3 Ideas for when you’re “past feeling” in dating

This wouldn’t be a blogpost without me saying that dating is the worst.

The worst of it is that it keeps getting worse even when it’s sometimes better.

I have been on a lot of bad dates in my life (the date where the guy didn’t tell me it was a formal dance and I wore khakis and a jean jacket; the date where I found out the guy had picked up the ring THAT DAY for his soon-to-be-fiance (long story); the date where I was fasting (Fast Sunday was the next day), but he took me to a restaurant (not in the original plans) and I felt awkward so I ordered something, and THEN he told me he wasn’t ordering because he was fasting *blergh!*; the date where the guy attacked my religious beliefs even though we share the same religion, and so on).

But this is not about those dates.This is about my current repertoire of dates, which, if categorized, would go in the “good date” category.

I get set up a fair amount. And I venture back into online dating every once in a while. So I do go out on dates. But of late, this is how the date goes.

Talk to guy.

  • Be wildly interesting and super funny
  • Set up time to meet.
  • Go to lunch, dinner, ice cream, or smoothie.
  • Talk a lot and get to know each other.
  • Be wildly (and genuinely) interested in the conversation
  • Say goodbye.
  • The end.

I come home and it was just another person. Another one to two hours spent getting to know someone I probably won’t see again (but who I will probably try to set up with one of my friends and it won’t work out for them either…), and that’s it.

The date is fine. The guy is a genuinely good guy. The conversation is fine. It’s all fine.

But I just feel like I am past feeling.

And lest ye misunderstand, when I say past feeling, I mean that I don’t feel anything. It’s just like talking to a new acquaintance. But it’s worse because it’s a situation where I am trying to feel interested and there’s just nothing there. I’m indifferent as to whether or not I want to go out again. I’m pretty much indifferent to everything.

blue-screen
I always feel like I should add a photo to my blogs. The blue screen of death felt appropriate.

You could say I’m cold-hearted. I would probably agree. I didn’t always use to be this way. I used to get legit excited about certain dates and be nervous and everything about whether the guy would call back. But that didn’t serve me well. Too many hopes dashed and too much emotion that hurts after nearly 15 years of going on dates *yuck*. So now I’m just…dead inside.

But in speaking with many of my friends (both guys and girls), we all feel the same way. It’s a plague of our generation, I guess.

So here are three ideas to get past the “past feeling”:

1. ….
2. *awkward silence*
3. *shifting eyes*

Ok, so I don’t have any idea.

Mostly, my “dealing with it” consists of me coming home, going to my room, holding back tears that I can’t feel anything (and sometimes not holding back tears), feeling angry at myself, wondering how if I can cry and be angry surely there must be some feeling left in me, praying to never go on any dates again ever, and then going to bed.

I really don’t know how to get past it. But I welcome ideas. However, I’ve already heard, “It will change when you really like someone” about 4 billion times. The problem with that is that I would have to really like someone. I can’t reasonably imagine that there are no human beings I already know who could fit this category and that I still just need to find “the one” who’s out there hiding under a bushel. (But I do feel that way because I can unreasonably imagine that).
I have also heard, “Give it some time.” Time is not on anyone’s side here. Us 30+ers who are still single have got the patience/God’s timing quotes memorized. But perhaps the main thing the over-30 club has learned from giving more time to someone you don’t feel anything for (I’m talking about not feeling one little iota) is that you end up even more frustrated with more tears and more sad prayers.

Lastly, please don’t say, “You’re lucky you’re even going on dates” because that’s #nothelpful. Sometimes going on dates when you feel like this is worse than not going.

So give me some real suggestions on how to get “past feeling”. Or just tell me it’s ok because this is life. And life is like that. #notbitter #really

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2 Comment

  1. I'm glad I didn't make the super crazy list, at least. 🙂 Rest assured, that you do make a good, attractive impression on the guys you are going out with – you are fun, interesting, and thoughtful, and your love for the Lord shines through.

    I don't think real, deep, lasting connections were ever meant to be easy. Even the most perfect person of all, our Savior, was despised, rejected, suffered terribly, and was ultimately killed just for following the Lord's plan for his life. We are his disciples, and we have to be willing to bear our cross for as long as he needs us to.

    What you're describing sounds really familiar to me (and a lot of your 29+ year old friends). I don't have all the answers either, but my heart goes out to you (and all of us who have been in that situation).

    One of the biggest lessons that comes flooding out from visions of God, conference talks, and priesthood blessings (given and received) is that God loves you. Not in spite of how well He knows you, but because of how well He knows you, He loves you and wants you to succeed, and in His time, if you stay on the narrow path, you will succeed in obtaining all the promises of God in His time. Sincere prayer and scripture study allow us to talk to and receive specific counsel and comfort from Him. The best husband-wife relationships always have the spouse as #2, because God is our eternal #1. So never underestimate the power of seeking personal revelation through scripture study, prayer, fasting, temple attendance, etc.

    The second thing is that men and women express and build love in a relationship by sacrifice. If we aren't sacrificing, our love cannot grow past a certain point. Joseph Smith taught that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” I think learning to love someone works on a similar principle. Maybe we have to sacrifice our preconceptions of things we want for things God shows us that we need.

    My fond hope is that early dating can be more about discovering if another person is compatible with us in their character and their long-term life goals, and less about "not wasting his/her time" or seeing if every detail matches the most selfish version of our wish list. I'm not perfect at this by any means, but I do know the long struggle has made me more empathetic and humble, and I'm grateful for that at least. But seriously, I'd love to start phase 2, you know? #notbitter #really #okmaybealittlesometimes #loveyourhashtags

  2. You know, this is an interesting topic. I've spent many many long nights alone thinking about this same thing…plus the fact that I never really thought of myself as an attractive individual. I think Daniel has some good insights. I know you have a lot going for you. I have learned much of living the plan of Heavenly Father is learning to obey, trust, and move forward. I believed that I was past feeling before meeting Diane. I have slowly learned what it is to truly sacrifice for another person and trust that God is aware of my weaknesses and is there to help me, but only after I've put in all the work that I can. It sounds like you are just a little burnt out. Believe me when I say I know the feeling. I took a dating hiatus for a while during my Senior year of college and months into my "professional" life. Then I went through multiple girls and felt like I couldn't feel anything anymore. But my Patriarchal Blessing had always contradicted the notion of #foreversingle, so I decided that I would just keep trucking. The important thing in all of our lives is that we press forward in faith. If we don't have faith, we have the desire to have faith. If we don't feel the desire, we pray for the desire. If we don't feel like praying, we pray to feel like praying. It is a process. Heavenly Father understands our frustrations. In my case, I know that in order for me to progress and receive the blessings I have been promised, I need to be faithful. And that faith can mean merely getting out to talk to people of the opposite gender (if that's all I can give). Heavenly Father never expects us to run faster than we have strength. And I can also tell you that the "magic" of dating is just like "magic." It doesn't last and it is not sustainable. Successful relationships are built upon trust, sacrifice, and conscious daily decisions.
    And for the past feeling, it all boils down to being vulnerable. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I've had my heart ripped out dozens of times. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I cry. Yes, I hate feeling hurt. BUT…I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all that. I will heal, I will be able to progress, and I will find peace in life. Receiving love requires sacrifice of being vulnerable. And of being hurt repeatedly.
    As a last thought…don't try to overcomplicate things. I think that is the true plague of our generation. We put so much weight in getting to know someone (especially when we get older) that we are worried about "wasting time." Time is not wasted if you are learning lessons. Especially if it is helping to lead you down that path that Heavenly Father has for you. I've had some particularly crappy struggles throughout the years that have really made me question things. I never understood what the point was or why they had to happen. BUT…in the Gospel hindsight is 20/20, even if that hindsight comes in the next life.
    All this being said, I have full faith in you. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in God. Have faith in His promised blessings. When you are weak, pray for strength. When you can't run, walk. When you can't walk, crawl. All the Lord expects is your best. And trust that He loves you and has the perfect timing for your life. He's got your back. I know that. #endsoapbox

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