To all the dissatisfied women out there, I hear you, and I feel you. I am one of you. The ambiguity of how dating is supposed to work these days is progressively more confusing with every romantic encounter. There has been a huge, gradual shift over the past few decades, and it’s one where women have generally lost a bit their power. It seems like the gains we’ve made in gender equality are as quantitative as the shift happening with current dating standards. Men are dragging their feet, and women aren’t holding their standards high enough. Both genders are to blame.
Technology advancements also contribute. If you’re single, you probably do the occasional swiping in your rotating dating apps. So even if you’re seeing someone, until it’s an official “thing”, you’re still browsing options. And it’s no secret, so it makes us all feel a little more insecure and anxious in relationships. It also gives us a little bit of dating ADD. The competition is real, but I digress.
Notice how I did not say that men are the only ones who do this. Because I do believe women and men are more similar than they are different. But there is one important difference I have come to find, and it’s that men and women don’t fall in love in the same manner. Women don’t need a commitment to be in love, but the only way you will know if a man loves you is if he is committing.
Many women have gone from being more committed to their commitment standards, to super passive. It’s gone so far left. Modern dating captioned “Netflix and chill” has sent us on a pathway to the death of romantic dates, and the new vague era of “just hanging out.” This could refer to one date or an entire relationship. In general, our standards as women have lowered, because we are receiving so little. On the other hand, we aren’t inspiring anything to change.
By “inspire”, I do not mean being successful, beautiful, independent, kind, and checking off a list of criteria that we think every man has in his head that makes up a quality woman. What I am referring to is the lack of challenge presented to men. Love is something that must be inspired. That doesn’t mean pressuring a man, and it also doesn’t mean being in a causal relationship for months, hoping it grows from that, and thinking that’s the only path to take. It means simply communicating and sticking to your standard. And if he’s not with it, let him walk. Goodnight sir.
Now, this is how you find out the truth, and save your time. It’s like you’re on your own dating express train. No, it doesn’t make you demanding or desperate. It makes you a balanced and confident person who won’t settle, and probably more attractive because of that. And I know it’s hard because there are tons of women out there willing to settle that men can pick from. But, who really wants to be a dime a dozen, right?
The change starts with you, so be the seed of change. And do what women are biologically meant to do, be the selector, and let men compete for you! But you won’t have the time to do that if you’re busy settling for some guy who “is just looking for casual right now” and would rather spend a night in with his video game then plan out any sort of thoughtful evening for you.
Us ladies in general, have got to do better at drawing a line in the sand, that line being who WE are and what WE want. And this must be done in the very beginning. It can’t be after you’ve already slept with him. It can’t be 6 months after a casual relationship. It needs to be at the forefront of conversation with every potential person. Unless, of course, you don’t mind him seeing you and other women at the same time. And I have no judgment to those who do. Be mindful that this article is for the women who don’t. It’s my theory that most of us don’t and are just pretending because it’s what we feel like we must do to not be “too intense”, and we don’t.
Back in our parents and grandparents time, if a woman wanted a man to fall in love with her, she knew she could not sleep with him until he offered some form or hint of commitment. Nowadays, sex right at the beginning is super common, but unfortunately, that’s just not the way men are designed to fall in love. It was the same back then, and the same is true now. In our minds, we think sex isn’t really a big deal and doesn’t make a difference. And it doesn’t after you’ve built something. I know there are exceptions, but I am speaking about the mass. This mindset has gotten us into primarily casual dating territory, and borderline polyamory.
I like to think of a relationship like a garden. Plants have a great purpose and potential to produce oxygen, but they can’t be successful if the balance is not in sync. For things to grow, many elements need to be in order. The environment represents the circumstance. The weather represents timing. The soil represents a foundation. The seed represents an inspiration for things to begin. The sun is a representation of energy needed.
If there’s too much rain, the plant can drown before it is ever able to be touched by the sunlight. Or, if the roots of the plants aren’t covered, the soil which gives water to it won’t be able to reach it all. It’s all about a balance. And when planting a garden, the very first thing initiated is the foundation on which it grows in. In dating, that foundation is a common truth, and it must exist first. We build foundations on shared goals, trust, honesty, and clarity. So, if you aren’t being honest with yourself, it’s a faulty foundation to start. And if you don’t start with a foundation at all and throw your plant into the rain, it won’t survive, and what you want is a [insert favorite flower here.]