Keeping Your Options Open – Self-Preservation vs. Happily Ever After?

keepingoptionsopen

Being part of the Tinder generation, we are all well aware that we live in a world of endless possibilities. The girl is pretty but you don’t like her curly locks. SWIPE AGAIN. The guy ticks all the right boxes but he isn’t quite 6 foot. SWIPE AGAIN. She has a lazy eye. SWIPE AGAIN. He doesn’t have a tertiary education. JUST KEEP SWIPING.

If you are an open-minded Brit girl, who doesn’t think is god’s gift to men and isn’t afraid of STRANGER DANGER like her South Africa counterparts, landing yourself a date really isn’t a big deal and you’ll soon find yourself Tindering up a storm. You may lose 30 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back but what they hell, you probably needed that glass of wine anyway. Right? Well, this sort of attitude is fine in theory. Lining up those dates is all well and good. But speaking from experience, there really does come a point where you begin to question your sanity and wonder if happily ever after is just a fictitious concept conjured up by Disney to sell movies.

Choice isn’t always a good thing. It can actually be more of a curse especially in an age where people are never seem to be satisfied and are always trying to find something/someone who is that little bit more perfect. So in today’s post I’ll be asking whether keeping our options open is always the ‘safest’ approach to dating or whether there comes a time when one should simply delete that god-awful Tinder profile and give a someone a fair chance to prove their Prince/Princess Charming credentials?

Just recently I was chatting to a friend of mine who always seems to have something in the works with at least 5 women simultaneously. What a Lothario! But has he found true love? A stable relationship? A FWB, even? NO! Well this time he claimed he REALLY liked he liked the chick and I was happy to see a glimmer of hope for this one settling down instead of forever playing the field. So I suggested he focus solely on her, ask her out on a proper date and give himself a chance at happily ever after? His response : ‘Well it is like going for job interviews. You don’t just go to one banking on it to be positive. You have to go to as many as possible and hope you are shortlisted. Then they get back to you asking if you accept the offer. Then it is salary  negotiations, etc… ‘  Sigh!

Seriously?! The sad thing is I don’t think our Lothario is the only one who thinks this way. Keeping your options open is an option followed by most people. I myself am guilty of doing it on many occasions. I guess the reasoning behind it is fair enough – most of us (who aren’t social recluses or 30-something virgins) have been hurt in the past and not allowing ourselves to put all our eggs in one basket is essentially just a defence mechanism to stop us having our hearts broken yet again.

Although I get the logic behind such self-preservation, I believe that finding truly love does involve some inherent risks and  unless we are willing to truly let go of Plans B, C and D I don’t think we really give ourselves a fighting chance of making a go of things with our Plan A. Regardless of whether things work out or not, you’ll sleep better at night knowing you gave it your best shot. Naturally we are worried about the humiliation of taking a risk and having it backfire. And of course there are a few haters out there who’ll have a little giggle at such misfortunes but people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones because if you dig deep enough you’ll find most people that criticise others are probably stuck in loveless relationships or have serious issues of their own. At the end of the day the people that do matter will give you the support to take those risks and they’ll even be there to pick up the pieces should things not go to plan. So just give up the back-up plans and focus all your intention on Prince/Princess Charming (and just remember if they do turn out to be just another frog you can simply re-download Tinder with a clear conscience).

So Rinsers share your thoughts. Do you think having too much choice could be a curse? How does one know when to give up the other options (or simply stop swiping)? Do you think there is some value to treating our love lives like we do our career prospects? And does keeping your options open really lessen the blow of heartache? Answers and wisdom in the comments section below.  

 

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15 comments

  1. bklynboy59 · November 3, 2016

    My first thought was those who look to have options in dating are not someone who is serious relationship material. All they are looking for is a good time with no commitment to one person so as to have an out when things go wrong. My next thought was as I said to you before…don’t over think the simple when it comes to dating…boy meet girl girl meets boy both like each other…both date each other no games… final thought…no I don’t think you should treat dating like career opportunities. Dating is about people and feelings.

    Liked by 3 people

    • EnglishRosiee · November 3, 2016

      Thanks for your comment.

      I think these days most of us have options…even the geeky guys and the chubby girls. 😛 BUT its up to us how we want to approach the whole thing.

      Sometimes people seem to keep options open without being honest because they want a plan B to turn to if things don’t work out . But really its not fair to have plan B waiting in the wings and give them false hope.

      I agree with you. But I think most people these days aren’t willing to focus on one person. It’s all about self-preservation and its sad that its come to that.

      Anyway its not just sad for the person on the receiving end. Its also sad for the lothario keeping their options open because at the end of the day who wants to get up their wedding one day and tell everyone they married Plan B?

      Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · November 3, 2016

        Why is it about self preservation? Maybe I’m too old school but just take it on a one by one basis. What is this about marrying plan Beverly? How about marrying the person you love ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · November 3, 2016

        The reason I say self-preservation is because when people have a Plan B in place then they can move on quickly if they are rejected by plan A that way they don’t lose face. They say plan A was a casual thing and they move on. Sorted !

        But the problem is when you move on so quickly and having people waiting in the wings – eventually you end up settling for plan B, C or D. Sure they are OK in general and you might even end up loving them sort of but they weren’t your first choice.

        Like

      • bklynboy59 · November 4, 2016

        With all due respect that is really weak. It’s sad because relationships are about people nor about plan A or B or what I can get left over…that is a excuse not to be responsible. Is it possible that I am seeing in the eyes of someone old school about dating ???possible yes but even that there are certain things you look for before you date but not …a Plan A or B if this doesn’t work out . You’re not deciding what job to take, sorry that explanation falls flat.

        Like

      • EnglishRosiee · November 7, 2016

        I agree with you. But I do think my generation think in terms of self-preservation and its sad. I always feel like should have been born in the 1950s…before things went bad.

        Like

      • bklynboy59 · November 4, 2016
  2. Kendall F. Person · November 3, 2016

    Eternal bachelorhood -some would argue – has its pros and cons. But I imagine the list of pros do not come from happily married men. Everyone at some point in a relationship that feels whole. Enjoyed reading ‘Keeping Your Options Open…” Thank you.

    Like

  3. bexoxo · November 3, 2016

    Honestly, the whole thing sounds exhausting. I don’t agree with having dates on standby; FWB, sure, but not potential life partners. As long as communication is open between 2 consenting adults, then maintaining an open relationship is fine, but don’t string someone along just because you’re not sure if numero uno is going to work out or not. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thoughts2289 · November 3, 2016

    Options is a word that us as humans use every damn day. Without that word, there are things we won’t learn, there will be mistake that we can’t fix. Options, kind of give a person a clue on things, it could lead from right to wrong, or both. No matter i person always should have a option, opinion, and an choice to do something.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. EttaD · November 4, 2016

    I think God I’m not longer on the dating scene. You just make the task seem so complicated, haven’t dated in years but I would imagine nothing much has changed over the years with the exception of the quick fix dating sites. Now for your questions.
    Do you think having too much choice could be a curse? Having too many choices isn’t a curse, but it’s time-consuming. I go back to previous comments on here where I said you have to decide on what you want and look for those in the other person, however, sometimes you have to come to a compromise because no one’s perfect. The fact that you have so many choices means that you’re looking for Mr. Perfect NOT Mr. Right!

    How does one know when to give up the other options (or simply stop swiping)? When you find the one person that offers most of what you’re looking for.

    Do you think there is some value to treating our love lives like we do our career prospects? You can’t treat your love life like career prospects because your love life is NOT a job. It’s not something you’re being paid to do, if you think of it as a career, then it’s not love you’re looking for. You’re looking for a partnership or a friend with benefits. In which case you can have as many lovers/options as you want.

    And does keeping your options open really lessen the blow of heartache? No it doesn’t you’re just setting yourself up for more heartache. If you’re keeping your options open it means you have no faith in the relationship you’re in. You’re expecting failure before it even comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · November 7, 2016

      I think you make really good points. I especially like what you said about the difference between Mr Perfect and Mr Right!!! People are meant to have flaws – It’s just about finidng someone you like enough to want to deal with those flaws instead of looking for something more ‘perfect’!

      Like

      • EttaD · November 7, 2016

        Exactly!! All my comments are based on personal experiences by the way, either myself or what I’ve observed and learned from close friends and family.
        Don’t know if I mentioned before, but with my ex, we had a lot of mutual friends. Which meant most of my friends are guys. Many of which who were left feeling uncomfortable between us when the marriage transitioned to divorce, so he ended up losing a few friends 😉 lol! I’m not a relationship expert, but have heard both sides of relationship stories over the years.

        Like

  6. Pingback: “Cushioning” and When to Delete Dating Apps | rinse before use

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