Dating can be really fun. And exciting. And thrilling. It can make you fall asleep with a silly smile on your face and wake up with that same silly smile plastered, just from the thought of talking to him again. It can give you those delicious butterflies you feel deep in the pit of your belly as your phone dings with a text or you’re walking up to meet him for a date. It can give you inside jokes, silly texts, flirting, and someone to explore who you are with. It can give you awkward first kisses, steamy make out sessions that you never want to end, and someone to share intimate moments and experiences with.
It can give you a better understanding of who you are and what you want. The more you date, the better you are at eliminating the guys you know will be a bad fit, and figuring out exactly what you need from a relationship. It will help you identify your deal breakers and discover what you need from a relationship. I know I need someone I feel safe with, someone I’m comfortable telling my secrets to. Someone who will push me to be better and treats me well. Someone who is smart and funny and loving and honest. Someone who knows how to give me space and hold me close when I need it. Someone who likes to be outside and do things, but is also just as happy snuggling up on the couch with a movie.
Dating will help you take off your romantic, rose-colored glasses and recognize no guy is perfect, Prince Charming (the way the movies tell it, at least) doesn’t exist, but the imperfections and frustrations and the messiness that is merging two lives together is better than any Cinderella story.
But, sometimes, dating is really exhausting. It’s tiring getting to know guy after guy, trying not to put too much hope that something will last but also not wanting to be too guarded with your emotions. Bad dates, bad kisses, bad guys. They are all a part of this game we call dating. It’s exhausting to keep trying, to continuously put yourself out there and meet guys and open your heart up.
Dating can make you crazy. It seems to turn me from a normal, somewhat sane human being to a Crazy version of myself, where I analyze each text message, conversation, glance, and inside joke. I’m a neurotic, anxious person by nature, and dating only seems to exacerbate those feelings. I tell myself to just enjoy the moment and not worry about what might happen weeks or months down the line, but the Crazy is always lingering, always present.
Sometimes, dating breaks your heart. Things don’t work out and that hopefulness you once woke up with has turned to hopelessness. That feeling of “If not him, then who?” That feeling of wondering if there will ever be any other person who gets you like he did. Who makes you as happy as he did. Who you feel as comfortable with as you did with him. Whether the break-up was mutual and peaceful or out of left field and volatile, it’s heartbreaking. It’s defeating. It’s crushing. You wonder how much more of a beating your heart can take, if this is even worth it.
I think it is. It is worth it. Even when it all crumbles in your face and you’re left wondering if you could have tried harder or been better or seen the signs. It’s worth the butterflies. It’s worth the hope. It’s worth the potential.