Why do we like who we like? Why do we do what we do? Why are we the way we are? As it relates to dating, love, and relationships, how do we enact the process? Are we like animals in the wild instinctively mating during various cycles and times of the month? Or Do we rationally choose who we date and why?
First let’s address why we like who we like. When we first meet someone there is obviously some sort of physical attraction; depending on the type of dater you are. For me, there is usually a physical feature or something in the guys’ appearance that is attractive. It could be his face, hair, accent, height, demeanor, or the way he carries himself. Typically, these characteristics represent physical attraction, and everyone has a particular preference or type of person they are drawn to for reasons that we can’t always explain. This phenomenon is similar to simply being attracted to certain colors or other things we like; like clothing, cars, etc. I believe that what we like or buy somehow represents us and our personality. That would be the major explanation for why we like what we like initially. It could be from our upbringing or how we were bred. Some people may have been born with a silver spoon and have already been pre-exposed to knowing about the “finer” things in life. However, if a person has never had any materialistic type of things, expensive cars, clothes, etc, he or she may seek those things out. There is nothing wrong with exploring a different side of life. Contrastingly, you have people who are just the opposite. Their personality is more in line with the simple things in life. They may even be an environmentalist type of person. What does all of this have to do with dating? In choosing a mate, once we move passed our animal instinct of “ooo look at the nice looking man or woman, come on let’s mate” (be fruitful and multiply) without thinking, we realize that we attract who we are. Or is it that opposites attract? We just like who we like; this person represents some aspect of ourselves or the self we would like to be or become. (The two become one).
So how do we choose our mate? Or why do we choose who we choose? I’ve always said that it’s easier for men than women; but the men argue that it’s not. So once we move beyond the physical attraction of the person, what’s next? There has to be something about the person during the getting to know you process that keeps you attracted. The relationship can’t all be physical right? Not in choosing a Mate or life-long partner. I hope that we are looking for some substance in this process. Maybe some are not but this post is not intended for that type of casual dater; we’ve all been there before, and this is how some choose to date. “Willy Nilly”…you hear people say all the time that they’re not looking for anything. Is it because they are not the settling down type? Then you hear people say, well, I wasn’t looking for a partner when I met my Husband or Wife or Girlfriend or Boyfriend…is it because they were busy with the business of life? It is a thin line between the two. We must keep ourselves busy with life; however we have to make time to date if our goal is to meet our potential Husband or Wife. On the other hand, we should not live obsessing over our Future Mate, and how we are having such a difficult time; and how we keep dating or finding losers! Yes, I’ve been there before too.
So what is it about the potential or the men or women that you are dating that keeps you holding on and hoping that he or she is Mr. or Ms. Right? Is it their looks? (How shallow). Is it their money, educational level, the way they treat you? What is it? It is a combination of things. Does this person have a plan for their life? Does this person want to or plan to get married one day? How does this person really feel about you? Are they good with money and investments? If they have children (we’re in the 30s), are they a good parent? How do they treat their parents or other family members? These are important questions to ask yourself, your potential, and also to observe through this process. Have you clearly defined what you are looking for in a Mate? We all think we know what we want; I hope. But still sometimes we often wind up settling…we settle into what’s comfortable at the time. The downside of staying in a comfortable situation is that you run the risk of not really getting the type of relationship that you desire.
For example, when you first meet a person, they are all about impressing you. For the ladies, the guy will take you out; show you off to some of his friends; spend lots of time with you, the getting to know you phase (in the beginning). Then he becomes more comfortable with you and his true colors come out; now all of a sudden he says that he doesn’t have the money to go out or that he doesn’t really like to go out. What do you do? Is this the type of person you want to spend the rest of your life with knowing that you are the type of person who enjoys nights on the town with your Man? I’m just saying; I know that’s not what relationships are all about, but how do you deal with someone who has portrayed such extremes in your relationship? Do we stay in that situation for supposed love or just keep it moving? You decide…
It seems that dating takes too much work…it should be fun right? I remember when I was in college a guy friend said that dating is expensive. I can definitely see how that could be true from a man’s perspective. If he’s a gentleman, then he’s all about paying for the dinner, movie, and/or lunch, the outing. I’ve always said that daters should become more creative. There are lots of free ways to date which happen to be more romantic than spending lots of money on food that’s not always that good anyway. Dating, choosing, and finding our mate takes time and balance. If you live a balanced life, then you can attract a balanced Mate. Unfortunately, life will throw plenty of challenges at us everyday. In our effort to stay sane, life will affect the way we interact with our potential mates. Do you date more than one person at a time? It all depends on if you have the time to right; and again it can get expensive. Maybe the first or second date could be a trip to the gym or a nice walk in the park; or maybe to church. What’s most important in dating is finding common ground. You have to have some things in common. No, it doesn’t have to be everything in common; that could be quite boring. You have to be able to talk to and communicate with your ideal Mate; and you will find early on if you mesh well with or are compatible with this person.
I always say…just be you! Your potential will love you even more if you know who you are; what you’re willing to accept; and what you stand for! Good luck in love and dating! And please have fun! Stay focused; stay purposed; and Be True to You! I love you all!
–Dr. Rae <3