I’m tired of contemporary dating—quick, easy, convenient, swipe left, swipe right. We judge someone’s character by a picture on a four-inch screen. We jump from person to person, never satisfied. We buy into the hookup culture, thinking that people only want us for our bodies, for what we can give. So we give and give and just end up empty.
We don’t know how to love anymore. We think that love is returned text messages, romantic kisses, a little effort, and someone who doesn’t try to sleep with us on the first date.
We skip past the butterflies, the nervous dinners, and the awkward should-we-kiss-or-not moments. We don’t get to know people, really know them. Know the way their nose crinkles when they laugh, what gets them fired up, the way they like their eggs, or their favorite quote.
We don’t take the time to understand the inner workings of one another’s minds, the quirks, the interactions that make the relationship truly special.
We see each other’s bodies before we know each other’s hearts. Then we frantically work backwards, trying to make up for all we’ve lost.
Dating has become this terrain to navigate. And love is this glorified, semi-unrealistic thing we fall into by accident. We’re supposed to weed out people that aren’t compatible and not looking for the same things, and somehow in all that mess, we’re supposed to find ‘the one.’ This lover who will complete us, melt into our lives in all the right ways.
But love isn’t like that.
There isn’t this magical man or woman who will complete us, whose heart will fully interweave with ours without conflict or doubt. We don’t just find this person—there is no perfect person.
People are flawed and difficult. Even in the most wonderful person, there will be ways he/she doesn’t measure up. Our relationships will still be challenging, frustrating, and downright hard. So we can’t expect this ideal because it will pull us away, keep us wishing for something we’ll never find.
We need to stop chasing this idea that there’s a ‘Mr/Miss Right’ out there. We need to quit bringing one another’s faults into the light. We need to stop seeing people as stepping stones to our ‘one true love’. And we need to stop giving ourselves away to people who don’t deserve us, just because we’re trying to desperately to fall in love.
Love isn’t found on a phone screen, or in the small-talk on a date. It isn’t found bouncing from person to person, from seeing someone’s naked body.
It isn’t found by chasing perfection. Because perfection isn’t real.
Love and perfection are two different things. Love is real. Finding someone who will drive you crazy, but still make your life wonderful—that’s real. Learning someone’s inner fears, discovering what makes them laugh, finally working up the courage to kiss them—that’s real.
That’s what dating and what love are supposed to be about: finding a person whose mind and heart connect with yours in strange, fun, new, and flawed ways.
Finding something real. Something beautiful, rather than perfect.