Are You Dating While Desperate?
Another day, yet another disagreement.
I was used to it. We weren’t even together but argued like an old married couple who regretted the very moment they said “I Do.” Most of our disagreements were simply because we didn’t see eye to eye on hardly anything. If I was happy that day, he was sad. If he was in a playful mood, I was being serious. We could never get on the same page. I knew it was because I just wasn’t into him. The chemistry level was so low it was basically nonexistent. Still, I kept him around because he was a nice guy who really wanted to be with me. Usually this wouldn’t have been enough for me, but the older I’d gotten, the more chances I realized I was giving the so-called nice guys because finding a good man had become a daunting task. I was dating him by default.
Before coming to this revelation, I’d had a conversation with one of my friends about her willingness to keep trying with a man who really should have been cut off 20 broken promises ago. “It’s too early for all of his this,” I told her. She had only been dating him for a few weeks and he was already disappointing her. It wasn’t enough time to really know him, but long enough for her to have “gone off” on the man several times about his immature shenanigans. “Why bother?” I asked her with growing concern. She finally admitted that dating was hard and because she liked him, she was trying to make it work.
I couldn’t help but think that he’d picked the right woman at the right time. She and I had been friends for more than a decade and I knew her well enough to know that in the past she wouldn’t have allowed his inconsistent behavior to go on for so long, especially since she barely knew this man. But because the thought of jumping back into the dating scene was so repulsive, she decided to ignore the red flags and settle for someone who was already saying one thing and doing another.
In all relationships there is a certain amount of compromise that should be made by each willing participant; but at what point are you allowing too much to slide or forcing your feelings simply to make it work? I tried to make myself like the man I was dating because he was working hard to be with me. I’d attempted to fake the feelings for so long, I almost convinced myself that I could make do with him in my life (the epitome of settling). This ridiculous notion didn’t last long because he would quickly do or say something that reminded me why we should do each other a favor and stop communicating altogether.
Despite my brief moment of slight dating desperation, I knew it was unfair to him and to myself to keep acting as if we could make things work. We couldn’t be in a committed relationship if I could barely have a phone conversation with him without wanting to hang up. He deserved better and so did I.
As for my friend, she didn’t seem so convinced that it was time to throw in the towel on her guy, constantly reiterating that “this is his last shot” each time he disappointed her. In her defense, he wasn’t being blatantly disrespectful; but indirectly, he was the king of BS. Still, something in her believed that dating him was better than starting from scratch and trying to meet someone new. And even though she is just a 33-year-old woman, she said she was tired of dating and ready for her husband.
While I may not have gotten to the point of total desperation, I was headed that way if I would have kept forcing feelings with someone who didn’t excite or engage me. Though I’d love to be in a relationship, I know that time is the one thing that I can’t get back. You can’t waste it by dating someone with the hopes that one day they will get it together even when they’ve shown you that they don’t have an ounce of act-right in their system. And in my case, you can’t fake feelings hoping that one day they will magically turn real because the man is nice. Neither of these is a solid foundation for building a healthy relationship. Dating with a clear head is always better than dating while desperate.
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