Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The TRUTH about dating

There is SO much that dating has been teaching me over these last few months and I thought that I would share some of what I've learned with those who would like a different perspective. This summer I turned 31 (yes, I know but it is true, I am 31) and I felt like I needed to make a decision of either staying in my young single adult ward or to "graduate" and try the mid-singles ward. That was kind of a big deal because it felt like there was NO going back. I did make the decision to attend the mid-singles ward and it has been just fine. Nothing like I had pictured of being approached right off the bat and being asked out because I have heard stories haha...

1. We all have the same basic needs and wants which are to be loved and to have a family.
2. Our lives don't always happen the way we planned or hoped. Some don't get married until later in life or some experience marriage but then get divorced..
3. The age limit for my ward is 31-45 and I thought about how those who don't get married before they are too old to be in the ward must feel having to leave..
4. Dating is most likely difficult for ALL of us!!
5. Being yourself is the best thing you can do. Your date will either like you and appreciate you for it or they won't so just be you.
6. It's ok if you don't get asked out on a second date because there will be others who will ask you out.
7. Our confidence as well as our comfort level with dating grows the more we go on dates.
8. Being open to those who ask you out on dates provides you with variety. How do you really know what you are looking for or who the Lord wants you to be with? Maybe your future spouse has already been married or has children. Limiting your options might not be such a great thing.
9. Be patient with others as well as yourself in the dating process.
10. Be BOLD!! Take some risks. It is empowering and feels good to see what is possible and can happen if you just take a risk.
11. Put some trust in the other person. Scary I know but necessary to have a relationship.
12. Try to not think the worst. Be positive.
13. We all make mistakes in dating and in life but what's important is learning from them.
14. Sometimes you get caught off guard by your own feelings for someone because you weren't expecting to feel the way that you do. Don't let fear be in control and don't run away! Embrace what you feel and the possibilities.
15. It is far better to talk about what you are feeling/thinking with someone you have been going out with on multiple dates and want to have something more with them than to keep it to yourself.
16. Dating helps you to figure out what you want and need in someone. Those who don't pursue you fall away and leave those who remain. From those who remain you can figure out what to pursue if anything.
17. Being respectful of your date is important. Dress nice, look your best, put on your listening ears and make your date feel good. They are probably just as nervous as you are and have probably had their own struggles with dating. Why not make the dating experience a little bit easier on them and help each other on your dating journeys?
18. There is a silver lining in everything and everything serves a purpose!

A few other things that I have learned that I wanted to expand upon are for starters:

This quote is TRUE!!! I've been able to find people who are open to hearing what I have to say and they are understanding. It is so refreshing and nice to know that I don't have to pretend to be someone I am not or who I think they want me to be. I have chosen to simply be myself and it feels good to be true to who I am. Not only does that feel good but being able to see how people like me for just being me is awesome! Why do we try to be anybody but ourselves? Simply be you and you will be SO much happier!

This picture I find to be hilarious! haha...I have found that there are guys that I am interested in and why not go after what it is I want? You never know what can happen so go for it! There is nothing wrong with having confidence in yourself and taking risks. Some guys need to be pushed a little because they are just as unsure or scared as you. The worst thing that can happen is that it won't work out or whatever but that makes room for what is RIGHT and what is meant to be!
I have met an amazing man who has taught me a lot. He takes life by the horns and enjoys it to the fullest with an awesome attitude. One of the things that he has taught me is to speak up. If there is something that I desire he encourages me to speak up and let him know. He cares how I feel and wants to know my opinion. How often do we keep our desires to ourselves because we are afraid or not confident? So try to speak up more. Of course do it tactfully and with wanting appropriate things haha...When you truly find people who let you be you and don't mind what you say it really is a great feeling!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dating laid bare

This summer my dating life really took off through a fun little phone app called Tinder. Yes, you heard right. I decided to give it a try since I was not having any luck being asked out otherwise. I decided that I had to take dating into my own hands and do something because doing nothing just wasn't working. Joining tinder was one of the best decisions that I've made and yet one of the worst all at the same time! How can it be the best and the worst decision you ask? Well for starters getting back into dating scared me and I felt totally clueless as to how dating even worked anymore! So I began my journey on tinder by swiping left and right to my hearts content and I was discovering that I was making matches. Guys were actually wanting to get to know me! Success! Followed by...a large gulp.

Soon after making matches I got asked out on my first date in years. I was excited yet nervous all at once. The date itself actually went a lot better than I expected it to haha...This pleased me. Before I knew it I was going on at least one date a week sometimes more. With each date I gained a little bit more confidence in myself and my ability to feel comfortable with complete strangers improved. With practice dating was actually a little fun! Who knew? If nothing happens romantically you at least have some new friends :) I have never been on so many dates with so many different people in my entire life. Quantity really isn't important to me by any means, it has just surprised me how many dates that I have been on in just a few months.

Now dating has presented its challenges for me but somehow I doubt that I am the only one who has experienced this.  Seriously, I can't be the only one who has experienced hiccups with dating am I right? Who wants to be vulnerable and put themselves out there with the risk of being hurt? It's totally natural to want to protect yourself from others hurting you as well as protecting yourself from yourself. But not letting your guard down only gets you so far...so your choice is to stay put in your comfort zone or to take a risk..Not going to lie taking risks is not my strong suit. I know that I can take risks but do I like taking them? Mmm...no. Do I want someone to know me and love me for who I am? Of course the answer is yes. Everyone has the same basic needs and wants and a BIG one is to feel loved. How can we receive this basic need if we aren't willing to be vulnerable? We can't! See the predicament? In the words of Liz Lemon,
" Blurgh." So I've been practicing taking risks. Letting people in. Letting them see and know who I am..the good, the stuff you don't want to be seen in the light of day, the insecurities...Laying yourself bare literally leaves you feeling naked! There's nothing to hide behind, it's just you standing there exposed. Here is your chance to see how the other person will react to your risk..your "nakedness". Pushing yourself to be outside of your comfort zone is uncomfortable. Staying outside of your comfort zone takes courage! But anyway, I've been learning that being vulnerable and striving to live outside of my comfort zone are NOT bad things. Here are some awesome quotes:
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Lastly, I wanted to share that boy does dating teach you a lot about yourself as well as others. It has helped me to figure out that I am trying to bridge the person who I once was when I last dated (8 years ago!) to the person that I currently am.  Dating has also helped me to know what I want in someone as well as what I need. You are going to make mistakes and have "freak outs" but what is important is how to bounce back from them. Finding someone who understands and listens to you through these kinds of moments is truly a wonderful thing. It makes the risks, vulnerability, and nakedness feel worth it. My journey with dating is no where near over and I know that it will continue to teach me life lessons that will shape me and get me that much closer to the things that I desire. So even though dating sometimes stinks there is always a silver lining! Happy dating to you all! We are all in this together just like the high school musical song :) haha...