Yes. You're Allowed To Date JUST For Fun
Hello, people. I have a very, very important public service announcement I need to make, and frankly, I don’t really care what you have to say about it: Dating just to date is okay! You do not have to go into every situation with marriage at the back of your mind. Especially for younger crowds! Now, I know some of you may be reading this thinking wtf. But it’s important to note that going out, enjoying your life, and having fun is okay! Especially when you’re not even legal to drink in the US!
Let me preface by making it clear that this is not an endorsement to ignore your feelings just because you’re young. Fall in love often. Fall out of love often. Enjoy these beautiful, visceral moments while you still can! There’s been much conversation involving dating culture as it pertains to younger generations. We should, in our ephemeral youth, be “dating to marry.” Not dating for experience, or growth, or even plain old fun. We should be dating to get hitched (just eff the people who don’t want to get married, amirite?). That’s right, folks! In the first few dates you have to determine whether or not you’re in this for the long (and I mean the forever long) haul. This is serious stuff!
Okay, guys, all jokes aside, the way many of us experience and deal with romantic relationships is unhealthy. It’s usually coupled with obsessive tendencies and problems with attachment. This isn’t necessarily our fault—much of it is socialization. But, we do need to take a step back, and examine the way we handle these types of relationships. Why must things be so all or nothing? Dating—and by dating, I simply mean going on dates with a person—is a time to get to know the type of people you like. It’s a way to understand more about yourself by the way you interact with the people you go out with. It’s a means to weed out the “others.” The first date does not, and should not, be the final determinant on if you’re going to become monogamous with somebody. The dating process is one that allows for mistakes and eff ups. It’s okay to go on a date and realize you don’t like the person. Conversely, dates can also have you feeling like you’ve found The One…or one of The Ones (we have a lot of “The One” moments, don’t we?).
When that happens, we are then usually escorted into the monogamous phase of relationships—partners, significant others, all of that good stuff. This phase is also where a lot of the “dating to marry” debates come up. Why get into a relationship if marriage isn’t the end goal? The problem with that is, it creates a lot of unhealthy, fanatical expectations for both you and your partner. Having these intense expectations for each other can prevent you from simply enjoying each other. It can prevent you from truly learning about each other, as well as yourselves. It is so important to enjoy this time while you still can, especially when you’re young While marriage may very well come out of your relationship, make sure to stop and smell the roses! Enjoy the process of being in a serious relationship. Learn about what you want out of a life partner and what you have to offer. Dating is not simply a trial run for marriage; it’s a crucial step in our development as people, as lovers. Don’t miss out on the beauty of it because you’re too focused on future forevers!