Quantum dating is the act of dating and not dating someone at the same time.
Wait, here me out.
It is the smallest possible amount of dating, which can still be considered dating. I know, it’s still not making any sense. But just wait.
It kinda sounds like casual dating, right? But it’s not. Casual dating is a physical and/or emotional relationship without commitment. It’s still a relationship, with some sort of intent that it might be something one day.
But with quantum dating, there are no expectations at all. It gives us the opportunity to actually practice dating so that we learn what we want in someone, someday.
Practice makes perfect, right? Why can’t we practice until we get it right? Why can’t we practice until we figure it out?
Quantum dating gives us the opportunity to partake in the smallest amount of dating, but still in fact date. It gives us space for ourselves to figure out who we are on our own before we give ourselves fully to another person. No added pressure to give parts of ourselves that we aren’t ready to give.
And it’s the freedom to date often because there are no obligations to one set person.
The difference is, casual dating has the silent intent of becoming more. I mean, that is the purpose of dating in general: to find someone. But with quantum dating, it’s only practice. It’s spending time with different people to enjoy life with no intent. This gives us a chance to really figure out what we want.
I remember dating in my 20s, and it was goddamn exhausting. I spent most of my prime years on some sort of mission to land my happily ever after.
I dated to find someone. That was my main goal. I wasn’t actually dating to enjoy the company of another person. I was coupling up as much as possible. I just called it dating. I thought you dated someone until you made it official then voila—we have a relationship. It’s what I thought I was supposed to do.
I didn’t even know what I wanted in someone. I was throwing myself into the dating world unaware of what I was doing. I didn’t even know who I was. I would get lost within the relationship.
I should have been having the time of my life, yet I rushed into relationship after relationship. I forced myself to stay longer than I should have because I was attempting to find something serious.
I put all my effort into one person while hoping they were the one. And when they weren’t, I moved on to the next relationship. I spent years feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and stressed.
I should have been meeting people. Dating. Relating. Learning. Discovering.
I didn’t know any better. I wish someone would have said there was no rush. I wish someone would have told me to slow down and enjoy it. I wish someone would have told me to date and to date often for no other reason than to spend time and share memories with another human.
The fact is, many of us are in a rush to find our forever person. We’re not getting the chance to even figure out what we want in someone, or what we wanted in ourselves.
We need to see the world. We are supposed to meet people. Lots and lots of people. We deserve more adventures. We should make more mistakes. We need more memories.
So why would we choose quantum dating?
It’s a way to kiss a bunch of frogs until prince charming shows up. Cliché, I know. But it’s super fitting. Yes, kiss a billion frogs before we find our forever person. I’m not saying sleep around. I’m saying kiss and be kissed so we can learn when the right kiss means something and when the bad ones don’t.
By the way, there is no prince charming—read further below.
Here is where we get to make our “hell no” list, or our “love it” list. To figure out what we like or don’t like. To establish what really matters or doesn’t in a relationship. Yes, we can have lists. Write it down or keep a mental note, but remember it.
We are allowed to have preferences on what sets our hearts on fire or what dulls our flame.
Knowing from the beginning that something is a dealbreaker makes it easier to walk away faster from someone before self-doubt talks us into looking past it. It makes it easier to set boundaries.
Boundaries are important to establish in any relationship so that no one crosses any lines. We may need some time to ourselves or to say no to certain things.
We can discover the necessary boundaries we require through dating. We get to practice how to say no or set boundaries with the ones who won’t be around forever. This gives us a chance to be real with our boundaries. Sometimes it’s easier to say no to someone who doesn’t matter than to someone who does. The more and more we practice dating and setting these boundaries with the ones who don’t matter, the easier it will be to keep those boundaries when the ones who matter show up.
It’s a way to find ourselves.
We may still be trying to figure out who we are on our own, let alone by someone’s side. Without experience, we have these unrealistic expectations about what we want. So when we meet someone who doesn’t conduct the relationship the way we think we want it, we feel unsatisfied within the relationship.
Most men are not prince charming. They are not. They are real men with real lives who are also trying to figure out their place in this world. So yes, they make mistakes—and lots of mistakes.
If we don’t have expectations, we might be surprised at who we fall in love with.
We might even figure out what love isn’t.
That person who makes us feel bad about ourselves? Not love. That person who chooses to spend all their time with their friends instead of spending some time with us? Not love. That person who physically abuses us? Not love.
And we might figure out what love is.
It is that strong and lasting affection between two people bursting with happiness, passion, and fulfilment.
Then one day, when we aren’t paying attention, someone will come along and have all the right stuff. Someone who is on their own journey. Someone who sees us as a companion on the same journey. And we will be ready to go in fully aware of who we are, what we want, and where to begin.
So let’s live a life filled with wonderful moments and amazing people.
Let’s really enjoy dating. Let’s date to enjoy the connection with another human being.
We might be surprised at all the things we learn about ourselves.
We might be surprised at what we find when we date with no expectations.