Stress is for Finals, not Dating

12/07/2011 The Anti-Austen 6 Comments

Hello, my name is Colonel Paisley. (Hello, Colonel Paisley.) And I have a problem.

I care too much about dating.

No, seriously. I've realized that I care way too much about relationships, how people view me, how I view people, and if I'll ever get married. It's mentally taxing and often overwhelming. I care too much; I don't let life happen naturally, as it should.

I'm overly self-conscious, which makes me question everything I do. I subconsciously [and often consciously] meet girls with the sole goal to see if we're compatible to date. With only a few girls have a sidestepped the dating zone into the much more friendly "we never dated and I'm glad; we're much better friends now" zone. But that's my problem: rarely am I friends with girls with whom I have not had a verbal or mental DTR -- "No, we're not going to date; we wouldn't work out."

I certainly don't mean to do this, but I often meet girls, decide whether or not they are interested in me, and if not, I cease major associations with them. I rarely allow time for simple casual friendships to develop, and if mutual interest develops, a relationship. Apparently my own mentality is "if they aren't interested in me now, they never will. Pay the clerk, move along."

I can't be the only person who thinks like this. [If I am, well... shoot.] Why do I do this? Why am I a crazy self-doubting neurotic dater?

I have so many female friends with whom relationships never worked, and I'm happy about that. Southern Belle from freshman year and I are still close friends [get engaged already, girl!]. The Photographress and I are good chums. Grounds Grl is one of my most favorite people of all time. At one point or another, I wanted to date these ladies, but we never did. Good.

I need to be better about having regular friends who are ladies. Friendships that develop for the sake of friendship, not necessarily for the sake of dating. Not that I’m against dating, but that shouldn’t be the only reason I meet people of the opposite sex.

I took one of our dear readers out for hot chocolate and conversation last night, and my neurotic side thinks that she might think that I’m obsessing and want to date her. I have no idea. I simply hope that she isn’t overanalyzing and worrying like I obviously am.

Dating is stressful, my friends. We all know this. I’m taking a vow to care less. Not to stop caring, of course, but I need to stop allowing dating to be the central goal of my life. It’s important, yes, but it shouldn’t be trumping everything that I do.

As my advice for this post [because I have at least one piece of dating advice each time I write], have friends of the opposite sex. Just to be friends. And hey, who knows, maybe it will evolve into a relationship in the future. But for now, just be friends. Be casual. Taaake thiiiings slooooowly.

And stop stressing about dating. Reserve all your stress for upcoming finals [good luck, everyone].


Colonel Paisley

Person Who is Frustrated With Dating

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Fritzwilliam said...

I've been having the same problem. I actually took a long break from dating because the girls I knew acted like I didn't exist. However, I think I may have stumbled upon the solution by accident. After giving up on believing I could get a lady to think I was worth her time, I became friends with a number of women. I wasn't pursuing them because my ego wasn't high enough for it, but I just nurtured the friendship. Then I had a conversation that lasted over an hour with one girl. We realized we liked each other a lot, & it led directly to a date, and maybe to a lot more.

Distilled into pointless dating advice: Become friends with the opposite gender without examining them for potential marriageability. Your first judgment will be wrong somehow, & you can't predict the dating status correctly. Not until you have had real interaction with them can you judge whether they'll be someone you could happily marry.

jenerator said...

You should try meeting girls through your blog (or this blog). It worked for Featherstone (possibly, we still have yet to hear but I'm picking up good vibes) and Waited on a Sister Missionary... ;)

Anonymous said...

Colonel Paisley,

I appreciate your mindset here! There is just something magical and lovely about moving slowly--about lingering in that "we're-friends-and-we-both-hope-for-something-more-but-for-now-we'll-just-exchange-knowing-smiles-and-brush-hands-accidentally-on-purpose" stage, and beyond that into the "holding-your-hand-feels-magical" stage.

In thinking about marriage, I suppose this needs to be remembered: You want to really be sure that your eternal companion is someone you can enjoy life with for the rest of eternity. Someone whose kisses on the cheek make you absolutely giddy! Someone who can text you a smiley face and brighten your day instantly. I know that's what I'm looking for.

The Chosen One

Katri said...

that exemplifies my feelings. exactly.

The Maiden Aunt said...

I am with you, Colonel. I care too much. I can't ever just go on a date to have fun; my mind is constantly running over questions of "Am I acting stupid? Does he like me? Do I like him? Where is this going? What if we get married?" I have literally made myself sick over worrying.

Partly I think that the BYU culture has conditioned us to think this way; things need to happen fast or we'll never get married! Having graduated from BYU (sans ring), I have learned that, for me at least, it is okay to take it slow! It's okay to be friends with the person you are interested in! In fact, it's better!

I hope that your vow to care less works! It's one I am working on all the time. Just remember that there is so much more to life than dating and marriage, and if we stop trying so hard, everything will happen when and how it's supposed to.

Elisabeth said...

Goodness, no, you're not the only one. For sure. I worry way too much. My roommates start getting tired of hearing about boys. My biggest problem is that I end up liking my guy friends, and they end up freaking out and not hanging out with me any more... Augh. I guess it's just life.

(And you're right about one thing: Save the stress for finals! It's funny, but when I'm working so hard on studying and papers and such, I stop worrying about boys so much.)