I love my own company and everything, but I’d rather not spend the rest of my life alone. I’m not ashamed to say I want to find a partner. I want to get married, have kids, and have a “traditional” life in that sense. (Yes, I know that’s almost taboo these days.) However, all of my efforts to meet someone either end in disaster or disappointment. What is even the point of dating these days? Finding what I’m looking for seems nearly impossible. Considering the fact that marriage rates will apparently fall by 70% by 2062 and dating starts to seem like a waste of valuable time and energy.
What is the point of dating?
As I understand it, dating is serve one or more of the following purposes.
- To get out and have a bit of fun I mean, duh. I’m not naive enough to think that every date should lead to a long-term relationship. Sometimes it’s enough to get out of the house, get dressed up a bit, and have a nice night doing something different. Of course, not all dates are what I’d call “fun.” Still, I go into every experience with high hopes.
- To meet new and interesting people This is a biggie. Even if you don’t end up vibing with someone, the whole point of dating is to meet new people, right? I’ve gone out with plenty of guys that I didn’t gel with romantically. However, they were still interesting, engaging, and really nice to chat with. In the best-case scenario, I end up with a new friend. Considering how hard it is to make friends as an adult, this is a bonus.
- To find a relationship and/or life partner This is certainly the case for me. I’m looking for a spouse at the end of the day. I’m in my late 20s and my biological clock is ticking. I’m looking for someone who’s as serious about love and relationships as I am. Hopefully, I end up finding the right person somewhere in this experience.
- To determine long-term compatibility It’s not enough to gel on the first date. Sexual chemistry is great and all, but it doesn’t make a long-term relationship. Dating can also allow you further chances to get to know someone on a deeper level. The more time you spend with them, the more you discover if you really go together.
- To find someone to have sex with Not everyone is looking for a relationship. I get that. Many people are just out for a quick hookup or even a friends with benefits situation. That’s not me, but as long as they’re upfront about it, I’ll respect their hustle.
- To adhere to social norms/expectations Being happy alone is still not the norm. I have several friends who plan on being on their own long-term, and that’s great. However, there’s still a lot of pressure to couple up, especially the older you get. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I’m afraid of dying alone. Yes, seriously. (And yes, I kind of am.)
Are there other reasons people date?
I’m sure there are. Boredom, maybe? Some people may have more nefarious reasons for dating. Maybe they want to take advantage of vulnerable people who are desperate for love. Perhaps they want to get back at their ex or they’re narcissists desperate for an ego stroke. This is where the troubles begin. You literally never know who you’re coming up against on a date. They can be the nicest, sweetest person ever on a dating app. Then, you meet them in person and they’re a total nightmare.
Obviously, that’s the risk you take in the dating scene these days. And while I try to take it in my stride, there comes a point when dating starts to seem like more trouble than it’s worth.
How to keep dating when it seems pointless
- Don’t take it too seriously. This is easier said than done, I have to admit. Because I know I’m looking for actual love, it’s hard not to get bummed when I go out with someone who’s clearly not on the same page. However, I always remind myself to breathe and stay in the moment. If things go wrong, ah well. There’s another guy just around the corner. Practice makes perfect for sure. It gets easier every time.
- Take things one day at a time. Again, it’s hard not to get too ahead of yourself. The whole point of dating for me is to find a future husband. That means sometimes I jump the gun a bit and end up getting all up in my feelings about a guy who really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Taking things one day at a time alleviates some of these frustrations for sure (most of the time).
- Trust your gut and never overlook red flags. I’m all about giving people chances. My list of deal breakers isn’t all that long and I’m pretty open-minded. However, when I notice red flags, I act on them immediately by cutting the situation/guy off. I’m not about being disrespected or taken for granted.
- Focus on the positives. Look, it’s not all bad news. Sometimes I go on some really fun dates. No single person has negative experiences 100% of the time, so it’s important to focus on the good stuff when it crops up. Those little bright lights make it a lot easier not to give up on love altogether, that’s for sure.
- Surround yourself with happy couples. Think of the people you know who are in a loving, committed relationship. My best friend and her boyfriend are getting married next year and I’m so excited for them. They’re a shining example of real love and they remind me it exists. It may take a while to find it, but I’m sure I will.