Have you found yourself feeling that dating is a hobby? And just like some hobbies, you do it more or less often than other things you enjoy. I find myself immersing myself in some hobbies, then totally abandoning them for long stretches. And just like belly dancing, scuba diving or parachute jumping, you need specialized attire — dateware!
In the first two years of my new single life, when friends would ask what was new, I’d respond enthusiastically, “I’m dating!” accompanied by a big smile. It was as if I was announcing my new hobby of scrapbooking, Greek dancing, or spelunking. My search for a new love had become a recreational avocation.
Is this a good thing or not? It depends on your perspective. If you are into sport dating, then you enjoy dating around and meeting a lot of people with no real intention of finding one for the long term. If you aren’t upfront about wanting to date around, some daters resent this attitude as they feel you are wasting their time.
Others appreciate this more carefree attitude and gather activity partners like shoes, choosing which ones are best for a certain outing.
There are two downsides to hobby dating:
- You may be commitment averse and not know it. If you’ve dated a lot and pull the plug after seeing a guy for a few weeks, it might be that it isn’t just that you’re too picky. Make sure you explore the possibility that you’re afraid of commitment.
- If you’re not honest with the men you date that you’re interested in only an occasional activity partner, he could be justifiably upset when he falls for you and you don’t respond in kind. Unrequited is never fun.
Treating dating like a hobby allows you the freedom to meet people without the expectation of quickly finding The One. This also means you don’t soon get discouraged. You are more able to enjoy the person in front of you and get to know him without pondering “Would I marry him?” You are more relaxed, which means he’s more relaxed, which means you can lighten up and have fun.
However, you have to hold back from accepting an invitation from someone you know you’d never consider a romantic partner, just to fill an evening. Unless you both have said you are just looking for friends and activity partners.
Just as with any hobby, be clear on the parts of it that you enjoy and stop doing it when it isn’t fun anymore. No one likes to be around a lackadaisical or bitter companion for any hobby.
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