Patience is a virtue, or so they say, right? In a world full of technology and instant information and gratification, patience is not something a lot of people have these day. All too often I’m asked, or I hear, things like “Why hasn’t she called me,” or “Why doesn’t he text me back?” We concentrate so much on needing an instant reply, that instant gratification, that it consumes us. But patience really is a virtue, especially when your in the wild world of dating. Even if you’re not in a dating relationship with someone, patience is important at every stage of the dating adventure!
The Search Stage
Let’s say that you are not “seeing” anyone, but that you are looking for someone—this is what I call the search stage. Many people, women and men, can get desperate in this stage. They are so consumed with finding someone, that they will take anyone if it means not being single anymore. But is that really any way to start a potential relationship?
I’m with you because you were the closest person available who said yes and I was desperate to not be alone anymore.
Patience is key during the search stage of the dating process… and it should be fun! Yes, pouring over online dating profiles (assuming that you are using this tool like the rest of the planet…it is 2015 after all), can seem like a part-time job sometimes, but it’s all about perception. Don’t take it too seriously!
If you prefer to hunt for love (or even ‘like’) offline, the same rules apply. Do not let searching for a mate take over your life. I constantly see my single friends and family posting to social media and saying, “Why have I been single for so long? Where is my person?” They are so fixated on the hunt that they forget to live their lives. You need to make yourself available, be a whole person, not just someone who is hunting for a partner because you’re lonely.
If you have become so focused on the search for a date or partner that your current routine consists of wake up, go to work/school, come home, rinse and repeat then you need to break the cycle! You’ll never find someone new if you aren’t out living your life!
The Dating Stage
So, you met someone (or a few someone’s) whom you are casually dating. Maybe you are head over heels and so incredibly happy with this one person and you think, “Finally!” This is usually the stage where I hear the following:
- Why doesn’t he text me as much as I text him?
- Why doesn’t she answer my phone call/texts/email right away?
- He’s always working, why doesn’t he have time for me?
- I want to spend every minute together, but she’s so busy!
First, RELAX! Second, back off and stop being a stage 5 clinger! Technology is great and makes it easier for all of us to communicate instantly, which serves our need for instant gratification in today’s society. But you have to remember that not everyone is glued to their phone or computer 24/7. Some people have lives! Some people work, have family obligations, have friends, have interests and hobbies that don’t include being so reliant on their phone that it may need to be surgically removed from their hands.
Someone who has a busy life isn’t necessarily ignoring you on purpose, so try not to feel slighted. Don’t complain about the person you are dating having a job, even if it’s a demanding job, but if they are a workaholic and that doesn’t mesh well with your needs, maybe you’re not dating the right person for you. Everyone, single, dating, in a relationship or married, we all need time to ourselves away from our dating pursuits and partners. Time apart is not a bad thing! so if you are dating someone who can’t be with you, or won’t, every minute of the day, you have two choices: 1) embrace the time apart to pursue your own interests or 2) walk away and find someone who is a better match for your needs.
Enjoy this phase and try not to rush to the next. I’ve had guys scare me off by pushing too much too fast—like saying, “I love you” after only 3 weeks! You don’t need to let the guy you just started casually dating know that your biological clock is ticking, or that your 5 year plan includes getting married within the next 2 years. Patience and self-control are key here.
The Relationship Stage
If you are in a relationship with someone, this is where the phrase “patience is a virtue” is paramount. Patience, or a lack of it, can make or break your relationship. In a relationship patience, open and honest communication, acceptance and trust are all equally important.
A mature relationship is about accepting and understanding the needs of someone else as well as yourself; this take a lot of patience and self-control sometimes depending on the dynamics of your relationship. Remember, no one is perfect, everyone has flaws and patience is a virtue in relationships.
Patience is a Virtue
Having patience when dating is key to making this journey suck less; in a relationship patience is a must. Patience when dating or in a relationship means forgiving the other person’s mistakes and shortcoming. Patience is required to deal with incompatibilities. Patience is required when our expectations aren’t being met (of course, depending on what those expectations are). Sure, patience has it’s limits and boundaries, and that’s perfectly fine. No one should be a doormat, but a stage 5 clinger isn’t sexy either. The Golden Ticket to peace and happiness in the factory of dating and relationships is patience.
“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.” ~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
What are your thoughts? Have you every been, or been victim of, a stage 5 clinger? How do you practice patience in your dating life or relationships?