Dating and Trying Not to Get Caught Up in the Politics of It All

Posted on February 1, 2013

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A lot of things change when you start dating. Basically every relationship you have is affected in one way or another. Your schedule changes. Your emotions change. Everything feels like it’s on fire.

The truth is, the trickiest thing I have discovered since dating is staying true to myself. Trying to please every other person on the planet is a great feat when you start out dating. You have two sets of parents, siblings on both ends, friends from each side — and keeping each group of people happy is hard. I wonder if there was ever a day in time that existed when all you had to do was love another person and have them love you back.

But no, it’s double dates, and parents’ dinners, and girls’ night out separately, and nights where the guys play video games. Or maybe it’s different scenarios in each situation.

It’s politics of who is hanging out with who, how far has a couple “gone,” who is not currently getting paid attention to? Who has failed to keep up their friendships? Who has let down their parents? Who has to move for the other, who has to compromise, who is reaching and who is settling in the relationship?

It’s a whole new world to be born into and it’s much like a second birth when you seriously date for the first time. The love is beautiful and you appreciate the little things in life more now than any other. You gain a new and special appreciation for all those who have walked in your footsteps before and you truly understand what people mean when they say that life gets more complicated when you are in a relationship.

I, for one, struggle for balance in life. It’s always been my life mission to make other people happier, and the guilt that creeps in when I don’t succeed feels unbearable. Call “caring too much” a plague or a blessing, because I believe it’s both. But I have to believe there is truth to the saying that you if you aren’t happy in your own life, that it’s very difficult to be happy in your relationships.

Perhaps the saddest part has been discovering that it is possible to maintain the most important friendships and relationships  . . . and to realize that past married friends have failed to take the time to maintain a good relationship with you because you didn’t make the priority list.  I will always believe that each person has the power to set people as a priority. And they do, but often not in the favor of friends. Instead, it is far more convenient to change who you are to fit better with the person you’re in a relationship with.

I know I’m not perfect. I know I’ve failed. And sometimes, I just want a break from pleasing the masses, to escape from that place in my head that tells me I can’t go on in life until everyone else is happy. I want to prove to myself that I’m not the friends who let me down in the past. I want to believe I’m not my married friends who hurt me or forgot me. I’d like to believe I haven’t given into the politics of playing in the game of who is hanging out with who, and who is friends with who. I want to be honest, to strive to never be fake, to always firmly, but kindly love other people and be the best person I can be. I also realize that forgiveness needs to be handed out to those who have failed in my past, because I, too, have failed other people and will fail people in the future. Maybe even more so, because God has forgiven me when I didn’t deserve it.

All of this to say . . .  life is hard and often forgets to give you the lemons, so getting lemonade is really hard. Haha. Honestly, there are million different witty lines I could come up with that may or may not well represent my feelings, but this is what I know:  I don’t understand parts of life, and sometimes I don’t want to have to deal with or be a part of things that aren’t fun or convenient. Sometimes life really sucks, and I don’t understand the choices other people make, but I have to learn to try to understand. And sometimes I just have to let it go, and continue working on being the best version of myself, of completely staying true to who am . . . whether that’s changing to help or compromise in my relationship, or being a genuine person, or not forgetting the important people in my life, or just letting go of hard times past and forgiving others.

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