I read something somewhere and I can’t seem to remember what it was or exactly how it went. However, in essence, what it said was that we are in an age of dating where we think we have millions and millions of options. So we don’t ever really commit to one person in the beginning phases of a relationship and focus on nurturing that. We keep looking out for other options, stringing people along as we go about doing this.
This is the age that we live in. There are so many ways to meet people. Be it online, on your phone or through situations like speed dating. Now I have written about that before, so I am not going to go into that now, but I do feel that it plays a major part in why so many people struggle to find that someone special or to have a relationship stick. Especially one that you really want to have stick.
I have tried many forms of “dating”~blind dates, chance meetings like at work, family and friends and gone on a lot of first dates. Some horrible disasters, others really pleasant. But then comes the downfall (either on my part or on the other persons part). There is no second date. Sometimes it is a mutual decision, but other times it is purely because one or both parties think that they have so many other options that they are not going to give someone a second date.
They go back on Tinder or straight to the bar after the date, even if it went well, and start swiping. Like kids in candy stores. That’s what we are. Kids in a candy store. We are presented with so many options, and then we sample each and every one and eventually we feel sick from the sugar rush.
The principle applies to how we date now. We sample so many different people, but never fully allow ourselves to open up or to settle on what we want. What we actually want. We saturate our evenings with date after date after date, never quite really getting below the surface of a person. We present ourselves as best we can, put on our best outfits, master the small talk and then…well then we get freaked out that we may be missing out on someone who is “better”. Better looking, better matched, better at whatever it is you want them to better at.
It is this fear of missing out, or FOMO as the kids are calling it, that actually stops us from giving someone the time that they deserve. I know I do this. Not always, but sometimes. I keep thinking about everyone that I could be missing out on instead of focusing on the person that I am with at that moment.
I must say, I have stopped doing that since I read that quote and it honestly scares me. I am afraid that if I get invested in someone then they are going to pull a “FOMO” in search of a better version of me. There probably is a better version of me out there…but…why do we dismiss people so quickly? What is it in us that we can just not commit?
We are scared…and that fear leaves us exactly where we started: Single and looking. Building up walls because we think all men (or women) are the same and that there just aren’t any good ones out there anymore. BUT THERE ARE!!!!!
I have seen it, I have experienced it, I have lived it! And you know when that was? When I stopped fearing that I may be missing out on someone better and just got to know the person who I was with and enjoyed the process of getting to know them.
We think that we can get to know someone over emails and text or tinder messages. We think that if we stalk their Facebook or Instagram that we know exactly who they are. That is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. That we can know someone without even knowing them.
We don’t invest face to face time with people anymore. We text them or email them or send them a short voice message and maybe, just maybe we meet them and hopefully a second date.
From my perspective, I can be a completely different person via digital means. But that doesn’t mean that that is exactly who I am. You don’t know that I have some weird habits, especially when I am nervous. You don’t know how my voice sounds, what it sounds like when I laugh or how I like my coffee. You don’t know me, and can’t know me if you are just communicating via digital means.
I want to know YOU. I want to sit across from you with a cup of coffee and speak to YOU. I want YOU to know that I am not dating with a FOMO mentality. I am seeing you because I saw something in you that I liked and wanted to explore…and I hope you feel the same.
We jump from “relationship” to “relationship” so quickly that its become habit. We are habitual daters. Conditioned to never fully allow ourselves to be in the moment. And that is not fair…to you or the person you are seeing.
To sum it all up: I don’t want to date a digital you. I want to date a physical you. I don’t want to “keep my options open” for in case someone better comes along and then I can just disappear off the radar (and I have fallen off the face of the earth, many times before). By the way, that is not nice nor is it fair. If you know something isn’t going to work out with someone, be straight with them. Be honest. You will save that person from a lot of time wasted on wondering where and how and why you disappeared.
Just… get to know the physical person. Don’t ever make the mistake in thinking that their digital persona is exactly like their physical person.
Date with the intention to get to know a person, not to get the most out of that person.