Like every other twenty-something on the planet, I’m trying my best to navigate through the hook-up culture but also find my “soulmate,” the “one,” etc (or let them find me, whatever). Now, I’d like to point out that while I don’t participate in the hook-up culture, it does affect me.
I’m not one to sleep with someone just for the sake of sex, although I can’t deny I haven’t entertained the thought of being with someone just for the night. However, I’m also super type A, with a tendency of being extra pre-cautious, and I ultimately decided (for many different reasons) that being physically intimate with someone who I don’t actually care about is not something I want to engage in because the risks outweighed the potential benefits.
Now, this puts me in a predicament since I don’t put myself out there as much other twenty-somethings because I’ve gotten my heart broken in the past, multiple times I might add. And I have a track record for getting friend-zoned. Or worse: ignore-her-until-she-goes-away-zoned.
Of course some heartbreaks hurt worse than others, but still, I can’t deny the sting that I feel every time a guy says something along the lines of : “Oh…I mean, I think you’re very intelligent, and really kind. You’re a great girl who’s always willing to help people in need, without ever asking anything in return!…But I’ve just never thought of you like…you know, like that! And don’t get me wrong, I mean, you’re cool and all…I’m just not…attracted to you…and in any case, I’m not ready for a relationship.”
Then he talks about how he has to focus on work/school/whatever goals he’s pursuing, how he doesn’t have time, yada-yada-yada. And it’s funny how they all seem to say the same things. Is there some book out there that guys reference when rejecting a girl?
And that’s great. I mean, really. Anytime I’ve fallen for a guy, whether he’s an alpha or a beta, there’s a few commonalities: they’re goal-driven, they’re kind, they love their families, they treat women well, they’re serious when they need to be, etc. I suppose that’s appealing to me because I view myself the same way, and obviously qualities I value. But clearly, there must be something about me that’s not appealing to them, or else, I would probably at least had one real (read: normal/semi successful) relationship by now.
Of course, there’s no timeline to life, but one can’t help but feel pathetic sometimes. Now, if there’s one thing I’ve prided myself on, it’s that I’ve never been on the rebound. Ever. Like ever. I know, you’re probably reading this and rolling your eyes, but it’s true. I know what it feels like to be someone’s rebound/second option/safe option/last option/etc, and the thought of doing that to someone simply devastates me. I doubt I’d be able to live with myself if I ever did that to someone, especially since it’s happened to me on many accounts.
But after my most recent heartbreak, I thought “Okay, Saher, if a guy isn’t treating you the way you want to be treated, if a guy isn’t willing to date you, why don’t you just date yourself?” I came across a bunch of articles saying that dating yourself is important because you need to get to know yourself and your interests, so you know what you’d want from a guy. In my case, I didn’t care so much about what I wanted in a guy-I knew that already, but more so, what I wanted for myself, who I wanted to be.
I had a pretty toxic relationship in college that left me emotionally damaged for years..something I’m just recently getting over, and even then, I can’t say I’ve completely recovered. I felt like I lost myself. And when I was finally starting to heal, when I finally felt I could let someone in again, I dealt with rejection yet again and quite frankly, I thought I was the biggest loser on the planet. And the saddest part was, I was so ready to finally go on a date after a really long time, only to find out, no one really wanted to go on a date with me.
Anyway, I decided that if a guy wasn’t going to take me out to the movies or go eat chicken wings with me, I would do it myself. Who needs a guy anyway? If you’re wondering why I didn’t just take my girls with me, it’s because after college, all my best friends are scattered across the great state of Texas, not to mention we’re all extremely busy, so hanging out by myself was my only real option.
But to my surprise, I’m a pretty cool person to hang out with! I went to the movies, bought a bucket of unlimited popcorn and didn’t even have to share! I went out for fro-yo afterwards and didn’t have to worry about a guy judging my yogurt to topping ratio. I didn’t have to worry about having to hurry back or having to think about someone else’s schedule. All I had to do was enjoy myself. And it hit me…that’s what dates are about anyway!
I know it’s probably old-fashioned to say this, but to me, dates are still about having a good time with the person you’re spending said time with-whether you get laid at the end of the night or not. They’re about appreciating qualities that another person has, thus, learning to appreciate that person along the way as well.
Dating myself is great because I can plan my escapades and just go do what I want to do. Exploring museums, local attractions of the city I live in, watching movies, hiking, trying new restaurants, you name it. Dating another person can be exciting, don’t get me wrong (although I can’t really say anything due to lack of experience) but dating yourself can be quite rewarding too.
And best part of rebounding by dating yourself is it that you know you’re going to do something you genuinely enjoy. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about your date not showing up or them judging what you’re wearing or how much you’re eating. When you’re rebounding by dating yourself, you just show up and have a good time. And the best part is, no one gets hurt in the process. In fact, it helps you heal in a way that’s unimaginable. This much I can vouch for.