By Kenneth Stepp
Are you single and trying to figure out what the rules of dating are? We all are, and after almost 6 years of studying, pondering, and listening to people on this journey talk about their dating disasters, I can now conclude, there are no rules. Or not in general at least. We have to develop our own rules, guidelines, and boundaries. That means our rules are internal, they will be guided by our own integrity, nothing more.
I’ve been single almost 6 years, I have made every mistake, overlooked every red flag, and messed up my own little world more than anyone else could have. Early on, I didn’t really lie, but I allowed others to believe things by omission. I have grown or evolved enough to say this… If I can’t be 100% honest with someone, I do not want them in my orbit.
I have dated more than one girl at a time, I didn’t tell them this, again, by omission. Now, after growth, if I date someone more than a few times, I do not date anyone else. My growth here has been this. I am pickier now, if I date someone for a while, they fit in my life, I do not need anyone else. This is more freeing than you might think. Friendship actually grows within the relationship because of this.
Transparency… I use to be aloof, secretive, and guarded. Today, if I am spending a good amount of time with you, there are reasons for that. Time, to me, has value. If I can’t be me with her, I should not be with her. Transparency, to me, leaves pretense behind. I am me, I’m a mess, I have issues, I’m not perfect in any area of my life. I I do not allow her to see those parts of me, this is more of a game than a relationship. We could spend years together and never really know one another. I’ve seen this play out. When the curtain is drawn back, it’s over, and so much time has been spent.
Faithfulness is rare these days, or it seems to be. The stories I’ve heard and continue to hear are outrageous. If sex with someone new each time is that important to you, stop dating, examine who you have become, and change what needs to be changed before you begin dating again. There are plenty in the dating community that just want intimacy, nothing more, if you find that’s you, find like minded people and stop hurting people that believe you are sincere.
I can’t or should not talk about relationships without bringing up loyalty. Loyalty, to me, is the most important attribute a person can have. If you have made it to a place in my life where you matter to me, I will always be loyal to you. If someone wants to talk behind your back to me, it is not allowed, if someone is hurting you, our shoulders are pressed together till you are not hurting. If I am loyal to you, I will be honest, faithful, and be myself with you. Loyalty means something.
This is one time where I had no idea what I would write. My life has taken a few unexpected turns recently and I find myself in a wonderful place. A place I questioned whether I would ever find myself in again. A place where I can and will be all these things I just mentioned. Is this one of those things like, if you want one be one? Maybe…
“Unknown is the road we seek, unknown are those we will meet, one day, unknown will give way and known will happen, let it” – k stepp