Some people are hesitant when it comes to dating. They like to think about it, pray for ages, meet up together in big groups first, then decide. Others jump straight in, invest everything, get their hopes up and see what happens. I actually think both can work and no one needs to go against their core personality. But we all can, and need to, learn something from the opposite perspective.
So there I was, travelling back with a friend and the conversation moved onto her love life.
As someone who doesn’t like to pry too much, I never assume it’s automatically okay to talk about these things, even with friends, unless they bring it up.
But she mentioned this guy about five times and seemed to be waiting for us to ‘stumble’ onto the subject. So we did.
As she spoke, she stressed that she was an optimist and always full of hope. She liked to jump straight in with things and put her heart on the line, in all areas of her life, including dating.
She said she is happy to invest and hope things are going to develop. But she ends up getting hurt quite a bit because of this attitude. But she doesn’t necessarily want to change her approach completely.
My friend also mentioned that a mutual friend of ours, her best friend who we saw recently, was the total opposite. If she liked someone she would pray about it, think about it for ages, meet up with the guy in a big group lots of times before she said yes to a date.
This process would often take months.
They get annoyed at each other
My friend said she cannot really talk to her best friend about this stuff because they have such opposing views. They get annoyed at each other. Which is quite sad really.
Avoid The Cliché
Now, this is the point where the temptation of the cliché needs to be avoided. I feel lots of people would be tempted to say ‘they should avoid the extremes and learn to be somewhere in the middle’. So be a bit cautious and a bit risky. But that isn’t right.
Both and all types of people can find love
I think God loves the fact some people jump into things wholeheartedly. They take chances, take risks and are full of hope. Longing for change.
I also think God loves people who are more cautious and think more long term. Weighing up options and thinking about things from every side.
Both personalities are amazing. We all act differently and have different hopes and baggage, but both and all types of people can find romantic love.
So Now What?
This post isn’t about getting people to date like me, or date like my friend, or in a way that ‘follows-these-simple-steps’. We don’t need to change the core of our personalities to find romantic love. However, that doesn’t mean we can justify all of our actions because it’s ‘how God made me’.
We need to realise that we can all learn something about ourselves and about love. This can help us and the person we’ll be (or are already) with, flourish more and more.
I always say dating should be fun, but not at other people’s expense. Whether we are cautious or jump in, we can’t do it in a way that is selfish and hurts others. But there are things we can all think about.
A Word To The Cautious
- Can’t confuse cautious thinking with selfish thinking
- Need to spend time together
We cannot make the mistake of confusing cautious thinking with selfish thinking. Sometimes people can only think about themselves, and even leave the other person ‘waiting’ ’til they decide what is best ‘for me’. We can’t forget to think about the other person’s feelings too.
Also, if you need to chat to someone and ‘determine the relationship’ and your expectations before you move forwards, that’s fine. In fact, that’s healthy no matter what our personality or starting point. (Read Dating Someone? Commitment Assumptions Can Cause Cracks) But relationships are more than an academic exercise.
You need to go on dates and learn about each other
We need to realise going out on dates, spending time together, is just as important. Keep talking, keep discussing, but spending time together as people who are looking for romance (not just people pretending to be friends). You need to go on dates and learn about each other, love and a connection can’t be totally pre-worked out. (Read What Should We Do On A First Date?)
A Word To Those Jumping In
- What kind of person do you want?
- What ‘type’ has hurt you in the past?
It’s important to ask yourself, in amongst all of that jumping in, what kind of person do you want to date. What kind of person do you want to end up with? Because it’s all very well putting your heart on the line and seeing what happens, but people can get hurt.
There needs to be something behind your decisions. Jumping in after you have thought about what relationship you want to build is different to jumping in blind, which often leads to hurt and confusion. So we need to be active and think about why we want a relationship, what our values are, and who we could build something good with. (Read One Great Dating Tip From Ruth and Boaz. Really?)
Many people go for the same type over and over, and end up with the same result
If you aren’t sure how to answer that, then think about what ‘type’ of person has hurt you in the past. Or what ‘type’ of person it hasn’t worked out with. Many people go for the same type over and over, and end up with the same result. Is there a pattern and if so, why not try to date someone who is different?
As I said to my friend, there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model for dating. We all need to learn more, but we do need to remember we have different personalities and different challenges. (Read Dating Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint).
Imagine if, we embraced who we are as we dated. No one is perfect, we can all learn from others, but we need to be honest and real to find a relationship where we feel loved for who we are.
What personality do you relate to in this blog? What could help you moving forward? Comments welcomed below.