A few years back, I was complaining to my friend Donna about my sad dating life and how much I HATED dating. She then explained her method of dating to me. Although I am just now getting the hang of it, it opened my eyes like the first time you realize all the cool things your phone can do a year after you've had it.
She likened dating to a horse stable: all the stalls may or may not be filled, just as long as there is more than one horse in it (cuz there's no point in having a stable for just one horse, right?) It seemed simple, very chic and cosmopolitan...empowering even. I remember turning this concept over in my head, wondering if I could pull something like this off. I'm the romantic, emotional type...you know, love at first sight and all that other stuff. I was afraid that dating like this would have my emotions all over the place. Or best case scenario, I'd be kissing a lot of frogs with no prince. As much I have loathed dating in the past, I decided to try it anyway.
It totally worked! No wonder I had always hated dating - I was doing it all wrong! So I think I've figured out what the problem was. You have to be able to see dating for what it's supposed to be. Metaphor Time: We sometimes look at dating as Husband Auditioning instead Trying on Clothes. It's silly to think you have to buy everything you try on, whether it fits or not. So why wouldn't that be the case for a partner? Every time I dated someone, I immediately tried to determine whether or not they were good husband material, or if they were The One. I put all my eggs in one basket. So when the basket finally fell and all my eggs broke, I was devastated. (I know I'm going IN with the metaphors, but stay with me!)
Now back to the stable. Having multiple horses in my stable ensured that I wouldn't be dating out of necessity, desperation, or worst of all, loneliness. If one wasn't available, there were others to hang out with or talk to, get to know. I never gave too much time or energy to just one. It kept my emotions balanced and in check. Plus, if you go so far as to think of them racing (for your love, of course) one horse will always be in the lead, and eventually win the race...and your heart (ok, end of metaphors.)
Its such a smart and fun way to date, that I am convinced this is the way it's supposed to be done. I used to hate dating because I just knew that I would either end up happily boo'd up or being rejected and hurt. Mostly the latter. There was never a middle. Now its all evenly balanced...I hardly notice when one falls off, cuz I didn't unhealthily attach myself to them, and I'm still dating the others too. It's great.
So in honor of Valentine's Day, I want to fully endorse Stable Dating (pun intended.) Thanks Donna for teaching me how to date!