Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dating and Shopping: Are They Really That Different?

So, here's a scenario: You walk into a clothing store--perhaps intentionally; maybe by accident--and, behold, on the rack you see the dress of your dreams; the one you've been looking for for longer than you care to remember. It's the right color, the right size, and there's only one! And--lucky you--it's affordable! So, you leave the store and hope it will be there later. Sound crazy? Unbelievable, right?

How about this: You find that same dress but it's NOT affordable? However, the salesperson tells you that she will hold it for you long enough for you to get together what you need to purchase it, but if somebody else decides to buy it, she must let it go, and someone else is already "eyeballing" your dream dress! So, you leave the store, pursue no avenues to get what you need, and just assume it will be there later. Crazy again, right?

To those scenarios, many of us would quickly reply, "Oh, you didn't really want it then, because if you did...." Well, if we can draw that conclusion over a simple dress, then why do we rationalize this behavior when it comes to dating? Why do we allow ourselves to be picked over like massed-produced clothes when we're a one-of-a-kind "couture"? Why do we allow ourselves to be left "hanging on the rack" indefinitely when we know how valuable we are? Why do we allow others to "try us on" over and over again without ever "purchasing"?

Please know I'm not going to attempt to answer any of those questions for you. That's the point of this blog post, for we must all start doing the hard work in answering those for ourselves. But trust and believe, they are questions worth thinking about when we find ourselves in long-term relationships that are not leading to marriage; in dating situations where suitors call and text at random; in unions where you "make up and break up" more than you care to admit; and in affairs where canceled dates are the norm (see previous blog post, "Is It Time for a 'New Normal?'")

One of my favorite episodes of "Sex and the City" is when the character Miranda tries to justify why a guy she'd just gone out with didn't take her up on her offer to come up for a nightcap. Her friend's boyfriend blatantly states, "He's just not that into you." And upon hearing that, the ladies were up in arms about how that couldn't be true; providing tons of excuses for the date; and reassurring her that he would call. And yet, Miranda, with clarity, simply replies, "It is the most liberating thing I have ever heard. Think how much time in therapy I could have saved if I had known this."

Well, it's time we get liberated! We all know what interest looks like--period! In fact, we as women can be interested in a myriad of things from our hobbies to our apperance, and how we care for and pursue them is never compromised. And the only thing keeping us from wasting time in situations that do not lead to our "happily ever after's" is willingly accepting the "just not that" part in the middle of that sentence when it needs to be removed and simply left as "He's into you!" No question; no excuses. Yet, we seem to rationalize it away repeatedly due to loneliness, fear, fatigue, time invested, or desperation. However, nothing good has ever been born out of lack and if that lack is leading to complacency, it's time to answer those questions above sooner rather than later!

To think we can cherish; save up for; work two jobs; and do what needs to be done "by any means necessary" to get those Louboutins; Prada purses; dream houses; or luxury cars we want so much, yet allow others to desire and pursue us "in their own time and at their own convenience" shouts something very painful we don't like to admit often: We don't value ourselves like we should. And if we allow ourselves to be treated like we agree with that statement, we only have ourselves to blame when we remain on that "rack" indefinitely. It's time to truly know our worth so that when we meet those who don't, we can identify them more quickly and then redirect them to "shop" elsewhere.