A girlfriend posed this question as we discussed matters of the heart. She said she might end things with the man who held hers. Since it had long been in his possession and he didn’t seem to know what to do with it, she was preparing to utter a final goodbye.
But… “Who wants to date anymore?” she asked. “You should blog about that. Men know what we want. Why don’t they just give us what we want?”
Agreed. I want men to give us what we want and their noncompliance baffles and frustrates me – but that’s a post for another day. I’ll tackle the first question because it’s easiest.
So, who wants to date at this point in our lives?
That’s easy: no one. There may be married people who think they’re missing out, or the occasional single who prefers adventure to intimacy, but most people who’ve been single longer than thirty seconds are over the dating scene.
Meeting new people and learning their preferences, pet peeves, and quirks can be over or underwhelming depending upon the individual. And that’s assuming you make it that far. You may be only one week into unpacking their personality before you decide it’s someplace you’d prefer not to visit, let alone live.
I don’t want to date my future husband. I want us to just be. I want to skip past any awkwardness, learning one another, wondering where it’s going… and just be.
Too bad it doesn’t work that way. And really, do we want it to? In our rush to be instantly in sync, we’d also skip the excitement of dressing for a first date, the butterflies of a first kiss, and that satisfying sigh that accompanies the thought that this could actually be something.
That’s the fun, romantic stuff. When people say their relationships are boring, they usually mean they no longer feel the way they did during this blissful stage. Yet we want to bypass it to achieve the instant comfort of coupledom.
I suppose if you’re not a sucker for romance, that sweet argument I just made did nothing for you. So let’s be practical. Who wants to go through the trouble of learning someone new when you’re comfortable with the one you know?
Well, no one – if you’re content. But rather than asking who wants to date, maybe we should ask who’s content. By content I mean feeling fulfilled, the opposite of that pit of the stomach, I-want-more, I’m-pretty-positive-it-will-always-be-this-way, this-can’t-be-life, type of discontent.
I’ve had jobs in which I was not content. At one, there was no promotion potential. I was working hard, but a higher position simply was not available. In another case, I was so frustrated with every aspect of the workplace that weekdays sent me into a mild state of depression.
I didn’t want to spend months applying for new positions, or get sized up by employers during interviews, or risk being rejected, or get to a new organization and realize it had the same issues as my old one.
Here’s what made me do it: I didn’t know what a new job would be like, but I knew what my current job had to offer; it showed me every day. My displeasure with the known became more overwhelming than my fear of the unknown.
Last year when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, many Clevelanders labeled him a turncoat. How could he abandon the city that crowned him king?
The answer is simple. He wanted to win. Although Ohio was all he knew and loved, the make-up of his team proved on several occasions that winning a championship was not in its cards. So he left the place where he was comfortable and unfulfilled to take a chance on an unfamiliar place with the possibility of fulfillment.
It might seem that I chose a horrible example to illustrate my point. After all, LeBron still does not have a ring. However, LeBron and Miami are still learning each other. Unless you’re the Kentucky Wildcats (BBN, baby!), it’s hard for a new team to win a championship in its first year together. Regardless of star power and complementary skills, there’s a getting-to-know-you period. LeBron and company are still in that development phase that my friend doesn’t want to be in with a new man. But considering the team’s potential, if they can practice and work through this, maybe a championship’s in their future.
If not, LeBron can date some more. Maybe he’ll move on to another team. Maybe the Heat will switch up their roster again and find a different winning combination for him. Maybe Cleveland will woo him back with a new line-up. Maybe the joy of playing will become more important to him than winning. Who knows?
The point is to accept not knowing, to not shy away from the hard work of learning new people, jobs, places, and things – and instead take chances when you know that you can’t get what you need in your present situation. I don’t know when people should stay or go, but I don’t think not wanting to date should weigh heavily in the decision.
The only people we control are ourselves. If someone can’t give you what you want, the ball is in your court. You can keep playing and see how it goes, or call it quits. But if you decide to find another pick-up game, understand that you won’t immediately gel with your new teammates. However, if you take the time to build a partnership, maybe you can do with them what you and the former team could not: win a championship.
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SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.