Are you dating anyone? 

If you’re not married this is the single person’s equivalent to the married circle question of “when are you going to have kids?” Just like the marrieds and kids question, being able to answer “no” and be ok with that status can be very hard for singles, especially as you age.

Media and society have led us to some generalizations by decades; twenties are for “discovering yourself” which basically means no rules apply; do whatever you want in relationships, commit, or don’t; date as many people as you want; experiment; etc.. Then as you say farewell to the 20’s and usher in the 30s with a cute hashtag like #flirtyandthirty, the end result is prolonging the discovering yourself decade before.

But, if you’re “discovering yourself” or #flirtyandthirty, there’s an easy excuse to answer the question:

Are you dating anyone? 
“Not seriously, I’m dating around.”

What is around? 
Around having to commit? 
Around having to answer no to the question? 
Around when there’s someone I wish would commit? 
Around to avoid ever being alone? 

And no where in the flirty or discovery is someone encouraging you to learn how to cope on your own. Instead, the message is fill any void with someone, anyone, no matter what the heartache and mess might be when it ends.

Filling a void of “alone” with unhealthy dating relationships is a terrible practice for learning to cope on your own. Know where our poor coping skills end up? Pushed off to the next person we hang out with, date, commit to, get engaged to or ultimately marry.

Being in a healthy dating relationship is great practice for learning to cope together. Unfortunately, even in the best relationships and marriages there are days when each will feel alone and each will need to use their own coping skills. So, when and how have you built those skills?

Learning to say “no” because you’re learning to cope speaks strength, not weakness.

Like a workout, coping builds confidence muscles… 
in learning to be ok by yourself, for a season, or for a while longer. 
in letting go of a good relationship because it wasn’t right. 
in figuring out what you really want and need in relationships. 
in healing your heart because it was really stomped on by someone. 
in knowing when you say “yes” it will be with certainty, not a mask of insecurity.
in giving a new relationship an honest try because you’ve dealt with any previous ones.
and, most importantly, 
in you, being you and knowing exactly who you are.

And that is worth every “no”.

If you’re just joining in from #write31days, catch up on previous posts {click here}.

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