A date is a meeting between two individuals who may or may not have been previously acquainted, coming together for the purpose of getting to know each other. Dating is the process of continual encounters between two people for the purpose of furthering their knowledge of one another to see if they are compatible with each other for a potential relationship. These definitions make dates and the whole dating process sound pretty simple, right? So then why is dating so complicated?
I believe dating is complicated because people don’t have similar goals in mind when going through this process, and people make more of a first date and dating than what it really is–a simple meeting or meetings to get to know someone on a different level. People have the tendency to make more of casual dating than what it really is because some get caught up in focusing on whether or not the person is ‘the one’ and what they can potentially bring to the table, rather than enjoying the person for who they are and enjoying the dating experience as a whole.
Now I know the whole purpose of dating is to get to know someone to see if there is potential there for a relationship, but honestly, when a person is primarily focused on having a relationship, then they make the dating experience complicated for both parties. How and why does this happen? This happens because people miss the steps of effectively communicating about their hopes and expectations and are half scared to come straight out and say that they would like to soon move forward to being involved in an actual monogamous relationship. People often confuse dating and monogamous relationships because during the dating process, many fail to communicate whether or not they are dating each other exclusively, with the purpose of moving forward in monogamy, or if they are dating other people…especially when the dating experience becomes physically or emotionally intense. When two people are involved in a dating relationship and they start feeling each other, they somehow miss the step of both parties agreeing to be exclusive and end up in a semi-relationship without proper communication, and when this happens, individual expectations and goals change for one if not both people, and that’s where things start to get complicated. What people should do when dating someone familiar or new is take their time and enjoy the person for who they are and not focus so much on if they will walk down the aisle with them in holy matrimony.
One should also realize that just because they are dating someone, that does not mean that you are the only person that THAT individual may be dating, especially if the two of you have not mutually agreed to see each other exclusively. Many times when people discover that they really like someone they are dating, they want to pursue a relationship with them, but the other person involved may not want the same thing, thus leading to hurt feelings and bruised emotions-especially if and when things become physical. That’s why when you’re involved in the process of dating, don’t just limit yourself to one person. Dating is a fun experience that should be taken serious, but somewhat lightly at the same time. It is the process of getting to know someone, but it is also a process of elimination, and if you are focusing solely on one person, you have automatically eliminated and alienated yourself from one aspect of dating. Dating is a wonderful thing when mature people have effective communication and truly take the time to get to know each other for who they are for a simple or greater purpose. Take things slow while dating, know what your intentions are with someone, know their intentions with you, be clear about the expectations, explore your options and take your time…
Have you ever confused casual dating for a monogamous relationship?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin