I Never “Dated”

Over the years I have seen a lot of books, articles, comments and videos (not to mention all the songs, podcasts, etc.) about men and women’s failed attempts at dating. Someone is always dumped, cheated on, brushed off, ridiculed or never given a chance. They may encounter (or become) chronic daters who go through dates like they’re eating peanuts. Grab one, crack open the shell, eat up all the good stuff and then throw it away. The process is insane. And while some may enjoy such a lifestyle there are bound to be people on the other side of the coin that don’t.

Some people I have known have said that dating is the best way to meet new people and that one of them could be “the one.” Sorry, but I never bought into that. If you have to go through half of the men or women in your town and waste several years of your life trying to find love without success, and the only solution is to keep going the same way you’ve been going, then there is something seriously wrong. The system is broken.

For me it took  a good five years of yearning at the fishing hole and thinking I had the wrong bait before I realized that I wasn’t even trying to catch anything. I had looked around, assessed the little dating pool in my (tiny) town and found nothing. Nothing for me, anyway. So I finally just packed up my gear, sat back and started watching people. I watched through high school, the three years that  I was in college, and while I worked outside of college.

The process wasn’t easy. In fact, it was real tough at times, but it was worth it. Watching other people in their relationships and how they interacted gave me a solid idea of what kind of relationship I wanted. And in the meantime, I was able to work on building a relationship with the most important person in my life: Me.

The most important lesson I have to offer is that before we can find love on the outside we have got to find love on the inside. Otherwise whatever love we try to give will be tainted by whatever bitter seeds are planted inside. And be patient. It took 22 years to decide I was ready for love, but once I decided guess how long it took before I met my husband: two weeks. Now we’ve been together for almost three years and we’ve never had a serious argument. We have a beautiful baby girl. We have a solid relationship, and that’s worth every moment of self-discovery.


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