Most of us have to date a couple of frogs before we get to our prince but that doesn't mean the frogs were a waste of time. As guest contributor Casey points out, every relationship is a learning experience!
I’m sure you’ll agree with me ladies when I say that the majority of us can pinpoint a past relationship where we knew the end right from the beginning. It wasn't going to lead to ‘I do’, a steamy getaway to the Bahamas and 2.5 children housed in the suburbs behind a white picket fence. But that’s okay. Those relationships aren't necessarily a waste of time that is better spent looking for our very own McSteamy, McDreamy or, in my perfect world, Mr Darcy; and here’s why.
1. You Will Experience New Things
Ever wanted to learn how to rock climb? Or maybe you've been dying to try that new Indian restaurant across town? Well, why not try it out on a date. Dates are the perfect way to gain some new experiences – bounce ideas off one another and you’ll find yourself having fun, learning new things and doing it all with great company.
2. You Will Work out What You do and Don’t Want
Most of us can list off all the things we want in a guy and can probably match that with what we don’t want as well, but it doesn't often work out that well in practice. There is always going to be things we don’t think of, things that we thought we wanted but in reality don’t and the guys we are drawn to for no apparent reason. By dating a variety of types of guys you can see the reality of your list, scratch off the impossible, underline the must haves and figure out what it is exactly that you want in a man and a relationship.
3. You Will Meet New People
We all have friends and our friends all have friends, so that means the more people you know the more people you have the opportunity to meet. It works with friends and works just as well with guys. Dating someone is a great way to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t even pass in the street – and yes, when relationships end mutual friends often take sides but that doesn’t mean you can’t create some great new friendships and memories.
4. You Will Develop Confidence
A nice dress and a killer pair of heels might land you a date but nothing ruins it faster than insecurities and awkwardness – well, except maybe bad hygiene. The more you date and the more time you spend in romantic/intimate relationships the more confidence you’ll gain. Suddenly first dates won’t begin with nervous giggles and over-talking and you’ll find yourself well on the way to reeling in ‘Mr Right’ when you find him.
5. You Will Grow
People we spend a lot of time with and that we care for often influence us more than we realise. I’m not just talking about being introduced to new hobbies or discovering a brilliant new television show you’ve never heard of before; I’m talking about personal growth. Whether it’s learning what you really want to do with your life or even something as simple as developing a new level of empathy it’s always good to grow.
6. You Will Learn to Love
Never been in love before? Never had the opportunity? Step right up! Unlike what 99% of fairy-tales would like us to believe, true love isn’t always easy to find and love isn’t confined to those walking down the aisle. Our first loves are rarely those who we end up with; but they teach us how to feel, how to be passionate and caring and confident and a whole host of other things important to not only romantic relationships but everyday life. So he may not be your true love but that doesn’t mean he can’t teach you a thing or two.
7. You Will Experience Being Loved
There is scarcely more that people want, or need, in the world than to be loved. Whether it’s a bi-monthly phone call with your mum, a hug from your bestie or a romantic evening with your man, there is no better feeling than that of being so intimately cared for by another. Being shown you’re loved, or even just knowing it, can brighten your day, reduce stress and give you a healthy outlook on life. So let yourself be loved, it’s good for you – just don’t forget that he deserves to be loved too.
You’re looking for ‘Mr Right’, and I can pretty much guarantee you that he’s looking for ‘Mrs Right’. You can give him just as much out of the relationship as he can give you. There are plenty of people out in the great wide world for you to meet and having been in a loving relationship, even if it was unsuccessful, can help you to be better prepared for that moment when you finally do meet ‘The One’.