Photo by Emily Long
One night over cocktails, a dear friend of mine who is now married was reminiscing about his once very single life to my BFF and me. “I look at dating like it’s a sports season. Summertime is always game time. And winter time is the time to settle down until game time comes around again.”
I don’t personally look at dating the same way. I look at dating the same way I look at a deck of cards: when presented with a hand, you have the opportunity to either pass, hit, stay or double down. Call it “living in the moment”, if you will.
One day on my way to work, Jigga Man’s “Girls Girls Girls” played in my earphones, and I couldn’t help but notice how it summed up what single life is all about these days – or in other words, and the easiest way for our generation (Y) to understand it: the juggling act.
The word “dating” has significantly lost its value in the last decade, if you ask me. When I was in college, the stages were “talking” to “seeing each other” to “dating exclusively.” Now, the world of dating entails too many men continuing to “play the game.” Some still wait three days to text back (this is so early 2000s, FYI). Some don’t wait even a matter of seconds to begin contact (beware). For some time, I kept the late-20s age group around because they always tried a wee bit harder to impress a slightly older woman. And once you’re “dating” someone in your same age bracket, you start to wonder if perhaps there’s something wrong with both of you, and that’s exactly why you’re both still single.
But we play along, and date them all. Simultaneously. You juggle. Double fist. Double dip. You get the point. But it’s okay, because you’re single and the whole point of dating is for you to figure out what you like and what you want. Or rather, what you don’t want. And you can’t feel bad about getting to know a few good people, especially since all of them are going to fulfill a different need/want. (Ha, look at that, “all of them,” as if I have a whole football team of options.)
In this day and age, multitasking is the norm. By now, in the world of singledom, we should all be professional jugglers. But wait, there’s more. While you think you’re “filling the funnel” so as not to put too much importance on any one prospect, you could end up distracting yourself with the wrong people while the right guy is right there if you could just let yourself see him. Yet, it’s a double-edged sword, because how will you know you have the right guy without going through a few wrong ones?
Let’s face it. At the end of the day, we all are in love with the idea of being in love. Even if you’ve had a sneak preview, we desire that eternal, happy, butterflies in my stomach, shaking me to my core (yes, that was a Sex and the City reference), feeling. Even if only for a moment. That’s why we must always be honest with ourselves, and with others. Because you don’t want to end up giving the wrong play to the right card.