I listen to a few dating podcasts and have had countless conversations with friends about dating. And we have all concluded that yes—there is pee in the dating pool, to which both men and women have contributed. Men are tired of being used as EBT cards. Women are tired of being asked what they bring to a table with no legs. I’m personally tired of the inability to hold a conversation and plan a date.
But these new stages of dating make it far more complex than it needs to be. I don’t know when or who decided this breakdown was necessary, but it’s a little too much for me.
First is the Talking Stage. During this stage, you’ve exchanged numbers, built a friendship, you may have been intimate, and you’ve just kind of tested the waters.
Next is the Dating Stage. This is the point where you start to do more activities together and see each other consistently. You’re still just friends, but you have a mutual interest in each other. And you may have begun to develop deeper feelings for each other.
Now, we move on to the Dating Exclusively Stage. At this point, you’ve decided to cut off anyone else you may have been seeing and focus on each other.
Lastly comes the Relationship Stage, where you’ve made a mutual agreement to become a couple
Complications with the Stages
The Relationship Stage is where things get unnecessarily complicated for me. Talking and dating are the same thing as far as I’m concerned. When I’m dating someone, I expect to talk via phone, Facetime, text, and in person. We can go get coffee, go on a picnic, take a pottery class, or make dinner at home together. That is all still dating. And it’s perfectly fine to date multiple people at once. That’s how it should be done until you decide to start a relationship with someone.
And it’s perfectly fine to date multiple people at once."
The dating exclusively phase is just silly. Isn’t the point to find a partner? So, if you are no longer interested in anyone else, wouldn’t you naturally enter the Relationship Stage with the other person? Why are we sitting in limbo for however long, if you don’t want to talk to anyone else? That means you met the goal and found the person you want to be with. Why do we need a probationary period?
Relax and Enjoy the Journey
Dating should be fun and exciting. It’s about really getting to know someone for who they are and not who you need them to be. You may date someone and find that they aren’t the right fit as a romantic partner, but you’ve built an amazing friendship. Although friendship may not have been the goal, it’s still a beautiful journey.
So, I’ve decided to relax and enjoy the journey. I’ve learned to let my guard down and be open to love, and I’ve also learned when to walk away. My dating life this year may bring new love, new friendships, or both. Either way, I’m going to relax and enjoy the journey.
About the Author
I love warm sunny days at the beach with a cocktail, (or two) … maybe three (no one’s counting…right?). There is nothing better than a good dose of Vitamin D with the sound of the waves crashing into each other to find peace and clarity. The only other thing that brings me more joy than the ocean is make-up and skincare. Sephora is EVERYTHING! Some may call it an addiction; I say mind your business (lol). The best part of make-up is finding your style and having fun with it. I enjoy playing with every color under the rainbow with a little glitter and highlighter sprinkled in as well. As a licensed esthetician and MUA, I am committed to healthy glowing skin.
I’m enjoying life to the fullest.
I have worked hard for my money since I was 17 years old. I have been blessed to never have been unemployed. With hard work comes play, right? Absolutely! Honesty, now that I think about it, I don’t believe there has ever been a time in my adult working life that I haven’t lived my best life. It’s just now (or since my mid-30s) that I’ve been more responsible. *wink*
Your approval is not necessary.
What grinds my gears the most is someone’s unsolicited opinion that has no value whatsoever. Not only unsolicited, but also negative. Those who have an opinion about my personal life, attire, finances, the way I move, etc.—mind your business! I haven’t asked you for anything. Not money, not time, and most definitely not your negative, critical opinion that does not benefit me.
What was the point? Why do you care? Are you bored? I’m happy and my family is happy. That is what counts. I honestly believe those that feel the need to voice their unsolicited negative opinions are unhappy with their lives or have nothing better to do. Do they feel better trying to diminish others? I say trying because there are people like me that do not take it personally. I just look at them crazy, ignore what was said, and change the subject. Sometimes a prayer or two is needed. LOL
No explanation is needed.
Say less! I love these two words. Saying less gives me peace and preserves my energy. If you’ve asked me a question and I’ve given you a response, then that’s it. If I’ve made a statement such as “I am unavailable” then that’s all that is needed. Why do you need to know the reasons? Is it necessary or is it that you just didn’t like my answer? Do you want to debate? I’m not here for it. I said what I said. Next subject please or better yet, conversation is over.
Now, this isn’t always the case in every situation. I choose what I want to elaborate on based on whether it’s worth my time, energy, or financial benefit. Employers do not ask why PTO time is being taken, so why would I give additional information to someone who does not contribute to my finances? I’m just saying. Everything does not need to be explained nor do I wish for anyone to explain anything to me. I have peace when I know less in most situations. The way I move and the way I think is my business and no one else’s.
My energy and peace are precious.
It’s all about me. Self-care is important and that includes preserving my energy and peace. I’m in control. I refuse to allow others to take away my positive energy or my peace. It can happen. I set time limitations for those that I love and may need some time to vent. Once time is up, negative energy will be shifted to positive energy. How so, you ask? Take control of the situation. Ask about what good has happened, pray for them, and change the subject.
I’m thinking I needed to get a lot off my chest! Cheers and thanks for reading!