I hate dating and relationships
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If I've learned anything over the past two years of writing about dating, it's this: The secret to a happy dating life is to not worry too much about dating. A totally frustrating and difficult-to-follow edict, yes, but also the only thing that I can say with complete certainty is true for all women. If you look at people who are happy with their dating lives, whether they are single or in a relationship, there is one trait they all have in common: a certain lightness in their approach to their romantic lives. These people, quite simply, don't seem to sweat it so much. They don't let their relationship status define them. They don't compare their dating lives to those of other people.
Dating is terrible. Everyone good is already taken.
7 things you can do if you want to find a relationship but *hate* dating
These are things I firmly believed until about nine months ago. Kara specializes in coaching feminist women and gender non-conforming individuals who believe in equality, but still have trouble acting in ways that match those beliefs. After taking a step back from my feelings, I realized that my dating-related anxieties — the stress of keeping someone interested, but seeming fun enough, all while maintaining enough distance to be alluring, for example — put my emotions in the hands of my date.
Through all of that, I had failed to consider the most important question: What do I want out of all of this? I asked Kara about practical ways to overcome and approach dating stress differently.
Below are five ways she says people like me — that is, people interested in a relationship, but who dread the dating process — can start to rethink the way we date, or at least, the way we feel about dating. Kara says brains are pattern-making machines.
If you focus on finding someone hot, smart and tall, these qualities tell you nothing about how this person will show up for you and how you might show up for them. How often do you want to see your partner?
How to not hate dating
Do you talk every day? Do you eventually want to get married?
Kara suggests allowing yourself to reflect on dates through that lens, rather than seeing him or her as a list of bullet points that exists in a vacuum. But heartbreak and sadness are a part of life and therefore a part of dating, she explains, so the risk is always there no matter what we do to scan for it.
Next time you go on a date, Kara advises you ask yourself, If I already loved this person, what would I think of them? A partner who likes a fake version of you.
Bailey Williams is a Brooklyn-based writer and playwright. She just ed Twitter but has been taking annoying vacation photos on Instagram for some time buffalobailey. Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.
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