What is dating and what are my boundaries?
Believe it or not this question comes up many times among my single friends. The argument is when dating someone is it necessary to tell that person you are seeing other people or should they just know?
Another question is, does dating mean you are dating multiple people or being exclusive?
If dating, does that mean intimacy is a part of that?
Last question, Why is dating necessary?
Now true enough I have not dated in many many years and I am no expert by any means but I do have some insight or maybe an opinion is a better word on this topic.
First I would like to say when you are dating it is up to you to create your own boundaries, standards, and level of openess. In the end it is you that is either having a good time and enjoying the company of many or looking for that Mr or Mrs right to complete your life plan. For someone else to tell you what your process should be is unfair and judgemental.
When someone implies that they are dating I instantly assume they are spending time with more than one potential parnter.
I view dating as testing the waters, figuring out what you like in a person, having the ability to turn things off when there is no compatibilty or turn things up when this person is everything you want in a partner. Sounds great until you are faced with the reality that the person you enjoy being with is also dating, and testing the waters. You want exclusivity but they are just enjoying the journey and meeting and spending time with others as well. So what boundaries do you set for yourself when dating?
I know there are people who just date with no boundaries and whatever happens, happens. They are moving through dating based solely on feelings. So let’s face this one by one.
When dating I do believe the question of seeing other people should be revealed or asked. I would lean more toward asking the other person if they are seeing other people. If things get more intense I think asking the other person if being exclusive is an option or ask if they are looking for something serious. It should be known and understood between both people that dating means they are seeing other people, it should never be assumed that we both know what dating means.
Does dating mean you are being intimate with everyone you are dating or are you saving that intimacy for the one who captures your heart? My opinion is that intimacy confuses your feelings and your thinking. I personally would not bring intimacy into dating. It clouds your judgement and makes you vulnerable. Date however many people you want, but when ready for intimacy choose to be in a relationship with one person. Waiting for marriage may seem unrealistic for some, but if it is something that both parties can agree to, wait for marriage, it will have so much more meaning and purpose.
Now if you are a person who wants to be intimate and experience many partners in that way, be honest with yourself and the people you are dating. Be clear about your intentions and disclose that you have another or multiple partners that you are intimate with and allow that person to decide whether or not to take things to that level with you.
Having the freedom to date is nice when you don’t know what you want in a partner or when you are not quite ready to settle down. Be responsible and aware of other peoples feelings and dating can be a great experience.
If you are still unsure about how to approach dating talk to others who are dating, go with how you feel with honesty, and take it slow remembering to have fun and enjoy the moment.
Dating does not mean relationship, remember that and you will protect your feelings and your integrity.
Dating allows us to feel like we have chosen who we want to be with. It has been our own personal trial and error system before making a life long committment to someone and desiring to know what else is out there. I feel like when we make the decision to settle down it is with certainty and confidence that this relationship is all we need and as long as we continue to dream, grow, and build together it removes the doubt and the giving in to temptation that many times destroys a relationship and a partnership.