Q: As a single woman, the whole dating scene exhausts me. I’m tired of wasting time on guys who aren’t interested in commitment. Help!
A: It might surprise you how many single men and women have told us they’re confused by dating. Generally, the problem is a lack of clear boundaries between friendship and romance, so singles hang on too long to a relationship that’s going nowhere.
“Going on a date” is about friendship. It’s enjoying someone’s company with the understanding there’s nothing exclusive or even necessarily romantic between you. It’s an evening out to dinner, a movie, or a cup of coffee because you’re friends.
“Exclusive dating” is completely different. It’s committing to one person and moving your relationship toward the possibility of marriage. During this time, you have to be intentional about determining whether or not this is really the person you want to be married to. If not, you have to be willing to move on.
The trouble comes when singles treat friendship in the same way as an exclusive relationship, or vice versa. Sooner or later, one person gets romantically hooked and spends months or years hanging on to the relationship, hoping the other person will want to marry. So if you’re dating, keep the boundaries between friendship and exclusive dating crystal clear. You need that kind of focus to keep you from getting stuck in a relationship that’s going nowhere.
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