Dating Is Too Hard (and Other Lies You Tell Yourself)

Portrait of a romantic dating couple at a restaurant
Portrait of a romantic dating couple at a restaurant

You have this idea about dating. And it's wrong. Actually, you have a lot of ideas, presumptions, assumptions and suspicions about dating, and they're the things that hold you back and make dating miserable.

One of my favorites is this one: "Dating takes too much effort."

I'm sorry -- wha?

Anything worth doing requires effort. Sure, dating requires effort, as in, you have to shower and leave your house and make conversation with people you don't know. Yes. But 5- and 10- and 20-year old relationships require an amazing amount of effort, too. That is, if you want them to last that long. If you think in the tiniest corner of your head that having a relationship means no longer having to make an effort, well, good luck with that.

And I don't believe for one minute that you're afraid of effort. Look at the lengths you have gone to in other areas of your life, the effort you've put into your job, friendships, your home and your appearance, for chrissakes! There's not a thing worth having on the planet that doesn't require effort. And the things that don't require effort (i.e., lying on the bed watching TV) yield about as little a reward. Fact is, without effort -- good, intentional, passionate effort -- you have no meaning. No connection. No...nothing.

You're not afraid that there's too much effort involved. You're afraid of wasted effort -- which means you're afraid of making an effort and being rejected. If you're afraid of rejection (and let's face it, who isn't), it means you're not taking enough risks, a friend told me recently. I believe him. If you let rejection rule you for reals, you'd never leave your house. So if you're leaving your house, you're already one step ahead. The key now is to realize that rejection is not the end of the world. It stings a little. But anyone with an amazing career, best-selling book or enviable relationship has endured his or her share of rejection. It is what it is.

I'm just saying: Face it. Own it. Say out loud what you're really worried about. And realize you're hardly the only one who feels that way. But if you let that reason get in the way of you trying, exploring, meeting, engaging -- then you're doing yourself a serious disservice. So don't tell me it's too much effort. Tell me you're afraid. That you worry about it not working out. I get it -- and I live it, too. Do it anyway.

We're not talking about doing your taxes. We're talking about love. Sex. Intimacy. Excitement. Thrill. The potential for real connection.

Is there anything more worth the effort than that?

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Terri Trespicio is a lifestyle expert, media personality, and dating and relationship coach. (She's also single, by the way.)