Dinner Doesn’t Equal Dating

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Ah, the old adage – Dinner & Drinks or Dinner & a Movie – The once traditional dating experience has vastly changed to, Let’s grab coffee/drinks (so I can run away quickly if you lied about yourself online and hope to meet another attractive stranger before heading home hopefully not disappointed).  

While I do agree that dinner dates should be reserved until after you two have gotten to know each other and you both are secure in knowing the other person isn’t crazy or worse.  I’m an advocate for always meeting in a very public place for the first meeting.  You can never tell who the other person is on the other end of that message until you experience them in person in real time.  Not only for your safety but also so you both don’t waste each others’ time.  I’m still really confused as to why Catfishing ever became a thing?  There are so many groups that cater to very specific interests these days.  You can talk to anyone that is in a very specific interest group whether online or in real time so why go out of the way to lead someone on?  Crazy, right?

I digress.

When is dinner not a date?  When did booty calls spill into the hours before 10pm?  I have noticed a trend lately that many couples are doing what I like to call faux dating.  It looks like a date, smells like a date, but both parties can’t seem to get on the same page about where they stand in each others life.  I am sure we have all been in this situation before (sometimes longer than we are willing to admit).  It’s been a few weeks, or even a few months, and you think things are going well.  You spend all your free time with them, you have invested money into this person, and now starts the decision on whether you want them to meet your family or someone equally important in your life?  Next steps are taken and you ask your partner when they are free to meet these important people to you.  Their reaction says it all:  I didn’t think we were together.  Or I didn’t think we were that kind of together.  It’s heartbreaking and possibly soul crushing.  We wonder how ever will we recover?  Eventually time goes by and life gets easier.

How exactly do we work around being stuck in something casual when we are looking for something more?

When first meeting someone whether it’s through an app or out in real life,  it is important to ask their intentions.  It doesn’t matter how you phrase it, but finding out where their head is, or where they want things to go is a good way to understand whether or not you are ready to move forward in dating them – or whatever else you devise. Some of us are at a point that all we want is the company and the sex.  We may not be ready to handle getting to know this other person or wanting to involve them seriously in our lives.  There is no shame in that.  But there are plenty of us that are wanting that intimacy with another person.  We’re wanting to have someone else to call home.  To color outside the lines with.  To finally stop the first date cycle.

If the person you are interested in gives you an honest answer at the very beginning, whether it is what you want to hear or not, it is important to respect their wishes.  Too many times do the defenses kick in and we turn into a defense attorney as to why that other person should be with us (How dare they!).  If that person doesn’t want what you want, learn to accept their no and keep moving.  Your value and worth is not tied to their wants and desires.

What if they give us an elusive answer?  Sometimes it is easier to spot than others.  If you are spending a lot of time with them and you two haven’t really discussed moving your relationship forward, that would be a good point to have that tough conversation with them.  Sometimes their behavior may seem elusive due to their own personal life blowing up at the moment.  We all go through stressful situations and may neglect our personal lives causing our partner to think there is someone else or something else we’d rather focus our time on.  There are plenty of memes out there proving how extreme some are willing to go to prove their partner is being faithful.  Don’t ignore your instincts either!

Trying to find the right balance in the dating world can be frustrating, if not seemingly impossible these days.  With all the ways we can be in communication with new people at the tap of our fingertips it’s important to remain honest with your current partner – whether it’s a serious relationship or not, and with ourselves.  We have to remember that maintaining an unhealthy relationship does not help in not feeling lonely.  Take care of yourself.  ❤



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