Dallas Dating. Hell, dating in general. *heavy eye roll* Am I right or am I right?
I know I’m not alone when I say that I honestly envisioned myself settled down by now. Some of my friends are not only married, but also creating their own little families and I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t tug on my heart strings and instill thoughts of my own future family into my head.
This is by NO means a pity post. I just want to use my platform to shed some light on a topic that I know hits home to many of you. I voluntarily share my life with you guys daily, and that includes the tough real-life stuff as well. Do I want to be single forever? No. Would I change anything in my past to prevent me from being single? Also no.
I love love. Don’t we all, though? Well, maybe not some of the guys that I’ve met that are still chasing shots instead of a substantial relationship. I want to be real with y’all, because sometimes I think women put on a facade that we’re indifferent on the subject. We downplay dating and it’s starting to show. Independence is important, but even Beyonce has boy trouble (get your shit together, Jay-Z).
Our generation has thrown conventional dating out the window. It’s simply not as genuine as it used to be. We resort to dating apps (I am guilty of this too) that are solely based upon our aesthetics, and then we wonder why it doesn’t work out with someone that was more interested in how we looked, rather than our other redeeming qualities. Looks only get you so far, people. I think a mutual attraction is important, but there has to be depth.
Some people are solely looking for an ego-stroke, and others are looking to get married tomorrow. I’m just looking for a decent God fearing man that loves dogs. We’ve all got our niche. 😉 But seriously, y’all, why is dating in Dallas (or any major city) so difficult? The options are seemingly endless, but the intentions aren’t matched. I think dating in a big city is a double edged sword because even though there are “plenty of fish in the sea,” they also know there are 100 other shiny, beautiful hooks out there waiting. Why am I resorting to fishing analogies? I think I’ve spent too much time at home. Point blank—when the options are endless, it’s easy for people to bounce around from one person to another without really being intentional.
Dating in Dallas hasn’t been all bad. I’ve met some cool people (and cooler dogs) and it has taught me things that I’ve promised to utilize from here on out.
Dating has shown me important qualities I want from people, and the hard passes I want to steer clear of from others. I’ve learned not to ignore the red flags! Y’all, this is SO important. It will save you so much time and sanity. When someone shows you their true colors, believe them. Don’t make up excuses for them or think you can change them down the road. People only change when they want to change. We have intuitions for a reason—you’re doing yourself a disservice by ignoring them. Again, life lessons I’ve learned from personal experience.
So he ended up being sketchy? He’s got a bad temper? He’s rude to your waiter? Sure, it might get better for a little while, but you’ll be right back where you started and it will feel worse, I assure you. Chalk it up.
You’ve probably noticed I’ve thrown the word ‘intentional’ out a handful of times, and that’s because it’s one of the most important things I’ve learned about dating. If I could use one word to summarize what I am looking for in someone I date it would definitely be intentional. I want to be intentional, and I want it to be reciprocated, because if not—what are any of us doing? I’m not looking for an ego stroke, and I don’t intend on being yours. This is a touchy subject because it involves us all to be—dare i say it? Vulnerable. (If you have not listened to Brené Brown’s TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability, I HIGHLY encourage you to, it’s amazing– check it out here).
When it comes to dating in the beginning, we all just want to play it cool. If I get excited about our first kiss or a sweet text am I going to tell you? Hell no. Am I going to immediately text my friends instead? You bet your ass. There’s a fine line between playing it cool and simply playing games. At our age, we’ve perfected games. I just have no interest in them anymore. If you have to wait 4 hours to text me back so you don’t seem overeager, I know what you’re doing, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done it, too. It sounds so silly, but we all play into the things we’ve become accustomed to in the dating world. We battle for the spot at the top—who seemingly cares less at the moment? That person has “control.” We both know we like each other, so why the act? Games are a fool proof way to set a foundation based on insecurity and pride, neither of which anyone should strive for.
Just to be clear, when I say intentional, I don’t mean I want to get married tomorrow. I just want to be real, and for someone else to be transparent, as well. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and others. Any fool can try to be someone they’re not. If you have to try to be someone you’re not at the beginning, don’t be surprised when it ends later on when your true self is revealed. We shouldn’t try to “trick” people into liking us. The thought of it just seems exhausting. The good thing about 7 billion people on this earth is that there’s likely a handful of people that share your interests, your faith, and posses your qualities of importance. Stay true to yourself. Be clear in what’s important to you in life, and if it doesn’t align, that’s okay. I PROMISE you there is someone else better. Chalk it up.
As one of my friends always says, “When you search, you settle.” This has become so important to me, because I know there is a difference in dating when this philosophy is applied. I have learned to not try to seek out men that seem perfect on paper. This has been something I have struggled with, because natrually I want it all– the attractive 6’2 dark hair, tan skin guy who is successful, comes from a great family, loves hunting, sports, golfs on the weekends blah blah… you get it. Clearly I have a type? I think it’s important to know what you want out of someone, but don’t close your mind off to the unknown. Some of the strongest relationships I’ve seen have been two seemingly different people that found they had more in common than they thought at first glance. Don’t settle when it comes to your main concerns (one of mine being faith) but if they are blonde when you thought you liked brunettes, don’t be stupid. (Girls, listen to this song)
I know this sound cliche but use your time being single to love the one person that truly matters: yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you will never be able to fully love another. At least not in a healthy, substantial way. It makes me sad when people think a relationship will solve their problems. Only you can do that. Well, you and God. Loving God is the first step to learning how to love yourself. We were created in His image, so how can you not look in the mirror and recognize that you were made out of more love than imaginable.
Self-love is so important, and it seems to be lacking in a lot of people these days. We fill our hearts with frivolous desires and promise to love another, when we can’t even love ourselves. No one is more deserving of love than you. When you learn to see yourself as God, and so many others see you, you are ready for love.
I have come to terms that I am EXACTLY where I need to be. It has been hard to let go of the “timeline” I had originally planned my life following, but I know that His timing is aways perfect. Having more “me” time has allowed me to accomplish more than I had envisioned, both personally and professionally and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I have been given the time to really get to understand myself and what I want out of life. I have more time to spend with God and growing my faith. I’ve strengthened so many friendships that I easily could have “back-doored” had I been in a relationship. I’ve traveled to so many places, with many more on the horizon. I can confidently say that I am living a life that I am proud of and that I am freaking obsessed with my life right now. If you are not, CHANGE it.
I believe by focusing on the things that are important to me in life, I will continue to feel fulfilled. I think that when you are truly happy and can be unabashedly yourself, you will attract like-minded people.
So you’re single? So what!! Take advantage of this time to do things that bring you happiness. When you are happy, people gravitate toward that, and who knows—maybe the right one will be among those people.
**I also want to say thank you to one of my best friends, Stephanie for co-writing this post with me. We have been friends for over 12 years and have had our fair share of dating up’s and downs together. Thank you for partnering with me on this!**