So today I realized for the tenth-billionth time that I don’t follow the ‘rules’ of dating very well. I tend to resist them if anything.
For instance, kissing. In our culture today, if you kiss someone after a (first) date, it is seen as a sign that the date was enjoyable that you are indicating interest in the other person, hoping they’ll ask you out on a second date. This is very endearing and cute in movies and tv shows, in books and fantasy stories…but it doesn’t work for me. Why? Because a kiss is very important to me. I don’t just kiss a person that I am ‘interested’ in, or someone I hope will ask me on a second date. I kiss someone because I love them, and because I am solely interested in them. If I kissed everybody I was interested in, or after every first date that went well, it would become nothing more than a handshake, just a formal gesture of welcoming. The only thing is, a kiss is, or at least should be, anything BUT formal. It is a way of expressing love and connection with another person, not just a gushy feeling that comes after someone made me feel good.
Have I kissed someone after a first date before? Yes. Was it because I loved them? No. Did it lead me into feelings that contradicted my good conscious and lead me into a relationship that if I had avoided physical contact, I would have probably avoided and read into as probably not good for me? Yes.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been many couples who have taken this approach, and have worked out…there are also many couples who have taken this approach, and it led to false hopes and hurt feelings, and bad, bad relationships.
My point is that physical intimacy means ALOT TO ME. I don’t hand it out to everyone. If it did, it would become a commodity. Therefore, I save those things for people that are serious about me, and want and love me for me, and nobody else.
Western culture has created this dating frenzy where it is considered ‘appropriate’ or ‘expected’ to kiss on a first date, to cuddle before you’re serious, to spend the night before your committed. People think the system works, because movies and books portray it that it is. But look at all the broken hearts out there…look at all the broken marriages. If those are any indication of how successful this ‘dating’ system works, then we should take notice for sure.
Whether I’m right about that or not, though, God has wired me this way. I don’t cuddle with someone I’m ‘interested’ in. I cuddle with someone I’m dating, whom I trust enough to hold me and comfort me in my times of need. Just as marriage is symbolic of Christ’s love for us, cuddling for me is symbolic of our relationship: that by allowing myself to be vulnerable with you and be in your arms, and rest by your side, that that means I see our relationship in the same light, emotionally. That we have trusted each other with our hearts. I wouldn’t just trust someone with my heart after a couple dates, or someone I’m just ‘interested’ in. Interesting implies curiosity aroused, not curiosity satisfied. And I won’t trust someone when I’m curious about them. I will trust them when I’m satisfied with what my curiosity leads me to. Therefore, if I can’t trust them yet with my heart, why would I trust them with my body as well?
I know, I KNOW, I belong in a Jane Austen, or Nicholas Sparks book. Fine by me. I’m not going to follow the cultural trend of doing things too ‘quickly’, emotionally OR physically.
Its just interesting, cause then I come upon people who say they want to ‘take things slow’…but want me to kiss them and cuddle with them! After our first date!!! It seems like a contradiction, or an oxymoron. If you want to take things ‘slow’, then that means we’re not going to cuddle or kiss…not until you’re serious. So don’t tell me you want things slow, and then try to jump ahead to things that don’t match what you said you wanted. Taking things slow implies self control, which is not demonstrated by cuddling and kissing. If you cuddle and kiss me, I’m going to take that as an indication that you’re ready to move on in our relationship, and that you care for me alot more than just ‘interest’ in me.
And I”m not saying that anyone else is wrong. What I AM saying is that if someone is going to date me, they’re going to have to respect this about me. If I move too fast physically, even with just a simple kiss on the lips, or a cuddle at night, I get attached FAST. So don’t do those things with me unless you WANT ME.
Good. I think we’re on the same page now :)