Dating: Part 1: Things to Consider before You Start Dating
Dating: Part 1- Things to Consider before You Start Dating
Some of the points I make on this topic are ones that I’ve touched on in my other posts, so check out those if you want to dive deeper.
I am not expecting everyone to agree with what this post will say, but it won’t hurt you to read it.
Before I start, I want to remind you that everyone is different when it comes to love and relationships. Everyone has different desires, different needs, different struggles, different boundaries, and different techniques to their relationships. The way I go about my romantic relationship would work for some people, but not for others, so try to remember that what I write may not apply to everyone.
Also, the views I share in all of my posts, especially this one, are all my own. I was never told how to think. I was lead in the direction of my views, yes, but I’ve always been allowed to make my own decisions with my beliefs. This is a very important fact. Remember it.
So let’s dive right into it.
Recreational VS Intentional Dating:
There are two types of dating: Recreational and Intentional. Each is VERY different than the other.
The purpose of recreational dating is simply to have fun. People who date recreationally are really more looking for a good time than a real relationship. RD isn’t meant for anything serious. You don’t go into this kind of relationship to try to find someone to marry. It’s very casual. This kind of dating can lead to marriage, but it definitely isn’t the starting goal.
Pros of RD:
There can be perks to this kind of dating. I can be less pressuring, more relaxed, and all around lighter. There isn’t a lot of commitment involved. It can be very enjoyable. It’s more of an amplified friendship. And there’s less expectation to live up to. It really can be good for some people, if done correctly.
Cons of RD:
This kind of dating can lead to unexpected heartbreak. The problem is that even though in the beginning it’s purely casual, the feelings towards each other can change. So one person might still be purely casual, but the other may’ve developed stronger feeling than intended. Then it becomes complicated and awkward. One may fall madly in love with the other, but the other might be ready to move on. It’s very unpredictable. Also, it is an unnecessary distraction from work, school, family, friends, etc. It’s easier to be cheated, left, betrayed, and things like that because of the lack of commitment and the choice of partner.
The main purpose of intentional dating is to find a compatible person to marry. This kind of dating has a real purpose. It’s not a game or a pass-time; it’s an endeavor to find a spouse. When intentionally date, you don’t date just anyone, you find someone who you think is a possible candidate for a husband/wife, weeding out anyone who doesn’t seem to fit.
Pros of Intentional Dating:
Since the end goal is to get married, you usually pick better people to date, saving time, money, heartache, etc. You’re not going to waste your time on just anyone. It can be very exciting because you’re going somewhere in your relationship; you have a goal instead of just remaining stagnant. You form a deep bond with someone. You get to start planning and thinking about the future with more detail. Since both people have the same goal in mind, there is less chance of an awkward, unforeseen, romantic imbalance. Fewer exes. You still aren’t “playing the game”. You find “the one”, usually.
Cons of Intentional Dating:
Yes, there are fewer breakups, but they can be much more painful. Since the intention is to see if you’re compatible enough for marriage, it is much more serious. So when a breakup happens, the wound can take much longer to heal. It isn’t as casual as RD. There is a lot more commitment expected. Expectations are much higher. But the main con of ID is the pain that can come from it. Cheating, falling for someone else, breakups, or anything like that can be devastating and dream-crushing. But, these things are MUCH less likely to happen, if you choose wisely.
There is SO much more that goes into both of these types of dating. This just a very general overview.
The Pros and Cons of Dating/ Is It Worth It?:
When you consider dating, regardless of your age, you have to consider the pros and cons. When thinking of the pros and cons, you need to consider these kinds of things:
There are more, but let’s start with these.
Age: How old are you? How old is the person you want to date? Are you at an age where marriage is in the foreseeable future, or do you still line up at the door to leave your classroom?
Maturity: Are you ready for a relationship? Is the other person ready? Are you going to be suspicious every time some looks at or talks to the person you like, or get into stupid dating drama because you’re not mature enough to handle it? Are either of you at the maturity level that can handle a relationship?
Emotions: Are either of you emotionally ready? Can you handle all of the emotions that come with dating?
Motives: Why do you want to date? To make someone else jealous? To be rebellious? To look cool? To just have someone to pay attention to you? To feel wanted? Or to find someone to spend the rest of your life with?
Time: Do either of you have time to be in a relationship, or is each day packed in with work, school, lacrosse practice, cheerleading practice, church, family, friends, etc.? Will you be able to pay attention to your boyfriend/girlfriend while juggling all of your other commitments?
Logistics: Do either of you have a job, or a car? How close do you live to each other? How often can you see each other? How far apart do you live; a few miles, a few states, on separate continents?
Reputation: How will your reputation be effected by dating this person, or anyone? Will it help or hurt your reputation? Will you been seen as easy to get? Will you be labeled a man/girl-stealer? Is the person going to lift you up, or tear you down?
Spirituality: Where are both of you spiritually? Are you strong in your faith? Is the person you like a Christian? Is the person you like a good Christian? Will they make you stronger or weaker?
Ask these questions and the make your own pros and cons list and see if it’s worth it.
The Differences Between Boys, Guys, Men, and Gentlemen:
It helped a lot that I thought boys were morons. They said dumb things, smelled weird, threw rocks at your face as a sign of infatuation; I never saw anything that made me want to spend more time with boys than I had to (other than my brothers).
Ages 5-12 (any age before that is a little boy). Typically wide-eyed, rambunctious, silly, loud, gross, etc. Boys are boys. It’s just a part of life. There’s no hate towards boys, they’re just not datable yet. At this point, they’re in the “ewww girls” stage, where if they like a girl, they don’t admit it. They just pay extra attention to their crush by throwing things at them, or being rude. Precious babies, they are. Fascinated by any little thing that girls would find gross.
Ages 13-? Guys can stay guys forever, or become men at an early age. It’s all based on maturity. Guys are usually are usually in middle school or early high school when they’re at they’re worst. They tend to skip showering, changing cloths, and putting on deodorant and then mask the stink with an exorbitant amount of Axe Body Spray. They’re immature on many levels and often resort to sexually based humor for fun. It’s an awkward phase at first, but it can being cut short or prolonged depending on the guy. Socially acceptable to date, but not worth it, yet.
25ish-death society believes that guys turn into men when they become adults. This is true. A man is a matter of age, as well as maturity. A man is typically thought to be a working, tax paying, male, who has flown-the-coup. Of course, this is not always the case, but that’s typically what you think of. Men are dateable. All men are different, but at this point, they’re more independent and have their lives going.
A gentleman is not classified by age. Its based on emotional maturity, as well as manners and values. This is a matter of choice. A gentleman knows, not only how to treat a lady, but how to act in social situations as well as behave in private settings. They are prime for dating.
I once read, “Being a boy is a matter of chance. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice.”
Now all of these descriptions are based on what girls should see when they consider relationships for each group, not ageneralization of males during their stages of growing up.
THERE ARE TONS OF GREAT THINGS ABOUT EACH GROUP OF MALES.
I’ll have a whole separate blog post about girls. That’s a whole other topic.
The Consequence of Heartbreak:
This is a part of dating that nobody really considers. It seems that when people date, they tend to focus too much on the excitement of the moment, instead of the consequences. There are plenty of consequences that can come from both types of dating. But the one I want to discuss is heartbreak.
Every time someone experiences a break up, a little piece of their heart dies; the more painful the break up, the bigger the piece. For a lot of people, they date and break up so many times, that by the time they find “the one” they don’t have any of their heart left to give.
No one really thinks about this. But it’s true. There are so many problems with heartbreak. It causes emotional scarring, which can be very hard to heal; as well as temporary or permanent pain. The pain of a breakup is unbearable, I’ve been told. Anyone who has seen the second Twilight movie saw how much emotional turmoil Bella went through when Edward left, even though his intentions were good. A breakup is a crushing experience, and each time it happens, it takes a piece of you with it. So if that happens over and over through the years, you’re left with little to nothing left.
Also, each breakup leaves baggage; and you bring that baggage into every other relationship. It can make it very hard to trust your heart with someone else because it’s been broken so many times. It can destroy a great relationship because it makes you so paranoid the person is going to do the same things the others have done. Even if they deserve your trust, it’s almost impossible for you to give it to them because you’ve been so scarred.
If you wait and watch before you jump into a relationship, it can save you from that.
Now, it’s fine to make rules about dating. Some kids might not agree with the pros and cons list. This is just how it worked with me, and why my thoughts are.
Dating isn’t a bad thing. Dating is great! It’s how you find the person with whom you’ll spend the rest of your life. It’s exiting! However, it can be EXTREMELY painful. I think that if you wait until you and who you date are at a good maturity level, it will drastically reduce your chances of having your heart broken. It can also keep you from having the bad serial-dater reputation. You don’t want to be an easy catch for guys or girls, do you? No! You want to be a challenge. You want to be the one they can’t have! Because then, when the right person comes along, it makes it that much more special. You have time to focus on your friends when your single and you stay out of the crazy girl drama. There are so many great things about waiting to date until you find someone who’s worth it.