sadie's soapbox: dating.



disclaimer: my intention for this post is not to make you feel bad for doing any of these things. we all do them. i do them. but i've been more aware of these things as of late. and as most of you know, when something is on my mind for a while, i post about it. and it seems like every so often i need to just rant about dating. 

dating stinks. 

before you go all, "sadie, you'll get married one day" on me; just stop. that's not what this is about. right now i want you to remember for a minute the time that you were looking for your eternal roommate and you were stuck in the game.

the game. 
dating is such a game. 
and not only that, it's the WORST kind of game to be playing. 

there are lots of different players and pieces to this game. 
the players:
- the chased: always seem to be dating someone. but yet also seem to always have someone ready if it doesn't work out with their current main squeeze.
- back burners: guys or girls who are always there when the chased get bored or are simply between relationships.
- zoners: these are folks that have been pushed right into the friend zone. they come into play whenever the back burners deem necessary; usually right after the chased has dropped them (again) for someone new or even someone old.
- the chasers: these are folks that just chase whatever and whomever comes their way. they're itching to be in a relationship and will take whatever they can get. 
- the inquirers. these people aren't even in the game, but if you so much as post a picture with someone from the opposite sex on Facebook, you can expect questions like, "who is _____?", "are you dating?", "do you like him/her?" etc. 

the pieces: 
[now, for a lot of you married folks there are a few new pieces added to the game.]
- snapchat. the ten second carrier pigeon. send quick messages that disappear after ten seconds tops. 
- texting. It's easier to text than to call.
- hanging out. you can hang out with other friends of the opposite sex, right? it's not a big deal. plus then you can spend time with other people without the guilt of being unfaithful (not that it matters because you're "not dating" anyway!)

the main advertising campaign for the dating game marketers is, "the less commitment, the better!" and it seems like young adults are clinging to this game with the effort that could easily be channeled into a real relationship with promise. 

at some point in our lives, i feel like each one of us is every single one of these players. recent players in the dating game use most, if not all, of the pieces. and i'm going to be super real right now. 

it's ridiculous. 

why can't we be honest in our relationships? why can't we have commitment in our relationships? 

earlier i said that this is the worst type of game to play. and i meant it. it's the worst because it's not just getting to the LIFE mansion last. it's not just going around the Monopoly game board until you get tired of playing. it's not just getting to the Candyland monster and having to go back a few spaces. it's not just missing a few jump shots and spelling out HORSE. these are real life people with real life feelings. it's not entertainment. 

- if you don't want to date someone, then don't. 
- if you like someone or are interested in getting to know them, ask them on a REAL date. but don't get upset or take it personally if they don't want to go on a second date. 
- if you're lucky enough to have more than one person wanting to date you exclusively and you can't decide-- take a step back from the situation and make a choice. but once you've made your choice, stick with it. allow the other person to move on. "choose your love, love your choice." {president thomas s. monson}
- if you're the unlucky one that wasn't chosen in that group: move on. "you'll never stop loving someone you've loved more than your whole life. but you move on. you have to move on." - Cal Lightman, Lie to Me.
- if you think you can date someone, break up, and then remain friends... you're wrong. both parties need time after a break up. no matter what either person says or how long they dated. even in cases where it was a "mutual decision," loss is still loss and it still hurts. treat yo self and allow yourself to move on before you try the "friend" thing again. otherwise you'll be stuck in a whirlpool of suckage. 
- non-comittal make-out sessions aren't a thing. making out (or passionate kissing) releases oxytocins- bonding chemicals in your body- and you bond with the person that you're "not committed to" or "just kissing." 

while i'm on my soapbox, i might as well get a few more things off my chest. 
1. dating for more than 6 months is okay. do i think you should wait 7 years for common law to kick in before you decide whether or not to get hitched? no, but 7 months is not that long in the grand scheme of things. things that matter usually take some time. there's no need to rush something that you want to last for forever. 
2. dating IS hard. being single IS hard. if every once in a while one of your friends needs to have a pity party, let them. be there for them. but after a little while, tell them to put their big kid undies on and enjoy life again. 
3. sometimes *cough* most of the time *cough* people don't like being set up. these types of dates can be SO awkward. people usually set other people up with friends that they know and love already-- despite their quirks. however, the person actually going on the date may not find their quirks quite as charming or "cute". be aware of the personality filter. please don't get me wrong-- personality can boost a 4 to a 9 on the Richter scale, but don't try to force someone to see your 9 when all they can see is the 4. don't try to force something that you think would be great.
4. when dating doesn't yield the desired results and someone continues to live their life (go to school, get a job, travel, etc.), don't assume they've given up on marriage.
5. if someone chooses to take a break from the dating scene, respect that. i'll sound like a broken record, i'm not scared: DATING IS HARD.
6. jokes hurt sometimes. odds are, you're not the only one making the jokes. and after a while, they get old. 
7. questions about someone's dating life are actually kind of personal. how would you feel if people were constantly asking about your relationship struggles with your spouse? if someone wants to share something like that with you, they will. i promise that they'll be much more excited to share and a lot less awkward if they come to you with the news-- good or bad. be interested in the rest of their life and not just their dating life. (secret: they'll probably share more of their dating life if you're interested in the rest of their life too.)

dating is great. dating can be fun! i'm a huge advocate of dating! i LOVE love. i'm a full believer in marriage and family. but i'm not a believer in games. so let's just quit with the games, yeah?

*steps off soapbox & drops mic*