Why aren't you dating?

Maybe you’ve been burned in the past. 

Maybe you aren’t sure you want to stay in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe dating just seems overwhelming. There are a lot of good reasons not to date, and you should definitely be sure you’re ready to do so, but at some point – if you want to meet someone – you just have to pull the trigger and get out there. Here are ways to overcome some of the issues you might face as a reluctant dater.

I’m out of shape. Yes, being slim and in shape makes you more appealing to most people. And yes, you are likely to feel better about yourself if you’re at your desired weight and physical fitness level. But if you’ve been saying this for a year and you aren’t doing anything to change it and you are not dating as a result, you need to be honest with yourself. If you are actually happy with your appearance and you’re relatively healthy, you shouldn’t feel compelled to change it to date. Some people are going to dismiss everyone who isn’t rail thin or pumped up with muscles, but a lot of people are looking for someone who feels good about themself and looks fine. If, on the other hand, you really can’t stand the way you look, then do something about it. Getting in shape isn’t painless, but it isn’t impossible either.

I have children. There are two major thought patterns here that you should question. First, that you shouldn’t date because your children should be your priority and second, that no one will want to date someone with kids. Yes, your children should be your priority, but that doesn’t mean you can’t date. Make the decision that you need to fit dating into your life and plan accordingly. It is ok to have a night or two a week devoted to your happiness. It’s inadvisable to introduce a string of strange partners to your kids, but dating in a reasonable and thoughtful way will make your children happier because you will have a life outside their care and likely be happier yourself. And as for the second issue – maybe kids aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but today there are few people who can’t deal with the issue. If someone doesn’t like your kids, move on.

I’m heartbroken. If you just divorced your husband of ten years, then yes, you are right not to date. But if it’s been two years since your girlfriend of nine months dumped you … maybe you really should get over it. It is up to you whether you ever want to date again, but if the thought crosses your mind frequently and you feel wistful rather than wrathful when you think of romance, it might be time to give dating another try. It is important to feel good about yourself before you put yourself in a position where others are, however mildly, judging you, so if you are still very emotional fragile it is good to delay. Meeting someone great can truly add happiness to your life, though, so try not to isolate yourself indefinitely.

It’s not safe. This is not an unreasonable point of view. There are a lot of people out there who act inappropriately and even violently against dating partners. It can be a scary to post your personal information on a website and to meet up with someone you have never met. There are a couple of ways to overcome the fear and to make yourself as safe as possible. Try dating via a matchmaker or being set up with friends so that you know more about your potential date. If you do online dating, be careful. Meet your date in public places and don’t give out information too quickly. If you get a creepy vibe, go with it. If someone becomes fixated on you, don’t respond to them at all. If that doesn’t work, seek formal protection.

I don’t have time. Life is busy. Work, family, exercise … sleep, if you are lucky. However, most people do have time to add a regular activity to their schedule – they may choose not to, but they usually can readjust one part of their life to make another part viable. If you want to date, but you have a punishing schedule, figure out when you are free and reallocate time. Maybe you have a few empty lunches every week. Maybe late Saturday night is a good time. It won’t be as simple to fit in dating as it would be for someone with a 9 to 5 and no kids, but it is almost always possible. Modern dating services take a lack of free time into account, so figure out how much time you can give to dating and figure out the best way to make use of that time.

Dating takes up more emotional and physical energy than not dating. It isn’t always fun or easy. But it can also pay off in a big way. If you like having a partner with whom to share your life, then you do have to do something to find one. If that’s what you are ultimately seeking, try to let go of what is keeping you from finding someone.



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Posted 08-29-2013 8:32 pm by