Love U: More than friends but not official

Shideh Ghandeharizadeh | Daily Trojan

Casual dating is defined as: two people who may or may not share an emotional and sometimes physical relationship without the expectation that it will turn into something official.

I’d like to start off by saying to all of the women who are perfectly content with casually dating someone, this by no means is intended to offend you and I respect every woman’s choice to date however they please. If that means dating multiple men or maybe even just one guy but nothing ever serious, then all the power to you. I personally, am just burnt out.

In regards to modern day “romance,” there seems to be a million and one unofficial rules on the do’s and don’ts of dating. I have quickly come to find out that I in fact, know none of them. I have been told however, that if you are a girl, DO act nonchalant, make the guy chase you, play hard to get. DON’T get invested, come off clingy, and or be needy. I feel like it’s this constant game of who can care less which ultimately leads to no one caring at all. This reason alone is enough for me to not want to casually date but let us dive deeper into the issue.

Ever since I could comprehend English (which has been a decent amount of time), I have been accustomed to the fact that a man should respect a woman. Things like opening the door for women, pulling out the chair for them, and being mindful of what is said, were all things that were implemented in my head as the normal thing to do. Growing up, I witnessed my brother carry out the same values with every woman he encountered so it was no surprise that I expected the same when it came time for me to enter the world of dating.

However, instead of being greeted by men with polite manners and no intentions, I was faced with apps like Bumble and bar hangouts which led to me trying to reason with myself that somehow this was a proper date. I quickly realized that my shiny image of chivalry and romance seemed to be nonexistent. Call me old fashioned but I long for conversations with substance and ones that don’t start off with a head nod or a “sup.” This leads to my least favorite part of my casual dating experiences — the self questioning.

After encountering multiple situations of being let down, it has led me to question that maybe I’m just not worth the dinner date and having a guy rush to my door to open it for me. Which is absurd, everyone deserves that right? But then again, when you look around and see everyone else doing it, it makes you think that maybe your expectations can be bent and your standards can be lowered. Which by the way, is all types of wrong.

However, by agreeing to casually date someone, I feel as though you are agreeing to put up with things like that. Both parties are constantly riding this fine line between more than friends but not enough to be something official.  That nagging feeling of knowing you deserve more but never fully demanding it is what ultimately led to my realization that I am just not cut out for casual dating. I can’t help but feel like casual dating should just be called “half-assing a relationship”, which is definitely not my style.

When I do something, whether it be with school, work, or my relationships, I like to go all in. I don’t know how to care about you but not too much in fear that you might think I want something more. In reality, I most likely do want something more if I’m spending a consistent amount of time with you. The concept of holding myself back, especially my feelings, is something foreign to me and to be honest, I’m kind of glad that it is.

So with that I say, if you find yourself in a similar position of being afraid to ask your partner what you guys are or feeling like you just aren’t getting what you deserve, let the casual courtship/ thing/ lover, whatever you want to call it, go. There are so many things in life that we have no control over (ex. taxes and death). Our relationships should never be one of them.

We are all individuals that deserve to be loved by someone who doesn’t question for a second if they want to be with us. If I can sum up anything from my past experiences, it is that it is so much better to be alone than to put up with some meaningless conversation with a guy who can’t even tell you the difference between their, they’re, and there.