Dating, observing, and observing while dating has put me in front of several prospects and a number of good, bad, and ugly relationships. Simultaneously, putting myself out there has left me wide open to rejection, disappointment, and heartache. Things have always found a way to not work out, and while I used to face that frustration with added negativity, in the back half of my twenties, I’ve turned things around. Instead of adding more negativity to a failed relationship, I’ve made every effort to look at each situation with empathy.
Leading with empathy, I’ve learned most people are good, even if most people don’t act that way. This way of thinking doesn’t rationalize bad behavior but instead allows you to accept people for who they are instead of trying to change or fix them. The more relationships you have, the more you learn that human behavior is often motivated by past experiences. Our actions reflect how much we’ve dealt or not dealt with our past and how comfortable we are with being our true selves. That truth is not always so clear, especially since we’re traveling on separate paths at contrasting speeds. It’s no wonder that we miss so many people passing by. With normalized narcissism on social media and the pressure to overshare, our paths are scattered even more, leaving the dating world a chaotic shitstorm. Dramatic? Sure, but not far off.