Monday, July 17, 2023

Dating is All about Assessment

Some people date solely for sex or companionship, and if that's the clear purpose, it's perfectly fine. However, for many young adults, especially those seeking a spouse, dating is about finding a life partner. If you're dating or looking to date with this goal in mind, it's crucial not to get distracted and lose sight of this fundamental objective. In this context, dating is all about assessing whether your date is suitable as a life partner or not.

You need to have a clear idea of the type of person who would be compatible with you and the qualities that are important for your life. To be honest, how much your date loves you or how nice they are is not the most relevant factor. Even how much you love the person is not the most crucial consideration. The truly most important thing is whether the two of you are a good match or not. Regardless of how wonderful your date may seem, if you two are not compatible, it's essential to let it go. Many people struggle with this aspect, and it often leads to tragic outcomes.

This process is similar to house hunting. Imagine being able to examine any available houses, but you can only purchase one house in your lifetime, and it's sold "as is." If a house is cute and appealing but too small and inconvenient for your lifestyle, or if a house is beautiful and spacious but has fundamental plumbing issues, would you still buy it? Even if the house is perfect in the countryside but you want to live in the city, it's not a match. Sometimes people tend to be more cautious and sensible when buying a house than when choosing a life partner. They might hold onto optimistic hopes such as "he/she will change once we get married" or "he/she will become more responsible once we have a baby," and so on. This hope is often referred to as DENIAL. Unfortunately, it is more common for a partner's problems to worsen after marriage rather than improve.

I understand that love matters and emotions are involved. However, when it comes to dating and marriage, excessive love and other feelings often hinder this purpose because they blind you from making the right decision. The fear of being alone, the release of brain chemicals from having sex, enjoyable experiences together, worries about not getting married, and concerns about the biological clock—these factors can push you, but you need to stay calm and assess what you truly want and whether your current relationship can withstand the test of time.

I am even skeptical about providing couples therapy for dating couples (although I will still do it if they insist, as it's my professional duty, but I suggest they assess the compatibility as well). Why is that? If they already need professional support while just dating, they are probably not a good match. Instead of forcing themselves to make it work so hard, they can find a better fit elsewhere. It may sound cold and mean, but for the remaining 40-50 years of their lives, do they really want to work on fundamental differences and issues between themselves? Well, some people still say yes to that, and that is totally fine. However, if they choose to proceed despite knowing their partner's issues, they cannot complain about them after marriage. They bought it "as is," so all they can do is accept it and appreciate whatever positives there are to make the best out of it.

The bottom line is the purpose of dating: assessment. You need to assess your partner and stoically evaluate compatibility. If it's not a good fit, let it go, even if it's not easy. If it is a good fit, cherish and nurture it as it is an incredible thing. It's a simple concept but often difficult to implement for the majority of daters. Take my advice and approach it correctly for a happier and easier life after marriage for you and your special spouse!

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