If You Think You're Not Ready to Date

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I can remember a time, after I experienced a few back-to-back heartbreaks, when I decided to take a hiatus from dating. It felt as if my little ol' heart had been put through a meat grinder, and the last thing I wanted to do was meet another stranger from a dating website and give him my generic spiel of where I grew up, what my interests were, and what I was looking for in a partner. I chose, instead, to focus on self-love and personal growth, ramping up the amount of time I meditated, read spiritual texts, and affirmed my self-worth. I told myself that I would give it a month - 31 days of extreme self-care - to reboot my chewed-up heart. But something strange happened. By the end of the month, even though I felt better about myself, I was resistant to the idea of reactivating my online profile. I was content staying home, in my pajamas, and reading on Friday nights. Why change? Why walk through the awkwardness of dating? Why put myself out there again and be vulnerable when I had been hurt so many times?

Because here's the truth: you're never going to be ready; or to be more accurate - you're never going to feel ready to date.

Dating is a strange activity that can, at times, feel traumatic. Want to meet random strangers and engage in awkward conversation? Start dating. 

Who's ready to do anything in life that requires even the slightest bit of bravery? Who wants to change jobs when they feel complacent at their current, mediocre gig? Who wants to look for a new apartment and go through the hassle of moving, even though their upstairs neighbors play mariachi music on full blast at all hours of the night? Who wants to join a gym and start working out when it feels so comfortable to stay home and eat lasagna? Who's ready for life? No one. No one wants to make changes, to put themselves out there, to grow. But you have to. That's why we're on this earth - to expand, to enter into relationships, and to give it our best shot.

You're not ready? Do it anyway. You're just going out for a cup of coffee; your'e not committing to marriage. Take a breath. Tell yourself that it'll be over in an hour, and there'll be plenty of time to watch Netflix and eat Italian food in bed. 

The key to moving forward in life is to feel the fear and do it anyway. Let your fear surface, make space for it, allow it, but don't live your life listening to its long monologues about how there are no good men or women out there, or how you'll start dating when you lose twenty pounds. Date now. Go on. Join Match and surrender your romantic life to the universe. Be willing to open up your heart. Be willing to walk through your fears. Your'e never going to be ready, with just the tiniest bit of willingness, you don't have to be.