Have you ever watched the everyday activities of your friends' and family's relationships and wondered how you will adjust to that type of lifestyle after single life?
Part of the reason I'm single is my inability to compromise. Eventually, I'll have to change the way I think, consider another person's thinking, and change schedules and routines when I start dating. Here are some examples:
I'll Be Wrong More Often
I still think I'm right most of the time, even with a cute girl who is clearly smarter than me. But most of my buddies who are dating or married admit they are wrong to keep peace. Sadly, they really do believe they are wrong about most things after a while. They weren't that way when they were vibrant and rebellious in college!
Right now I live comfortably within my means. At each stage: girlfriend, marriage, children, the financial stress increases. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but it's a change.
I'll Be Criticized More
My mom loves criticizing my dad. It's not mean-spirited — it's just a habit. Perhaps it's some strange way of making each other better, but I do see many couples that are in love, but very critical of each other.
I'll See My Buddies Less
Just like money is scarce, time is scarce when you're dating. I see less and less of my married or seriously dating friends.
I Can't Gawk at So Many Women
I'd never cheat, but it's still rude to steal glances at other women when I'm with a girlfriend. I boisterously talk about women with my buddies like we are in an eternal locker room. I'll have to be more polite about it when I'm dating, and I'll have to limit this type of conversation.
I'll Have More Conflict
The nature of a partnership with a woman dictates that there will be fights, arguments, and occasional disaster. Because I'm single, my days are relatively free of this kind of conflict, though I'm notorious for creating internal crisis daily. So, maybe it's not that much of a change after all.
I'll Miss Important Things on TV
The other day my buddy went to his girlfriend's friend's wedding during the first weekend of the March Madness college basketball tournament. He missed one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when #1 Kansas went down. How could anyone have a wedding on the biggest March Madness weekend?
These days, I get home before the big game, I start cooking approximately 48 minutes before game time, so I'm sitting down with my meal just as it starts. Or, I head to the bar with some buddies. I'm bound to miss things on TV with the responsibilities of a relationship. And DVR sports just aren't the same.
I'll Plan for 2 Instead of 1
When I make plans, it will usually be for "us," and not "me." And, I'll have to consider how my girlfriend will feel about my plans. My personal plans should complement hers correctly to avoid conflict.
I'll Have to Hide My Gross Guy Stuff
Yes, I have plenty of porn. I have ignorant horror movies and stupid stuff. When I get serious with a girl, especially if we move in together, I will have to "edit" my possessions. After that I'll get even more "editing" from her (the Editor in Chief).
I'll Host a Sounding Board for Small Dramas
I'm not saying women are dramatic, but they do have their moments. And, as boyfriend, I should be there to listen, give advice, and let a girl vent. It's a change in lifestyle because taking on someone else's stress is a stressful endeavor.
A single tear ran down my cheek when my grandmother let go of my hand after leading me in for my first day of nursery school. My first semester of college was spent looking for transfer options in between trips home. So, all my life, changes have created stress.
But, while these changes tested me and brought temporary sadness, the feeling of adjusting to the changes always sparked a major period of growth. These "rebirth" growth moments were some of the happiest moments in my life. Hopefully, I'll have the same feeling when I adjust to the changes of life with a girlfriend.
Perhaps I'm overreacting with my observations, but do you agree that there's a big adjustment to make for men and women when they start dating again and leave single life behind? What types of adjustments do you think you'll have to make going from single life to a relationship? Do you agree with my list?
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