Am I just wasting my time?
This is a question many singles ask themselves when they’re trying to make a decision in dating. Sometimes being interested in someone who isn’t showing the same investment feels like a waste in and of itself.
When you consider going on a date, sending a text or even saying ‘hello’ to a cute stranger you can’t help but wonder, should I? Or would it be a waste of time? Most singles don’t want to waste time in dating.
We use phrases like “go somewhere”, “turn into anything”, and “the long-term”. We have an overwhelming fear of uncertainty. And often we just want to “know”, that things will turn out alright.
Not only that, we want to know where we stand, and where things are going. Which isn’t always predictable.
The desire to not waste your time, and energy is valid. Why make an investment in someone who isn’t willing to make an investment in you, or someone who isn’t fulfilling your core needs?
Why show someone attention who doesn’t appreciate it? And why put your hopes into the possibility of a relationship with someone who doesn’t feel the same way? Dating someone who wastes your time is like a driver that knows your destination, and agrees to take you there, but never puts the car in drive. So how can you date more effectively and avoid wasting your time with the wrong person?
Start with these 3 critical questions to determine if you should take action, or not. If the answer to any of the questions is no, then you’re probably setting yourself up to waste your time.
Will this get me closer to my goal?
What do you really want to come out of this?
Once you know what your goals are, its easy to know when to take action, and if that action will lead to a desired result.
If you don’t want your efforts to be wasted, get clear on what you really want to get out of the situation.
It’s a practice that can be done, and should be done often. For example, if you’re dating online and you’re debating whether to send a message to a new match, it’s easy to know if you should take action based on your goal. If you want a date this week, send a message. If you’re interested in learning more about the person, then send a message.
The same attitude applies if you see an attractive person in real life. Do you want a date, a new friend, or are you interested in getting to know more about this person? If so, then make a move. Say “Hello.” Be honest with yourself.
If you’re waiting to meet the love of your life, hear harps, and see butterflies then don’t do anything. DON’T TAKE ACTION. Unless you’re hearing harps and seeing butterflies. If you’re waiting to be chosen by someone, and you believe that if they really liked you, they would take the reins and take action, then don’t do anything.
If you’re clear about your goals, and you know that by making a move you improve your chances of achieving them then the next thing you do will not be a waste of time.
Will I feel better about myself after?
It might sound trite but its okay to do what feels good. When you take action in dating it can either reinforce a negative belief that you have about yourself, or a positive one. It’s easy to do what we know doesn’t feel good in the vein of putting ourselves out there, and then feel completely dejected when it doesn’t work out.
Dating isn’t about pushing yourself to the point of discomfort. You should only take action when you’re certain it will feel good to take.
I’m often asked about what texts are the right ones to send, or what compliments are the right ones to give but the key to success aren’t in the words but in the actions.
Sending a text first, or giving a compliment, are great ways to show that you’re a confident person.
It should feel good to take actions that represent who you are. In fact, its when we don’t take action that we feel guilty, because we know that we’ve let ourselves down.
For example, if you text someone with enthusiasm and they give you a simple, or ambivalent response, you can easily feel rejected and like you shouldn’t have texted them at all. You get the sense that maybe they’re not interested and now you feel like you’ve wasted energy even caring about their interest. But think of it this way… if you text someone and you’re confident enough to deal with the outcome, you’ll feel really good about yourself because you’ll know that it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks.
Enjoying the process doesn’t always mean getting a desired result. Sometimes it’s just about acting out your truth, being who you are, and growing into who you want to be.
Will this be fun?
Dating is a process of both getting to know someone and getting to know more about yourself. Most importantly dating should be fun.
But let’s say that dating is too stressful to be fun because you’re ready for a relationship, and eager to feel chosen. Or that you’re the only one in your circle who isn’t with someone, or you were recently dumped.
You might chose being practical over having fun but that’s a mistake.
Fun is the only reason that you should ever engage with someone else, much less a total stranger.
That sounds crazy right! We often believe that an interaction has to mean something more, or it’s a waste of time.
Not true. It only has to have been fun.
Fun is the cornerstone of all relationships. Couples stay together and thrive when they’re having fun. We often substitute the words ease, or easy for fun but at the end of the day, fun is what you’re really looking for.
Fun feels good. Fun lets your guard down. Fun is flow.
Can sending a text, or giving a compliment be fun? Sure, if you want it to be. If you decide it will be, or can be. The alternative is not having fun, or being negative. So if you’re unsure whether dating someone will waste your time or not, just gauge by how fun it will be. If it won’t be fun, or it will make you feel more dejected once it’s over, then yeah it’s a complete waste of time. Creating new habits in dating starts by asking the right questions.
What makes a relationship a waste of time is not the ending as most people fear, because most relationships end. The indication of time wasted can be measured by the experience you have through it all.
If it isn’t fun, doesn’t make you feel good, and it doesn’t get you closer to a goal, just don’t do it.