t interested in that so soon after becoming single. I found myself falling into one of the distinct categories of app users; I was on the apps just to talk but never meet up and basically just waste my time so I would be less bored.

Swiping through users was just a game to pass time and I found bumble annoying because it forced me to start a conversation within 24 hours. I tried a few apps just to see what they were about but in the end found myself using tinder the most of it’s easy, basic use. After a few weeks, I let new matches sit for days before even thinking about reaching out and in general, just spending less time on the app at all.

I didn’t really care for the conversations, they were all the same and I didn’t want them leading anywhere. Since I wasn’t looking for any type of partner there wasn’t much reason or interest to swipe through the sea of potential daters either.

I’m content to just make plans with my sisters, work on my blog, watch new tv shows, and focus on my schoolwork. I’ve been debating with myself when I might be interested in dating again and the answer is definitely not anytime soon. It’s a very different attitude than I’ve had for the past 5 years but I’m really happy with it. 

 

Documentary Recommendations – Series 5 Crime

This is the final series of my documentary recommendations! If you’ve seen Jinx and Making a Murderer then these documentaries might be your next fix!

 

I am Innocent (series – Netflix) Would Recommend

This New Zealand crime docuseries is 6 episodes following 6 different cases ranging from murders, juvenile criminals, and family cases. Based on the title you can assume that all criminals telling their story are innocent and have been wrongly convicted. You find out the details of the crime, where things went wrong, and how things were later resolved for the unjustly convicted criminals. After each episode I wanted to go tell my friends and family about this insane, unjust, and true story.

 

The Staircase (series – Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

I put this documentary as do not recommend because I DNF but I’ve heard from good sources that I should try it again so I’ll give you that same advice. The story follows widow Michael Peterson through his murder trial. The victim? Kathleen Peterson, his wife. You see all the preparation his legal team does, discovering new details and secrets along the way. The documentary is titled The Staircase since Michael finds Kathleen at the bottom of a staircase in their home. In a big twist, you find out that this is not the first time he’s found someone at the bottom of a staircase.

 

In this doc you’re able to see how Michael and his family handle the trial and you also hear his 911 call after finding Kathleen. It’s natural for viewers to judge a family’s emotions as they go through a trauma like this. You would if you would act the same way? You wonder if there even is a normal way to react from something so far from your everyday life. There are 13 episodes and the verdict is revealed in the 8th so the story does not end at that first trial.

 

The Seven Five (Netflix) Would Recommend

This documentary follows the corrupt Brooklyn cop Mike Dowd in the 1980s and his last partner Ken Eurell. You learn about the crimes he committed, how he committed them, and who he committed them with. They stole money, drugs, protected and informed criminals, and started their own drug distribution business. I’d say it was rather well known that NYC cops in the 80s were not always on the right side of the law and it’s very interesting to see some of the details first hand. Mike is eventually arrested and I’d say it’s worth watching just to find out how that all happens.

 

Mommy Dead and Dearest (HBO) Would Recommend

This is an extremely well known documentary and a must watch. You follow the story of Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter Gypsy. Gypsy is sadly very ill suffering from leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and brain damage. She’s wheelchair bound, takes a truck load of medications, has undergone too many surgeries to count, and has a feeding tube. Her mother was a devoted caretaker – switching doctors when they started to question Gypsy’s illnesses, moving away from relatives when they became suspicious, and altering her daughter’s birth certificates by 4 years.

 

After learning about all this young girl has suffered through, you sympathize with her desperate need to escape her mother. So desperate that she might just plot her own mother’s murder.

 

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (HBO) Would Not Recommend

This doc was local to me so that was the main interest of why I watched it. It’s about a mom driving 5 kids the wrong way on a parkway and kills herself, 4 of the children, and the 3 passengers of the car she hit. That’s a lot of tragedy in just one car accident so you really want to know how something like this happened. The doc takes you through the events that day between her strange call and the frantic call the kids briefly made to their dad (as they were Diane’s nieces).

 

You have recounts from other witnesses dodging her car as she drives through oncoming traffic and the background of who she was as a person from her supporters, her husband and sister in law. One decreased child was Diane’s and the other 3 were her brother’s, her brother and his wife did not participant in this doc. Fortunately or perhaps not, the one living child is not really able to give much insight aside from ‘there was something wrong’.

 

The reason I didn’t like this doc I believe all had to do with the directors storytelling choice. It’s suggested that Diane was a drug addict and miscalculated a dose that lead to this erratic driving behavior. The husband adamantly denies this and it’s mostly dropped by the directors, becoming much more subtle. It wasn’t until I searched discussion boards afterwards that theories about her drug abuse offered some explanation for what happened that day. The husband and sister in law talk about what a great mother and businesswoman she was and how she could have never had such a problem or they would have known about it. The ironic moment I have to mention here is the sister in law smoking a cigarette after hearing some bad news and saying “no one in my family knows about this.”