Things Don't Have To Be *That* Serious

Having a crush. Talking to said crush.

Going on a date. Going on multiple dates.

Putting a label on it. Dating for a respectable amount of time.

Getting engaged.  Getting married.

Adopting a dog. Having a few kids.

Living happily ever after. Or so they say.

Okay, ladies, if any of this made you feel a little anxious, go ahead and raise your hands. No need to feel bad about it; mine’s all the way up in the air. Maybe it’s just where I am in life, or maybe it’s just who I’ve become as a person, but the thought of staying with one person for the rest of my life (or even for more than a few weeks) kinda freaks me out.

As a society, we think we’ve got the whole relationship thing all figured out. You spend a while trying on different guys until you find “the one” and settle down.

But that’s the thing. That one little word. It’s enough to scare me out of everything; it’s enough for me to point-blank call the whole idea off.

Settle.

I’ve never been one to even consider the possibility of giving up what I want for a guy, and besides, what’s better than being single and available to do whatever you want with no obligations?

There’s been a meme going around Twitter recently, and you’ve probably seen it. It usually includes a picture of someone cuddled up in their bed with the caption “How I sleep knowing I’m single and nobody’s cheating on me.”

At first I found this to be quite hilarious, but after seeing so many different versions of the meme, I started to think: what brings people to cheat? And why does it happen so regularly? Why is it becoming normal, almost expected?

I feel like the list of reasons could go on and on. Unhappy in a relationship, whether that be a lack of sexual satisfaction or emotional satisfaction, seemed to be the number one reason that I could think of. Are people so shallow that we need validation that we’re desired by more than one person? Are we so fickle that we just can’t seem to commit to one person?

I suppose the next question that should come into play is: What is defined as cheating? Merriam-Webster defines cheating as “to be sexually unfaithful.” If only it were as simple as a dictionary definition.

After all of this thinking about cheating, I started to wonder if humans were even meant to be with one person for the rest of our lives. Are we really meant to find “the one” and end our romantic and sexual escapades forever? Do we do this because it’s our nature or because we are influenced by our cultural values?

Let’s be honest. Have you ever been dating someone and had a crush on someone else? Did you feel bad about it? So bad that you refused to think about it enough to admit it to yourself, much less tell someone?

It’s pretty hard to tell if you feel bad because you’re supposed to or because you actually do. Quite frankly, I don’t see what’s so harmful about having a crush on someone while you’re dating someone else. There’s something pretty liberating about realizing that you don’t have to confine yourself to one person if you don’t want to.

In my opinion, the real problem we’ve created is that we’ve romanticized the way we think relationships are supposed to go. What ever happened to the sanctity of dating? And I mean real dating, as in the “we went out a couple of times, and it was casual” kind of dating.

I guess my point is that we don’t have to expect so much out of each other at such a young age. I get that we like to think ahead and try to be with people that we can see ourselves staying with, but the truth is that it just doesn’t have to be that serious. Not yet. Not ever, if you don’t want it to be. So go out, have a coffee, and remember that you don’t have to call him back.