“I've been dating for a while, and I like that. At the same time, the disappointment is often so great when it comes to nothing. How do I deal with that?"
Recognisable question. A friend once said: “It feels like I keep getting attached to someone, only to have to tear myself away from that person. I try my best to get to know someone, I like someone, but for whatever reason it doesn't work and it doesn't work out, and then we each have to go our separate ways again. That hurts. Shouldn't I just stop dating? ” She sighed. “But I do want to get married. And I understand that I have to apply if I want a job. Just like you have to go to viewings if you want to buy a house. If I want a guy, I really have to date! ”
First of all, it is good to make a distinction between dating and dating. Dating is something you do a few times, after which you decide whether to move on with someone or not. It is non-committal and if all goes well, you don't expect too much from it. Getting into a relationship is more definitive; then you will investigate whether or not you see a future with someone. Certainly the latter can cut in more if, for whatever reason, you, the other or the two of you decide not to continue. But even after a few dates - or even after one date - deciding that it "won't work" can be painful.
If you find yourself extremely disappointed and that disappointment lasts a long time, you may wonder if you have the right attitude when you are dating. Whether your expectations are not too high. Compare it to buying a house. You can see and imagine all kinds of houses online. But if you have already been looking forward to a house and decorated it in your mind, the disappointment is very big if the house is really disappointing. Or if it has already been sold to someone else. The problem is that you have already thought of everything in your head, without testing it in reality.
That's the way it is with dating. If you already think in advance: this will be him or her, this online profile appeals to me, or: the person who linked us knows me so well, this has to be the one, it might be very disappointing if the person you are meeting with already appears to be in love with someone else, or is just a bit disappointing in real life. Try not to let your feelings get ahead of reality. Try to enter a meeting openly and do not have too high expectations. You may be meeting a new boyfriend or girlfriend. If you're lucky a life partner. But maybe also just someone to have a nice afternoon with and that's it. And that's okay too. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince (and not actually kiss, but metaphorically. More on that next time). Think of it as a journey, a learning process, not a waste of time! With that attitude you have more fun and less painful setbacks.
Aukelien Van Abbema is a singles and couples counsellor, public speaker, and successful author, including the title Dare to Date.
Helping people with Christian dating, relationships, singleness in church, dating in church, loneliness, connectedness, christian connection, healthy relationships.