While the term dating has many meanings, the most common refers to a trial period in which two people explore whether to take the relationship further towards a more permanent relationship
I got that from Wikipedia.
Now, the term “dating” is one of those terms that people seem to have different meanings for. I sensed this when I was told by a colleague, “Hey, you only live once.! This is your time to have fun! You’re so choosy at this dating thing. Seriously.”
Well, I’m sorry, but if dating means making out with every Tom, Dick and Harry I go to the movies with, then no thanks. *insert appropriate grimace*. I’m particular about those I let into my personal space.
Temporary romantic partners are people we date with no intention of settling down with them. Yep, situations like this exist. They’re even more commonplace than you could imagine.
I was shocked when I had a discussion with a friend and she mentioned the man she was dating. In my typical blunt way, I ask, “Do you see yourself spending your life with him?”
“No”. She says.
I am more shocked, if that’s even possible. “Why are you then dating him for Pete’s sake?” I’m perplexed. She’s pretty, not the kind that lacks male attention.
She gives me that “Don’t probe too much” look. I will not mention what she eventually tells me is her reason for being with him, but it does nothing to ease my perplexity.
It doesn’t help that most people who date in our Universities have no intention of ending up with the person they date. It has a name even. It’s called “school boyfriend or girlfriend”. It’s not supposed to be serious. It seldom leads to marriage; as a matter of fact, of the many school boyfriend/girlfriend situationships I’ve seen, only one has ever led to the altar. Mind you, most of these relationships while they exist, bear every mark of “legally married”, while being everything but. Back in university, we actually had a “couple of the year” award. And no, the nominees and eventual winning couple weren’t married but they played their roles beautifully, playing husband and wife like their calling. That’s how normal it’s become.
Dating should be fun, shouldn’t it?
Of course. But that’s not all there is to it. Unless the world became full of selfish, pleasure seeking millenials while I was asleep. How do you explain dating a girl for years and knowing fully that you do not intend to marry her when you’re ready to settle down but want to have all the “fun” now in bed and out of it?
It’s different for the “modern” folks who believe that sex is like a meal you should eat whenever you feel like and move on. If both parties are aware that they’re being used by the other as a “fuck buddy” and they’re fine with it, then hey, whatever rocks their boat. Check out popular scenarios:
1. Girl and boy meet in uni, and decide to date exclusively. They become intimate by plan or by chance. One of them likes the fun and the ride, but knows he/she would never settle for current partner. Years down the line, one of them walks. Dumpee is shocked and wondering why. Dumper doesn’t give time for the dust to settle. Dumper’s next post on Facebook is a wedding picture.
2. Guy meets a pretty young girl and decides he wants her for his wife. She doesn’t love him but because he seems to hold the key to her family’s financial emancipation, she tells him that she has to finish school before they can take their relationship to the next level. He agrees and trains her through 4, 5, maybe 6 years of University. She has a plan all this time. As soon as she completes her program, she tells him she has no interest anymore(old news!) and takes a walk. *insert nollywood dramatic soundtrack*
3. Girl meets famous guy and falls hard. He has other girls but hey, he’s famous so she should be happy she even gets to be called the “main chick” and hang on bis arm at events. Eventually one of the “side chicks” bears him a kid and he has to let main chick go so as to do right by his child. Of course she goes. She must have known that with his roving eyes, their relationship was even less than temporary.
It all boils down to using people and loving things. We love what we can get from people: fame, financial security, perhaps even love(in some weird situations) , but we cruelly use the people themselves to get these things.
Ours is a generation of selfish and myopic cowards, pardon my French. Wanting everything but too lazy to get it the right way, and blaming everyone but ourselves when things go wrong.
Having fun with friends is a great way of building a solid support system, and by all means, experience all there is to experience. As long as it doesn’t end up with you having the body count of a public toilet, or a litany of broken relationships to spice up stories for your future grandkids. You don’t have to be your own Guinea pig. Learning from other people’s mistakes is usually the best way to gather experience without actually living the experiences.
The problem? We don’t stand for anything anymore, and so we fall for anything. If we weren’t such shallow minded pleasure seekers, we would “guard our hearts with all diligence”. Whatever then manages to get in, would be real.
The time to walk is before someone’s heart gets too emotionally invested
Be open and communicative! That way you know just where you’re headed in the relationship and you know when to stop the charade(if there is one)
Stop being a doormat and hoping your partner will change if you do this or that better. He/she probably won’t. Save yourself the hurt down the line and take a walk before you become too invested.
If you’re looking to “forever” and your significant other is looking to “live the moment”, you might just need to develop those leg muscles. Take a long walk.
I’m hardly qualified to speak on relationship matters, but these are truths that people are ignorant of in the search for love or anything that resembles it. The loveless world we live in makes people cling to unhealthy relationships that do far more harm than good.
Don’t cling to shit. It will only make you smelly. Don’t be shit either. You’ll only be flushed down.