Here's the Thing: Don't Commit
You don't have to date people just because other people are dating people.
SOMEONE OUT THERE IN THE VOID: Alright so this may seem a little convoluted, and I’m really hoping this doesn’t make me sound like a “player” or a douche. 👀 I’m just curious about what it says about me as a single guy, especially in NYC, that I’m not 100% set on one single girl to date.
I’m not really into serial dating (it’s so exhausting and makes me feel noncommittal) but I’m also not in a place to invest all of my time and energy in one girl and all that comes with making her feel like she’s the only girl in my life.
I could answer my own question and say “you just haven’t found the right one yet” but as of now, I feel like I’ll never really truly be in a place to convince any one girl that she’s the #1 pick out of thousands of potentials in this city. Hence, why I’m basically taking a back seat on dating right now. I hate the idea of wasting anyone’s time or, to some capacity, lying to a girl.
I’m also recently out of an EXTREMELY taxing relationship that really took a toll on me emotionally and mentally, so I take that into consideration also.
SOPHIA: This is such a good question! First of all, you are NOT a player or a douche for not wanting to be in a committed relationship; you have no obligation to do so now— or ever! Especially after coming out of a relationship that was taxing, or even toxic. Humans aren’t inherently meant or not meant to be paired up into neat little couples; anyone who suggests that is trying to organize their life and life cannot be organized, so ignore them.
Knowing what you can and cannot offer another person is not only good for you, it's GREAT for them!
In fact, I wish that more people would figure this out about themselves, but as you can attest, it’s difficult to admit.
Now, the second step after knowing what you can (and can’t) give another person in a relationship with them is expressing that, which is a bit harder. The number one rule is to make sure that you're upfront with the people you're dating. You can even say, "I know this sounds like a line, but I'm really not looking for committed relationships right now, and I'm trying to be as upfront as possible. If that means you don't want to date, I totally get it, but I'm having a lot of fun with you and I’d love to keep hanging out." One thing people don’t realize is that you can be really, really honest with people about how you feel— including the awkwardness or the embarrassment or reluctance to admit what’s going on. All of that works in your favor; it’s all very human.
I will say, I don't think any of your reluctance to commit is because you haven't found the “right one.” I don't think there is a right one; I think there are a lot of people out there who can make you happy in a lot of different ways, but you’re already doing that. And that's WONDERFUL! Again, as long as you're upfront, of course (How many times am I going to use the word upfront? Who knows!). The idea that there is one— or five— people out there who are perfect for you that you’re missing just because you’re dating around is ludicrous.
That being said, one thing that stood out in your writing is your implication that dating someone exclusively feels like admitting that you've got the best girl in the whole city. I get what you're saying 100%; dating one person can feel like agreeing to only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, which sounds boring and awful. The thing is, one day-- and it doesn't need to be soon, and in fact it might never come-- you may meet a person (or multiple people over multiple years) that make being in a relationship with them so fun that it doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all. And they may not be the best girl in the whole city, but damn they're fun and loving and kind, so you pick them anyway because who wants to miss out on that?
So, to recap: you aren't wasting anyone's time, as long as you're honest about what you're looking for. You can't waste time if you both enjoy it. You aren't wasting your time and you aren't wasting theirs. Have fun. Be single. Enjoy it so much that if someone comes along who is more fun than being single, you will notice right away and you'll know it's not just you settling because you're lonely.