I’ll be back in these dating streets in a few weeks. And by these dating streets, I mean Hinge. I’ll be on Hinge. I’m incredibly optimistic about it. Because now I know how to date.
Early in my healing journey, I realised I didn’t know how to date. If I’m being honest, sometimes I feel like I’m lying when I speak about my dating experiences because there wasn’t much dating happening. Dating, to me, was meeting men and obsessing over them while hoping for the best. And when things ended? New man. New obsession. More hoping. Rinse and repeat. You know the vibes by now.
And don’t get me started on my lack of know-how regarding vetting and choosing a suitable partner. There was very little of that happening because every crush was someone I could picture myself being with for the long haul. You had to be the worse of the worst if I wasn’t remotely interested in you.
I’ve been running this platform long enough to know that I wasn’t alone in not knowing how to date or choose a partner. I recently spoke with licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship coach Delila Jusic La-Berge about how to date and choose a partner as an anxious love seeker.
“One thing about anxious love seekers is that they have a wrong concept of what dating is. If you’re looking at the boy in school for three years, and he finally asks you out, now all of a sudden you’re in a relationship and you’re so full of hormones and everything is wonderful. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re compatible, or whether your bank accounts are going in a similar direction, or if you want the same things. It’s just starry eyes at each other,” Jusic La-Berge tells me. “They take that same strategy, or lack of strategy, into dating into their 20s and 30s when really it’s a whole different ball game. Especially in your 30s, 20s might be a bit easier.”
This is exactly what dating looked like for me. And because I gave little consideration to compatibility and the other important factors you have to consider when choosing a partner, I often ended up falling for the wrong people and wondering why nothing ever worked out for me.
So, how do we fix this? Apart from doing the healing, Jusic La-Berge suggests, “you need to change how you look at dating. Dating is not a relationship. Dating is meeting people and getting to know them. Enjoying your time together. Discerning and figuring it out.”
Jusic La-Berge believes that a common reason anxious love seekers choose the wrong partner is because they attach too quickly.
“I joke and say you attach to the first human being with a pulse. Once you fall for this person, you completely fail to see who this person is. We don’t get to know them, we completely create this fable of what we hope they would be in our head. We might spot a red flag but we hope that once things progress, once there’s a ring on your finger, or once a child comes, things will work out.”