Dating Strangers: Is It Love or Is It Tolerance?

“People are creatures of habit; Study their habits, not their words.”
– Me

Do you know why you date? Do you know HOW you date? More importantly, do you know WHO you’re dating? Do you have expectations or intentions? The jewel is in the perspective, not the other way around. My perspective is when you have expectations, you date with a checklist in mind. When you’re of pure intentions, you’re curious. You’re open to more possibilities. You’re open to learning about this person. Of course, once you get to a certain age or point in your life, you are definitely dating with the long haul in mind – but you know it HAS to be the right person. The curiosity is in the admiration of the person. The expectations come in the admiration of the position.

 

Can I love you or can I tolerate you?

In a time where people have checklists and debates over how to have uniformity in dating, daily, I’ve realized most people are in search of toleration. The process doesn’t seem like it’s nearly geared to REALLY getting to know each other anymore. It’s mostly the effect of social media. I’m not one of these people who just blame everything on social media, hate it so much… but never stay off of it tho. Social media, for all of its gifts and curses, crippled the human experience. One of the most crucial parts of the human experience is the development of instincts. With people spending the least amount of time in front of people, around people, literally talking to people… GETTING TO KNOW PEOPLE… than ever before… developing instincts have suffered. The domino effect now is that “checklists” have become how people get to know people. But nothing is black and white, right? There’s a nuance in the way your mom tells you “no” that lets you know how much trouble you’re in. There’s nuance in how you shake someone’s hand you love and respect vs someone to who you’re just showing common courtesy. That same type of nuance can only be learned when you really invest time INVESTING in learning a person.

 

“My next relationship is going to be my last”

When a person is dating with expectations, a common practice now is that Woman A is approached by Man A, they laugh and joke for a few weeks, meet up in public or in the house for “quality time”, then whoever has the most admiration for a title starts watching the clock. During those 6 months to a year, the “If a woman/ man really like/love you…” or “A real man/woman would…” bullet points start to become what people build their relationships off of. But how do you get to know a person like that? Not to mention, if I’m a person who doesn’t possess the emotional intelligence or morality to be a good partner, the playbook is on constant display for me to fake it. Your expectations are normally based on time and your admiration is normally for a position. I say position because everyone doesn’t covet the title as much as they covet the weight that usually comes with it. They want the viewing public to see them flourishing in the dating arena. They want to be able to say this person is “Mine” and we do this, we live here, we drive this, we eat here, we vacation here… more than they actually care about the true happiness, chemistry, and familiarity that it takes to be together forever. We’ve gotten to a place where, because of optics and disappointments, people also don’t want to say that they want to be a wife/husband as much anymore. People don’t want to exactly do the work or exactly state what they want their end goal to be! It’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in those positions, nor is it anything wrong with not wanting to be in them, but be honest with yourself and everyone else. Be invested in learning the ins and outs of the person instead of seeing if they check enough boxes to live with so you can get to the finish line by a certain time.

 

“I’m really looking for my soulmate”

I have every intention of marrying the love of my life, expanding my family, and securing our journey financially and emotionally. I have no intention to give that much devotion, blood, sweat, and fears to a stunt double. Meaning, only the woman with the intangibles I need, gets every seed I plan to grow; metaphorically and literally. It’s a cute thing online to watch your partner while they sleep, I watch while you work. I watch while you speak. I watch while I’m not watching. No surveillance needed, I’m so invested in the human experience that I want to learn everything worth learning about the people around me. My laid back style of dating may trigger some, but it’s because I don’t need to micromanage anyone. I don’t need to stalk anyone. People will give you more than enough needed for you to learn them whenever you’re in front of them. I don’t need to follow you, always be up under you, invade you and your friends’ time to learn you. I’m not checking off boxes. I’m learning your fears by looking at what you avoid. I’m learning about your heart by the things you do for people without them asking. I’m learning about your aspirations by the things you’re most likely to do when you have nothing to do. I’m learning about your communication by how well you remember insignificant things I said and how you bring your topics of conversation to me; good or bad. I’m really looking into the frame of an adult finding the girl that lives inside. Was she abandoned or nurtured, was she overly criticized or encouraged, was she taught the value of hard work or the price of things. It’s my most sacred investment into curiosity. I crave the information that wakes you up at night. I think that’s how we should choose life partners, friends, business partners, and associates. As we live on borrowed time there’s nothing better than peace of mind, that only comes when you really know the people you lend that time to. The anxiety people face the most is not knowing the people around them, how those people view and care about them, and their motivations for being around. That’s why studies have shown that anxiety is higher now, the human experience is crippled, and people don’t know if all the jokes they get or the love they get online is sincere. Imagine having those same fears in your own home. A lot of people do because they learned when and where they wanted the home before they truly learned the person they would move in the home with.

Take some time and think about how much of your time getting to know someone was done with texting and social media. Take some time and think about how your partner treats everybody else they say they care about. Take some time and think about what parts of your partner do you love that you can’t explain with a cliche. Take a lot of time and think about what, other than you, makes your partner smile, sad, excited, and worry. How do all of these things align with, not only your goals and needs but your actions? How much about your partner do you really know outside of their dating history and financial situation? Not to discredit anything but you have to pull the layers back to learn people. Once you check those boxes off of requirements, do you just wait on timestamps to know when the next “step” needs to take place or do you really maximize the time? The last thing anyone wants to do is “waste time” with the wrong person but I honestly believe you can’t learn who the right person is without giving enough of the wrong people the right attention. That’s how you learn. It’s called trial and error for a reason.

Just my thoughts.

Travis
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Meet Travis Cochran. The founder of Inspire You University and its lead writer. A fearless and provocative approach to his writing and discussions is what “Trav” prides himself on. Don’t hate him if you disagree with him, he’d much rather you challenge his points, learn together. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

3 Comments
  • Desirae
    Posted at 07:39h, 12 November Reply

    After 12 years of marriage and a recent divorce, I enjoyed your blog. I agree with a lot of what you said, but dating has really changed. Social Media has really messed up courting. People have access to so many other people, there’s no need to interact. People actually do everything online. Talk, argue, fall in love, break up, cheat etc. That’s one of the main reasons why I choose not to respond to DM’s. I’m looking for something with substance. I don’t feel I can meet anyone like that online when you and pretty much be whoever you want to be via the Internet.

  • Anne
    Posted at 14:31h, 31 July Reply

    I needed to read this. You made some great points. Im hoping that now I can actually see what it is Im doing AND the intentions behind them so I then can start learning my dating partners instead of learning how I can secure the title. Thank you for this!

  • Gina
    Posted at 13:38h, 30 July Reply

    I was married for 18 years, and only recently began dating. This article is spot on. Dating nowadays is strange. And though it can be frustrating and a little daunting at times, dating the “wrong” people has been a huge learning and growing experience for me. I have seen things in myself I still need to address and work on, as well as key observations of words and lifestyles not adding up with others. If you are aware, honest, and true, you really start to see a bigger picture beyond a person’s words. I loved this article! Thanks for sharing!

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