Little backstory here, I met this girl named Steph a few years ago on a dating website. We went on a whole bunch of dates, but no romance ever developed between us two. Nonetheless we became good friends, and front row spectators to each other’s dating lives. She’s 28 years old now, and has decided to stop dating entirely. Was it because of all the terrible dates I took her out on? Let’s find out.
Ronald: So Steph, what are your thoughts on dating currently?
Steph: I often think about how much I can offer if I were in a relationship but at the same time, I feel like I can’t be bothered to even attempt to be in a relationship.
That’s interesting, what do you mean by can’t be bothered to even attempt to be in a relationship?
It’s like dating fatigue. A long-term relationship sounds ideal but I am reluctant to make lifestyle changes to accommodate a romantic partner.
What lifestyle changes would you have to make? And are you speaking from experience, or is this just something that you foresee happening?
I would have to transition a portion of my “me” time to “us” and “him” time. I would have to take on the emotional burden of having to sustain a really personal connection with someone.
Also, I am speaking from experience. I made the mistake of overextending myself to meet the needs of others. I felt that in order to make a relationship less unfulfilling, I needed to give more and ask for less. I ended up neglecting my own needs and that brewed a lot of resentment. In hindsight, I was settling for mediocrity at best.
After a string of long-term relationships, I’ve been single for a few years now. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my mistakes and learn more about myself. I’ve come to enjoy my own company so much that I don’t need or require fulfillment from anyone else.
Do you think that this is something that everyone can achieve, or something that’s more so for you?
It’s definitely more so for me. I’m a homebody by nature and to be honest, antidepressants have suppressed my libido. Being single isn’t the same as being alone when you are surrounded by awesome platonic friends.
However, I strongly believe that everyone should learn to enjoy their own company. It will give them a better sense of who they truly are, their own needs, their self-worth, and hone their ability to rely less on others for emotional fulfillment.
For people who aren’t able to enjoy their own company, and feel that they need someone else, how do you recommend that they change this?
Get a therapist. Seriously. They will help people recognize, understand, and cope with the reasons why they aren’t able to enjoy their own company. Personally, I focused on how I approached past interpersonal conflicts with others. I analyzed incidents – big and small, and thought about why they made me happy, disappointed, frustrated, and fearful. Just being hyper-aware of what makes you tick and what ticks you off is a great start to self-fulfillment.
I totally agree. I’ve seen a therapist before myself and thought it was great. But for people that can’t afford, or have access to a therapist, what are some other personal tips that you’d suggest?
Determine your hobbies and find your support network. I had the toughest time coming up with hobbies because I couldn’t think of things that I was obsessed with or loved. Just Marie-Kondo that shit. Does this activity spark joy for you? Great. That’s a hobby. Listing out my hobbies helped me understand the bigger picture of who I am as a person. Some of these hobbies can help you discover more hobbies.
Eventually, you’ll know what activities can occupy your time and head space. If you indulge further into your hobbies, you’ll meet other like-minded individuals. Ideally, your reliance on emotional fulfillment from a romantic partner can be spread across a support network, AKA your peers, friends, and family.
Would it be correct to say that hobbies and a support network are symbiotic?
They could be, yea. Definitely see where you’re coming from, one can lead to the other.
Also get a trap baby to occupy your time and attention.
What’s a trap baby?
Oh my god Ronald. I mean I’m kidding. But like do you really not know what a trap baby is?
I never been involved with such a thing. Can you explain to our readers what a trap baby is?
Trap baby can mean trapping a guy financially but there’s also the emotional aspect of it as well. If they were to stick around for their child, they would need to interact with the mother until the child reaches their teens at the very least. Or if they’re old-fashioned, they might feel obligated to marry the mother of their child.
Very insightful, thank you Steph. So my last question, do you think it’s possible that you’ll meet someone in the future that’ll make you change your mind about all of this? Or is this something that you see yourself sticking to?
I mean, I’m not opposed to being in a relationship. It’s just not a priority to me right now, you know? I don’t know about others but I grew up thinking that one of life’s biggest achievements is marrying someone. It’s not that I reject that idea outright – I just happen to accept that marriage isn’t the be-all and end-all, especially if it’s an unfulfilling one. Therefore, it’s not my intention to actively seek someone for that. Maybe one day I’ll meet someone by chance.
I spoke a lot about the burdens of finding and maintaining a relationship. A relationship is a two-way street which means my partner would need to shoulder some of the burden, too. They would need to devote time and attention to my needs, be mindful of my past traumas, and actively support me on an emotional level. I don’t feel the need to take on that level of responsibility right now, so I don’t expect anyone to else to do that for me too.