There is no perfect way to operate in the dating world. Everyone has their own method of approach, and what works for one may not necessarily work for the other.
Some will only settle for the real thing. Some only want to keep things casual. Some only want things to last until the sun rises the next day. Each one of us is genetically different, so it’s understandable that we all won’t have the same views when it comes to dating.
I prefer something serious to casually dating around. I don’t mind casually dating, but when there’s someone out there I would actively want to pursue, I know that I don’t want to see anyone else. This presents a problem to some in the outside world.
“Don’t get your hopes up.”
“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”
“Keep your options open.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 27-plus years on this planet, it’s that people are going to judge you regardless of what you do. If you sleep around, you’re a player; if you only casually date, you’re afraid of commitment; if you prefer something serious, you’re desperate for love.
I respect all views on dating, but I just don’t agree with “keeping your options open,” and I don’t think that I ever will.
People are not options. They are not pairs of shoes lined up along your floor for you to pick and choose at your leisure, and they should not be treated as such. If I never want to be someone’s backup option, why I put someone else in the same situation?
As much as I hate all of the millennial bashing that goes on in the world today (we get it, everything is our fault), the idea of “keeping your options open” is the epitome of why so many bash millennials. It ties in selfishness, fear of commitment, entitlement, and inconsideration like a perfectly crafted bouquet of flowers.
In an ideal situation, you would date a bunch of people, see what happens, and then something would grow naturally that you would devote your time and effort to. That would be your relationship, and people wouldn’t be able to say that you didn’t see what else was out there, or question if this was something you really wanted or not.
But what about the options? That’s the part nobody ever talks about.
How would you like to have a great connection with someone, only to get a call or, let’s face it, a text saying that they’ve been seeing someone else and that they want to pursue things with them? That’s if you’re lucky. Odds are more likely that you’ll be ghosted, left to ponder what the hell happened.
For your own sake, what happens if you date two people at the same time only to come to a point where you have to make a choice between one of them? Are you ready to potentially lose the other one forever? Are you sure in the choice you’re making? How do you explain to the less-desired option?
I don’t want to keep my options open because I don’t want to meet someone, fall for her, then have to “keep my options open” with other women while figuring out what she wants. I think it’s unfair to date other people when you’re — for all intents and purposes — emotionally unavailable. Yes, you can fall for someone else, but you know you want someone else. Would you want to be someone your significant other settled for?
Instead of choosing which pair of shoes we want to go with that specific night, we should spend more time putting ourselves in others’ shoes and seeing how they would feel if the roles were reversed.
Like most people, I hate confrontation. If I can avoid it, I try to. But there are times when you should bite the bullet and face an uncomfortable situation whether you like it or not. Sometimes you owe it to the other person.
If we could break away from our own vanity once in a while, we’d understand that a few moments of awkwardness for us could mean someone not spending the next several days, weeks, or months in confusion. It could mean not altering their view of other people (or worse, themselves) for the rest of their lives.
That’s the part nobody talks about. We never think about how our actions affect someone else, be it in the moment or the long run.