It started when a red-headed guy named John reached out and held my hand at a party in 10th grade. We mingled together, from room to room, and my hand was tingling with goosebumps all the way up to my shoulder. Wow.
Dating is an amazing ride. It took almost 20 years of dates, boyfriends, and even one quick college marriage (a lovely man with different "grown up" goals) before I was ready for deeper commitments in life, love and work.
Now I am 36, remarried, with a small child. It's a full life, also punctuated with a successful and demanding career. I find myself in a very rich place although not always an easy one.
Playing the Field Is Not a Waste of Time
From this perspective, my convictions about dating have only grown deeper It SHOULD be fun. Getting to know someone new, learning about them, first kisses, laughs. I'm asked sometimes if I feel like I "wasted" those years playing the field. Wasted? Is there some cosmic POINT to life that I don't know about? Did I "dawdle" too long at the starting line and now I can't win?
Nahhh. The truth is pretty blunt, though we try to dress it up it takes a mature skill set to make a monogamous relationship last a lifetime. You have to be prepared to accept all the personality, emotional, and physical changes the years will bring in both yourself and your partner and that's a VERY tall order. I wasn't ready until I was ready.
Without the Black & White
My perspective on the world comes from all my dating experiences, my sense of humor, as well as extensive travelling, living abroad, marrying a Scandinavian and becoming a parent. Took away the black & white convictions and gave me a lot of gray. Now I rarely see a "right" answer. Usually the best I can do, if I listen hard enough, is a "right for now" opinion.
Female, age 36, Midwest USA