Dating. The idea of it might bring excitement to some but most people hear that evil word and feel instant stress. These days, dating itself seems almost obsolete. People don’t like to use that specific term anymore because it sounds too formal. Everyone is scared of the commitment that might be attached to a simple word like “dating”, so instead we blanket the phrase and use less aggressive pseudonyms. We call it “talking”, or “chilling”, or “Netflix and Chilling”, or “hanging out”. We bury our feelings and pretend like we don’t care, all the while caring just as much as any generation probably did before us.
But we don’t admit it. We wonder and we worry and we analyze, trying to figure out if that person actually likes us back. Instead of admitting it or saying we’re dating, we act like we’re super chill when in fact, we’re driving ourselves crazy wondering what the next step could possibly be. Will this become something or are they just interested in hooking up? Do they actually think I’m attractive or are they just saying that because it’s cuffing season? How will we know or decide when we’re more than just hanging out? Calm the fuck down and relax for a second, your questions are out of control.
Your questions are legit, though. But they only exist because you allow them to exist. In trying to be chill and not care, you have given off the impression that maybe you don’t. The other person probably thinks you’re cool with what you’ve got going on because you ACT like you’re cool with what you’ve got going on. The other person may also be wondering about the same questions as you are, but together you have formed a dangerous precedent and now neither of you wants to be the first to cross that line into the other dimension.
It’s time to realize that whatever you call it, it is something. If you’ve been talking, and chilling, and kissing then it’s most likely not nothing. So, if you’ve actually found a person who makes you happy then maybe stop and chill for a second to figure out what your game plan is. Stop acting chill and actually calm down. Jumping on the old hamster wheel and driving yourself crazy with what-ifs is not going to get you anywhere and neither will standing back and waiting for them to make the move into relationship territory.
Back in the day, dating was a long process. It took time for people to make plans to get together and it took many dates (cough, hang outs) for them to actually get to know one another. Now, we want things fast. We want things to happen quickly and if they don’t we dispose and move on. We don’t want to get hurt but we also don’t want to wait, so instead we become impatient and convince ourselves that if we’re not “official” after a few hang outs then it must not be going anywhere at all.
Chill. Chill. Chill. Take two giant steps backwards and chill. Dating (or whatever the fuck you want to call it) is not supposed to be a quick process. It takes a while to get to know someone and decide if you actually like them and if they’re right for you. It takes time to open up your heart and find deeper feelings than the lust and infatuation everyone seems to be chasing. We say we want love but we really just want a quick fix of endorphins that boost us up and make us giddy. If you actually want something deeper than a winter-time-cuddle-buddy then, I’m sorry to break it to ya, but it might take some time. It might take some effort. It might take some confidence in yourself and some deep breaths when you’re feeling insecure because it’s most likely not going to be quick and easy.
When it comes to dating, it’s time to have fun again and let time work its magic. It’s time to move away from the labels that you feel you so desperately need and instead start enjoying the person in front of you. Instead of driving yourself crazy wondering what the future might hold, it’s time to realize what dating actually is; it’s getting to know someone and allowing them to get to know you. It’s finding yourself in that person and navigating your feelings together. It’s not about rushing or pressure or titles or giving up because it’s moving slower than you would like. Dating should be fun. It should be exciting and it should make you a bit uneasy at times because when you actually like someone, you care if they care about you. Stop running from your feelings, stop holding back and pretending like you don’t care, stop rushing. Be open, be honest, let the cards fall as they may, and most of all just chill.