Are You Really Boo'd Up ?: Dating Guide Continued
for the last time:
to go out with someone who you are romantically or sexually interested in. (verb)
Dates are planned.
Dating is a verb and a noun.
You GO ON dates when you want to get to know someone and find out if you are compatible. (noun)
Aight so boom:
Ex: Malik has been eyeing Ashley. He thinks Ashley is attractive, he wants to get to know her and see if her personality is one that he can vibe with, so he asks her on a DATE (noun). Ashley also thinks Malik is attractive and agrees to go on a DATE (noun) because she wants to get to know him as well. Ashley and Malik go on a few dates, spending time together. Malik decides he likes Ashley's appearance and enjoys her presence and would like to be exclusive. He asks Ashley to be exclusive, he wants her to be his girlfriend. He asks, she agrees, they decide that they are now dating (the verb).
Dating is the stage of building a romantic relationship where two people meet socially with the intent of evaluating the other's person's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage
LUST - ATTRACTION- ATTACHMENT
I'll take this opportunity to dig a little deeper to show the simplicity of dating actually is and where the complication happens
STAGES OF DATING
Attraction - This is the meeting stage where you first come in contact with the person of interest. You are attracted to their appearance. In this stage someone expresses initial interest and works to get the attention of the person they are interested in.
Chase - This is the courting stage often called the "talking stage." TALKING IS A PART of this stage but it is not a stage in itself.
The chase includes but is not limited to:
- Asking to see you
- Attempted isolated time at mutual functions
- Strategic link ups (utilizing mutual friends)
- Consistent liking, reposting, retweeting and "@ing" on Twitter
- Showing up to events to "support," showing interest in things you're interested in
Curiosity is peaked and one becomes infatuated with the person they are chasing. They are working to get the attention of the person they are interested in, in order to get the opportunity to take them on dates
*The key ingredient of "the chase" and maintenance is consistency*
Maintenance - This is the stage once mutual interest is expressed the parties involved go on DATES (noun) to get to know each other more. It can feel like the honeymoon phase and they can begin to get comfortable.
*This is where it gets complicated so pay attention*
Polarization- Also known as the "Division" is the separation of energy. This is the crossroad where potential partners can continue to enjoy each other's time and work toward building or where the common problem arises; when partners have different preferences in the direction of relationships that aren't communicated and the flow is disturbed. This creates the infamous situationship. At this point although mutual interest is expressed the parties involved may not be MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. This should be CLARIFIED to avoid confusion.
Bottom line, the energy shifts to either the two people moving in the same direction toward an exclusive relationship or they begin to feel as if the other person is either pulling away.
Situationships don't get happen they are created when both people involved are not forthcoming about whether or not they are dating other people. There is nothing wrong with dating other people when you are single.
Let me repeat that
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH DATING MULTIPLE PEOPLE WHILE YOU ARE SINGLE.
It is not wise to assume that you are the only person someone is dating if it was not agreed that you are mutually exclusive. Situationships to me read as:
a. you are not dating anyone else but you know the person you are interested in maybe dating other people. You are sticking around hoping that the person will stop and only date you. This is in spite of the fact that they have either directly expressed that they do not want an exclusive relationship or they have not made moves in that direction.
Ex.: Malik and Ashley have been dating for a while and they are not exclusive, Malik knows Ashley has been dating Brandon but she herself has not told him. She expressed that she is not ready to be in a committed relationship, but Malik really likes her so he continues to date her in hopes that she will stop dating Brandon and date only him.
b. you want to continue to date other people but you really like this particular person and selfishly do not want them to date other people so you lead them on like they are the only person you are dating.
Ex: Ashley really likes Malik but she is not ready to be in an exclusive relationship but she does not tell him that because she knows he is a great guy and she does not want to lose him.
You're either single or in a relationship.
If you move toward building the next stage is
Intimacy- In this stage more self-disclosure happens, both verbally and non-verbally. This is the stage where exclusivity is confirmed and you create experiences. continue to build and get to know more about yourself through each other.
If the energy has shifted and you tried to communicate but nothing has changed
Start the Healing stage and take time for yourself, understand what makes you happy, and continue to wade in the dating pool.
Understanding exclusivity and knowing and communicating what you want is key is avoiding the awkward 'it's complicated situation.'
To make things easy for yourself, you can let the person you are dating know that you are dating other people to give them the option at least to decide whether
a. they can handle not being the only person
b. move on if they don't want to "compete" for your attention
c. Step up their game because they want to be the only who has your attention