It’s currently 3 am. One of my friends is falling asleep to the sound of his girlfriend on facetime. Another is flirting with two different guys on twitter. And I’m writing. Spot any differences? Yeah, I thought you might. Way back when, I decided that dating and relationships weren’t my priority, and it’s one of the few things I believe young me did right. So I’ve decided to attempt to unravel the mess that is my brain and talk to you about why I’ve decided not to date.
I like to think of dating as a car. Imagine you’re in a shop and you’re trying to buy a new car. You know what you want: comfort, security, safety, good playlists, a protective exterior but a soft and warm interior, and something you trust. You definitely don’t want something that’s going to break down in the middle of the road leaving you lost and frustrated. So you’re observing the cars around you but nothing’s meeting your standards right now. On your way home you’re thinking about your friends and the cars they have. They’re nice cars don’t get me wrong but none of them seem to be checking all the boxes. To you, your standards are perfectly fine but the market isn’t meeting them right now. Which is why the decision to wait a few years for the perfect car is the better choice for you and what you want.
I’m not implying that a significant other is like an object or that I can’t accept anything other than perfect. But I’m not going to throw myself into a futureless, substance lacking relationship that I know will end in inevitable heartbreak. There are definitely pros to dating and lots of people usually throw the “experience is important” point my way. And they’re absolutely right, yes you do learn a lot from the choices you make good or bad. But I’m not going to throw myself into a fire knowing how badly I’ll get burnt and pretend it’s going to be worth the pain. I’m not delusional and think dating is going to be all fun and rainbows if I wait. But I’m hoping I’ll meet someone who’s on the same maturity level as I am and wants the same things. Someone I see true potential with and so it won’t be like walking into a fire…
It isn’t just the drama and toxic filled environment dating has become, it’s also where my life is right now. Even if a relationship does last longer than a year (which on average for 15-year-olds it doesn’t) and you make it to the end of your time in school together it doesn’t suddenly become easy. Most people want to travel abroad for university and I don’t know if I’ll be leaving the country or staying yet. Maintaining a healthy long-distance relationship is really hard which is why I feel like I’d be setting myself up for heartache and, what I see as, an unnecessary emotional rollercoaster. Getting hung up on a guy that doesn’t text me back isn’t how I want to be spending my time in school.
I hear my phone buzz and want it to be you
To swallow me into a place where only we exist
A place where I’m not scared of inevitable pain
A place of comfort and kindness
Not one of doubt and deception.
But then I’m spit back into reality
And I remember you’re still a boy
And I’m still waiting for a man
And no matter how good that world is
It won’t make you grow any faster.
I’m still young and I’m not the best version of myself yet. Be that my maturity, knowing what I want in life or that I haven’t met nearly enough people to understand who I want to share so much of myself with. Because being committed to another person isn’t something I take lightly and I won’t be doing that blindly or irrationally. I’m taking the time to work on myself and experience things that will help me learn to value myself. And when I do learn my value, I’ll be able to truly understand what I want and can give.
My parents are relatively strict when it comes to guys and like many Muslim parents, they aren’t very open to the idea of dating. They dislike the label, the walking around with a guy, the reputation it might build and the religious intolerance for it. And when the right person comes around I’ve decided that I’m not going to hide it from them because lying and sneaking around never ends well. To do this, I’m going to have to sit down and talk to them about the many points they’ll raise against me until we find a compromise that we’re both happy with. But that isn’t going to be as easy as it sounds. Which is one of the reasons I need someone to meet all the standards because they have to be worth the awkward, infuriating and tear-ridden conversation I know I’m going to endure.
Ultimately what I’m saying is until I truly feel like I’ve found someone that is worth it, I’m waiting.
Waiting for someone who laughs with me. Waiting for someone who cries with me. Waiting for someone who will drop everything to be there for me if I need them. Waiting for someone who challenges me. Waiting for someone who prays with me. Waiting for someone who teaches me. Waiting for someone I want to date.