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Why Are We Afraid To Invest In Others Before We Date Them?

The countdown clock begins from the moment we meet a potential date. When you’re single going out with someone, or having a date becomes the most important part of the interaction. In fact, it’s almost impossible to think of doing anything else after meeting someone new except “going out with each other.”  We don’t engage in phone calls or texts, or messaging of any kind unless its about where and when to meet. The meeting of course to determine if the person is worth our time. I order to have an enjoyable dating experience you can’t avoid investing in other people. If you think it’s a waste of time, you’re wrong.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “I don’t want to waste my time” when speaking with single men and women. This phrase stems from the idea that a relationship is a goal, and anything that won’t lead to a relationship is a waste of time. It is possible to waste your time in dating. It is possible to pursue the wrong people and spend more time and energy than you need to trying to make a relationship happen where it won’t. That being said, getting to know another person, is never a waste of time. Your commitment to being someone who is caring and curious should prevail over the the fear that your time will be wasted.

So why does time wasting scare us so much?

We don’t want to be judged

There is a very old saying that goes ‘as within, so without’. It basically means that your inner world, will be reflected in your outer world. The fear that other’s will judge you is and will forever be a reflection of your own judgmental ways. There is no way to get around the fact that to believe in other people, is to believe in yourself.

The way to overcome the fear of judgment and to prevent your time being wasted is to learn one interesting thing about a person before you go on a date with them. If the thought of learning about someone annoys you so much, that you’re unwilling to interact with potential dates because of it, you should really reevaluate your commitment to finding love.

When we think about our time being wasted, especially when it comes to the initial stages of getting to know someone, we are trying to answer a question that can’t be answered. Which is: are you right for me? The way we come about this answer is through judgment and that’s incorrect.

Someone has to show you who they are, not tell you, in order for you to know if they’re compatible with you or not. If you’re not setting up tests of compatibility and only using judgment to determine if your date is “worth” your time then you could be missing out on some great people.

We don’t want to feel stupid

We feel stupid when we go out with people who we would never want to have a relationship with. This means someone who is rude, unattractive, awkward, or all of the above. Essentially they are below our standards. Feeling stupid comes from an inability to properly screen a date because we just want to get to the relationship part. When we realize that our date isn’t what we want we can feel stupid for being so desperate.

Then the shame of still being single sets in. What if instead of feeling stupid for giving someone a chance who may not have been your type, you simply called them on the phone. What if you took a few minutes out of your day to ask them a few questions about themselves.

Why is it so hard to invest time in getting to know someone prior to meeting yet we will drag our physically bodies somewhere just to judge them? Instead of rushing to a date for coffee, or ten minutes of twenty questions, why not just invest at least a week of interest to vet potential dates for compatibility?

We don’t want to be patient

When we meet a potential date it can feel natural to want to get to the point. From the minute we match on Tinder, we can’t wait to meet face to face and judge them. Like the lost duck on a journey, “Are you my mother?” we rush into meeting our dates, wondering “Are you my next girlfriend?”

We fail to realize that with our most important relationships we didn’t get to the point immediately. It took time to get to know our friends, and to start to trust them. It’s this kind of patience you should exercise when you meet someone you want to date. Think about the job you have. Was it the moment you had your interview you got the offer?

Was the offer exactly what you wanted with no negotiation? When we come across something that we really want its a rare instance that we just have it immediately after. The trip you plan, the job that you want, even the new iPhone hasn’t shipped yet but in dating, the feeling of waiting sounds completely unheard of.

Why wait a week to meet someone that you could judge right away? In dating, you have to be patient. You have no idea if the person you met in high school or on the highway will be your future husband or wife. There is no way of knowing what someone will be to us unless we are willing to invest in the relationship. That doesn’t mean extending yourself beyond what feels comfortable. It means giving the get to know you process the time it needs to unfold.

We’d rather be single

Avoiding investing in others keeps us single, and the truth is some people would rather stay single because it’s safe. The idea of investing in getting to know other people might seem foreign because we don’t know what to do with the information. If they’re not going to be our best friends or they’re not going to be a lover, then why should we have them in our lives at all. Why should we care? My question to you is why not? What is so wrong with caring about other people?

We’re afraid of rejection

Society has taught us that investing in others is a sign of weakness. That the person who shows that they give a shit is the loser and can face rejection. The truth is, you can invest in getting to know someone and then decide that you don’t like them.

You can invest in getting to know them for the sake of measuring compatibility. Who are they and what are they offering? Instead of just making assumptions of what other people will or won’t do, you can actually go through the process of asking. We think that just because we invest in asking a few questions, we are putting ourselves on the line to be rejected. Curiosity and showing romantic interest are not the same. You can get to know, and like, lots of people without having to date all of them.

The process of getting to know someone should be ingrained in a screening process that you implement in your dating life. You don’t have to accept a date from everyone. You don’t even have to assume that because there is physical attraction that there will be compatibility. Screen your dates. Get to know someone before you decide that you want to date them. Invest in other people and you will be much happier with the results in your love life.

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