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Getting thrown into the dating world with nothing to hold onto

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Just a few months ago, I got out of a long-term relationship. It was an amiable break-up — we grew apart and wanted different things. Before then, I hadn’t really been single for more than a month. So after having been single for a few months, I sat, twiddling my thumbs thinking of how to enter the current dating scene.

It seems that the dating world has changed quite a bit since I was last in it. Now in unfamiliar territory, new words such as Tinder have been added to my dictionary.

After hearing a few success stories from using Tinder, I thought why not give it a try? Oh, boy was I overwhelmed — not realizing what I was getting myself into. After swiping away excitedly, notifications were filling up the screen of my phone from multiple guys.

At one point, I was literally copying and pasting what I had said in other conversations to the new ones. I had to constantly remind myself of who’s who and what not. No one had warned me of what I was getting myself into or the too-fast, too-soon mentality of these guys.

The first guy I met in person from Tinder, I went on a total of two dates with. He seemed quite nice, but there were some aspects that, well, I simply didn’t like about him. So, I thought I would say goodbye through a text. That’s okay, right? We went on two dates, not like we were in a relationship. I hardly knew the guy. But no, he was quite upset at the fact that I ended things over a text message.

Another guy who I only saw for a couple of weeks told me he loved me. I didn’t know what to say, I was stuttering like an idiot and I think I replied by saying, “I enjoy your company,” or something along those lines. The disappointment on his face said it all.

Again, a guy whom I was seeing for a few weeks told me that I should move out with him. I don’t understand this generation. Everything seems to be moving way too fast. For me, it just scares me away. Don’t most people want to get to know the person before becoming official?

I get the appeals of moving fast. It feels good to be so close to someone whom you just met and they’re crazy about you — the instant relationship where you are immediately comfortable with them.

That mentality poses a problem though. Couples in this situation forget about being rational and fall into the ridiculous thought process that perhaps this person is their soulmate after knowing them for just a few days.

In Michelle Kennedy’s article, “The Too-Fast, Too-Soon Flytrap” for the Huffington Post, she states that “The problem is, when we commit too fast, we don’t give the potential union enough time to develop the trust it will need to survive the meatballs people bring into relationships.”

Kennedy is talking about the inevitable faults that everyone has. Without getting to truly know the person before committing to them, it makes it hard for some people to handle certain qualities that are not so charming.

The mindset that this person is their soulmate, the perfect partner for them, blinds them to their short-comings and it makes it hard to deal with the imperfect person that they are. By taking dating slower, we can avoid this problem altogether.

What is wrong with taking it slow? Nothing. We can’t expect to find someone right for us right away and for some, that’s hard to swallow. Heartbreaks suck, ending a relationship sucks. It is easier to just dive into a relationship and give it our all right away. But won’t that in the end make it more difficult if it doesn’t work out?

My recent experiences in the dating world have left me feeling nervous to dip my toe back in again. I don’t want to deal with another guy saying he loves and wants me to move in after two weeks of dating. It is hard to deal with that. Especially since I struggle with being honest when I know I will hurt someone’s feelings.

Kennedy goes on, stating: “The stronger we get, and the more we fill our lives with love, joy, and positive actions, the less I feel we’ll barrel into [moving too fast]. Trust in our path and worth should ground us in knowing the slow-build can and will yield everything we desire, eventually. We just need to first be patient enough to walk mindfully through the initial awkwardness of dating.” And I truly believe that.

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