I always set good intentions when I go on a first date. My intention is simply to have fun. Actually liking the guy and feeling a spark of chemistry between us would be the icing on the cake. However there’s always a part of me that feels very disappointed coming home after a date having once again felt nothing.
Speaking to a friend about this last week, she explained to me as she has gotten older her checklist has gotten shorter and the emphasis on that spark or “butterflies” has become less important. “I’ve dated guys I had a spark with and look where that got me? I’m still single” she stated, “at this point in my life if I just meet a nice man who I can have my kids with I’ll be happy. If it works out, great, but if not, at least I would have gotten married and had my children.” Having been one who never wanted to marry for the sake of being married, this concept made me shudder. But as I started to look around at many of my girlfriends mostly in their late 20s and early 30s, it seems like this ideology is becoming more and more prevalent. Many of them are now only dating for a few months before getting engaged and married and marrying men who they don’t seem to be as enamored with or are not on the same level as they are (financially, educationally, etc.) which leads me to wonder, when does settling down become simply settling?
As the flow of wedding and baby shower invitations arrive in my mail and inbox, I start to question whether what I’m looking for is realistic. Can I still meet a man to whom I am attracted and share a common compatibility? A man who I respect, love and makes me excited to be around? Or as so many of my girlfriends, do I just be happy to meet someone who is marriageable? Although some times may be more challenging than others, I still believe the man I’m looking for is out there and not only will there be that spark, but he’ll give me butterflies. As for my girlfriends, I wish them the best in their search for love, marriage and happiness.
Do you believe settling down can simply become settling? Have you seen examples of this in your or your friends’ lives?
Photo Credit: epSos.de/Flickr
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I don’t have a short list when it comes to the attributes I look for in a potential mate. However, my list of “must haves” and “nice to haves” are not based on quantity but quality. Some may think my standards are too high, but the traits I am looking for in another are ones I believe are not only attainable but ones in which I also possess. Being spiritual, educated, open-minded, loving, supportive, cultural, fun and handsome are just a few of the characteristics I seek in my future husband. For me, marriage is not just about love but a lifetime partnership. This man will not just be someone I live with but an integral part of my life. He should be adding to and enhancing my life and our future. Therefore when I date a man I can’t foresee in this position, he either gets placed in the “friend” category or we cease being in contact.
The challenge becomes when I meet a man who completely fits my potential mate criteria, but there is still something missing…chemistry. It’s the most frustrating thing. Recently, I’ve been dating a great guy who on paper is my ideal man. However, after several dates, I have come to the conclusion that I am missing an emotional connection with him. How is it possible to kiss someone and feel nothing? To be caressed and feel numb? I don’t even dream, fantasize or long to spend time with him.
I mentioned my dilemma to a girlfriend who suggested I give it more time, “Maybe he’ll grow on you” she said. After a few months of trying, another friend seeing how frustrated I was getting said to me, “Why are you even still trying? As a dating and relationship expert, you should know better than anyone else that chemistry is either there or it’s not. You can’t create it if it doesn’t exist.” Oh, but how I wish I could! Would dating a guy who has the majority of the attributes I’m looking for in a potential mate although I’m lacking an emotional connection with him be considered a form of settling or a mature decision for a secure future?
Do you also have a list of characteristics you look for in a potential mate? Have you ever dated someone who possessed the qualities on your list, but with whom you were lacking chemistry? How did you handle the situation?
Photo: Lasana Smith
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