For all my early 20-something girlfriends — in whom I see a stark resemblance to my friends and myself — single, living in the big city, and putting ourselves through the emotional roller coaster of dating, this is what I wish I figured out sooner rather than later.
Dating can be fun. Dating can be lots of fun, when you figure out how to do it properly.
It’s easy to convince yourself that the person you like actually really likes you — even though you’re the one who’s constantly trying to make plans, the one going to him first, finding stupid excuses to text him when he hasn’t contacted you in a few days. Maybe if you bring him to sports games, buy him drinks at the bar when you’re out, show him how cool a chick you are that you have a ton of friends and are involved in so many things, he’s finally going to get it. But he doesn’t. Sometimes, what you need to see is him picking up another girl at the bar and once again, you’re going home alone at the end of night, making a 2am visit to the bodega for snacks and sitting on your condo floor crying to your roomie.
Then you have an epiphany, (you may have to rinse and repeat this process a few more times until you do) if he wanted to be with you, HE WOULD BE WITH YOU.
It’s really that simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re a male or female, it applies to both. When you’re really interested in someone and start falling in that crazy thing called love, you just become so excited to see them. You go out of your way to try and make time for them, and do super fun things with them, all the while walking the fine line of not giving away too much too soon. At this point, you know your value and your worth. You know that you’re pretty awesome and that person figures out that it’s going to be pretty awesome to be with you.
Things are easy, they’re not complicated. You both seem to be on the same page. Then, once a week hang outs turn into two or three. He’s coming down every Friday night and you’re getting into the dating routine. You don’t have to over-analyze or make reasons for why he doesn’t do “boyfriend-like” things, you just let each other be. Then all of a sudden, even without a conversation, you’re calling the other person your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Not to say that relationships don’t take work, they do. Even when you go over a year without an argument, it’s about compromise and small sacrifices when you begin sharing your life with someone else. Your personal goals may not align with your partner, someone may have to give more than the other. But because your relationship was built on the mutual foundation of both wanting to be with the other, it doesn’t seem like sacrifices or compromises, you’re building a life together.
Then, three years later, after the inevitable ups and downs, you’re the best of friends, crazy in love and so excited to see each other at the end of the day. The best part of your week is the nights you get to spend with them. It’s not every night, they’re not your whole life. But they’re definitely one of the best parts.
And they will be with you.