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Dating as a Test

“Dating Can Be Hell. Not really. It isn’t hell. It’s a test of belief in oneself.” [link]

First of all, you guys, you need to be reading Please.

Second of all, I fell ridiculously head over heels in love with that statement. I may never have believed something written by a random person so truly and deeply in my soul than that “dating is […] a test of belief in oneself.” Holy shit… if that’s not the absolute truth, I don’t know what’s true anymore. I struggle with my feelings about all parts of relationships, and all of them cause me to test and question parts of who I am. I think that’s a healthy part of a relationship – that part that requires you stretch your limiting beliefs about things like the amount of compromise you can reasonably handle, a fear of vulnerability, and truly opening up enough to be hurt but also enough to really experience love, potentially.

But dating as a test of my belief in myself? Hell yeah! I mean, it’s just perfect. Dating discouragement for me is most deeply experienced when I am not truly myself on a date. Granted, I also haven’t met anyone with whom sparks have flown, but that’s just a matter of statistics. If it were easy to find love, everyone would have it. And we all know that’s not reality. When you use dating as a mirror with which to judge how you feel about yourself when no one else has access to those beliefs and internal thoughts, it’s enlightening.

So… some beliefs in myself I can recall having on some recent dates have included:

  • I am not even close to being smart enough to carry a conversation with this genius;
  • My career path is pathetic. I should have been much more successful by now. I mean, I want to live creatively… why am I still chained to an office?
  • [Related] I’m so boring.
  • I’m talking way too fast. About boring shit. Obviously.
  • I ask to many questions to get to know someone. Wait… why isn’t he asking me any questions.
  • I’m not smart enough about politics {although I worked on the periphery of them for years} to have an intelligent conversation about them.
  • My boobs aren’t big enough for him to be constantly looking at them like that.
  • Ugh… I’m totally filling any silence that even threatens awkwardness with crazy talk. Down right babbling. 
  • I’m so stuck in my ways that I can’t imagine even introducing my dogs to this guy, much less using one cup for both of our toothbrushes!
  • God, I don’t have cable and television is all he wants to talk about. Am I missing out on something important. [Reality: of course not!]
  • I am a sensitive person who makes those around me feel important, and I deserve the same.
  • It’s okay to not feel the chemistry, and it’s okay to not want to waste my own time trying to create it.

In the end, I know that all of this dating – whether it be horrific or not – is all a practice in acceptance, compassion and love. Not just for another human being to whom I may or may not develop a connection. But most importantly for myself. The best dates are of course the ones that end with excited butterflies in the stomach, but I’m satisfied with those dates that end with me walking away knowing that I got to know another human being, that we both tried to put on our best versions of ourselves and we made one another feel noticed. Because we all matter – even to ourselves – whether we go out another time, or not.

And if a first date remains an only date, the acceptance, compassion and love you find for yourself will be there to keep you company on the couch. And that’s damn good enough for me.


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