In which I try to stop faking relationships. Read the other Dating While Weird posts here.
I’m the queen of wishful thinking. Even though I am utterly and hopelessly un-settled-down at the moment, I really want to be settled down. So when I start dating someone, my brain is like, “WOULD HE BE A GOOD HUSBAND,” when it should be more like, “is he a nice guy to spend time with for the moment?” Although I’ve gotten better about this over the years, I’m still…not perfect.
Lately, I’ve been in a streak of 3-month relationships. Seriously, like five in a row. Three months is an appropriate amount of time to get over the honeymoon phase and figure out if we’re actually compatible. And while I’m proud of myself for being decisive and breaking a relationship off when it doesn’t serve me anymore, I can’t help but wonder if I’m a little trigger-happy.
I’ve broken things off for a litany of reasons: incompatible long-term goals, incompatible love languages, not attracted to the person physically, difference in maturity levels…it’s kind of a fine line between decisive and overly picky, but since my divorce four years ago, I’m terrified of “settling”.
I always do this thing where I mentally note all the things that bug me about someone, but mostly spout to my friends the good things. It’s like I’m saving face for him just in case it works out, and so no one can say they told me so when it doesn’t. (As the title suggests, I’m f-f-f-foolin’ myself.) But deep down, I do notice dating red flags and usually have a pretty good feel for whether it’s going to turn into a long-term relationship.
I’ve dated all types of guys – and I really do mean all types – so I don’t think it’s that I’m pigeonholing myself or anything. So what do I do next? Well, I’m going to try not to obsess over my age even though I really ain’t getting any younger, and follow these four simple criteria:
- Does he make me laugh?
- Can we easily have an interesting conversation?
- Are we attracted to each other?
- Does he add to my cup?
Have you heard that analogy that we all have “cups” that can be drained or filled by the interactions we have with other people? For example, if you are a person who values quality time and someone makes plans to see you and then they fall through, it drains your cup a little bit. The lower the level in your cup, the weaker the relationship becomes.
On the other hand if, say, you love to receive little gifts that show the other person is thinking of you, and bae sends you flowers, that adds to your cup. So the moral is that we should do as many things as we can to add to the cups of the people in our lives, rather than take away from them.
So, here goes. I feel pretty confident about my new plan, but wish me luck anyway!