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    Chavy
    Participant

    I’m reading the various posts on when to know when it’s not for you and what to do. While I’m happy that some are in the dating process, I’m wondering how it’s possible to date and when one’s emotional well-being isn’t in a good place. I know everyone is different, but I personally would like to be in a better place emotionally. I guess ones that are dating are in a good place emotionally? Just trying to understand.

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    Red4
    Participant

    I guess ones that are dating are in a good place emotionally?

    Ha! Not necessarily, although that would be ideal. Also, people may feel emotionally ready and then lose that feeling (and regain it) as time goes on. Personally I refused to start dating until I felt I was a little more ready (and everyone has a different definition of “ready”). I know this isn’t much help except to reassure you that it’s okay if you don’t feel as though you are ready emotionally, or that you are not in a good place yet. Stepping into the dating world can be emotionally taxing, and you need to fortify yourself. But honestly this applies to most stages in life. For example, starting graduate school, or a new job, while neither need to be a lifelong decision, also require a certain level of mental and emotional preparedness. And while I have felt unprepared and unsettled for both, I knew that some of it may have been an attempt to push off having to take the next big step in my life. I know that many of my issues will follow me throughout my lifetime, and I have to make the conscious decision not to let them prevent me from doing what I want to. (If you don’t want to, then that’s another story, and don’t let anyone pressure you.)

    As a side point, I know someone who sees a therapist specifically when she has a dating issue, or a related problem. Emotional health, as with any other health, requires constant upkeep. Don’t forget that.

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    Hey chavy, great question and i like red4 ‘s ha reply. I can second that. Not everyone who dates is emotionally healthy and taking it a step further many get married before they are emotionally ready as well which can lead to significant problems that need to be dealt with. I applause you for taking the time to reflect on yourself and decide whether or not you’re ready for the dating stage in life and I want to assure you as well that its ok to wait even though there is pressure all around you and it seems as though everyone is heavily dating.

    All that said, I want to add that many people myself included lump dating with marriage and then stay away from dating because they feel completely not ready for marriage. If you can work on separating the 2 completely you may feel in a different place when you ask yourself if you’re ready for dating. Dating is a stage in life like any other and marriage is a separate stage in life, same goes for having children and then raising them. Its easy to confuse all these transitions and combine them into one big transition because from the outside looking in it appears that you date and then blink and you are expecting your second child. It is not like this. Dating is dating. You are learning how you interact with another person of the opposite gender, you are learning about yourself more than you’re even learning about them and you are engaging in a stage of your life development-that’s all.  When the right fit is there you may be ready for the next stage which would be engagement and so on and so forth. One stage will help you feel ready for the next and there is no one size fits all in terms of how long each stage needs to be.

    So back to you’re question if you feel like you want to get emotionally stronger in ways that have nothing to do with interpersonal relationships and anxiety about dating go for it and spend this time strengthening yourself. If you feel like your anxiety or whatever other emotional issue you’re dealing with can be dealt with while you accurately reframe the dating process and even help you work towards your goals then that would be a great path as well. No choice is better than the other as long as its deliberate and you can try to enjoy the path you choose. ah I can go on and on but ill leave it at this and lmk if you want any more soap box…

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    Chavs27
    Participant

    This is something I am definitely struggling with, I think that when i “started” dating i wasn’t as aware of this concern but as time has been going on, I have become more aware and more motivated to attempt to address it.

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    That makes total sense and good for you!

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    always,

    I was a bit taken aback by your position that dating and marriage are different stages with the insinuation that one can date if they’re not ready for marriage.

    As I read it again, I realized that your entire approach and mindset seem very mature and developed. And very much inline with what you laid out, from that developed place, viewing each stage as separate makes so much sense.

    I guess what concerns me is that many readers may not be as clear as you seem to be and may jump into dating when they’re far from ready.

    You said nothing wrong. I am just sharing what came up for me when I read your post.

    Thanks for contributing to the topic and for allowing me the same!

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    Thank you so  much for clarifying. Yes. I believe you understood what i said correctly but i appreciate you sharing your initial confusion.

    I think individuals should jump into dating when they think they are ready to date. Aka somewhat ready for inevitable rejection, navigating relationships even in their awkward stages, comfortable enough to be somewhat social and share about themselves etc.

    I believe, and i can be wrong but i don’t think there is a right or wrong here- that you can date if you feel ready to date even if you don’t feel ready for marriage. For many it’s difficult if not impossible to feel ready for marriage before giving themselves time to go through the dating stage.

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    I totally get where you are coming from and what you are saying. And it makes sense. Sort of like when someone does not feel ready to start a new job, but they are capable and ready.

    I guess what I am referring to is someone who doesn’t even have a clue (or care to have a clue) if they are ready or not. And more likely than not, those people would never find themselves on this forum.

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    yes. Precisely

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you all for your responses!

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