I think I have discovered my “dating attitude” twin in Dakota Fanning.
In her interview in Glamour‘s March issue, Dakota said “I don’t really date,” but it was actually her reasoning behind that statement that made me feel like she was speaking to myself when I was her age.
In the interview, Dakota talks a little about how her parents met as children and then married after college, citing their love story as kind of an inspiration for her feelings on dating.
“I’ve always thought that’s what it’s supposed to be like, and if it’s not, then I don’t want to waste my time on it,” Dakota told Glamour. “Even when I was 14, I was like, ‘I’m not gonna marry this person. What’s the point of doing it?’”
As a teen, I felt exactly the same way. My parents don’t really have that sort of adorable story, so in my case, I don’t think it was so much the influence of others around me as it was just a product of my personality. I like being super in control and always having a plan. Dating is no exception.
I had zero boyfriends in high school. I had a lot of crushes and even went on a couple dates here and there, but honestly, it was a pretty boy-free zone. It wasn’t that I didn’t want a boyfriend, but I watched people in high school be BF/GF for like a couple weeks or maybe a couple months, and for me, that didn’t seem like something that fit in my plan. I had so much going on in my life, so if I was going to be able to give a relationship the attention it deserved, I wanted it to be a strong investment, not something that I later regretted doing.
There were just certain things I knew I would want in a boyfriend that I felt would make for a more meaningful and longer-lasting relationship. I just didn’t want to settle for guys who didn’t have those qualities.
Now, I don’t think when you start dating someone that automatically means you are a couple that must stay together forever. People change, things happen. When my current BF first asked me out in college, it’s not like I was like, “Yes! I’ll be your girlfriend! Now let’s make a marriage plan and a timeline of our whole future!” That said, I do think there is some value in at least thinking a little long term.
Before we did make it official, I did really consider if this relationship was something I could see lasting, and I was pretty open with him about thinking that way. We were in the same program at school and only freshmen – if this was just going to be some kind of quick throwaway thing and we were going to be around each other all the time the next four years, I didn’t want to get involved.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with dating a bunch of different people. Not at all! In fact, sometimes I wonder if maybe I should have been more open to it, and not have been so scared that something wouldn’t work out or I wouldn’t make perfect relationship choices.
I felt self-conscious about not having a boyfriend for a long time, but in the end, I just feel the way I feel about certain things. I know I wouldn’t have ever been totally comfortable dating someone that I didn’t feel really sure about at least there being a possibility of a long-term connection. I’ve now been dating my first boyfriend for five years, so at least in my case, being kind of selective worked out pretty well.
Now, if only I could be Dakota’s style twin, I think my life would be complete.
Is the potential for a romance to be long term something you consider when you are thinking about dating someone new? Or do you think that this approach is limiting? Tell us in the comments!