When It Comes to Dating, Listen to Taylor Swift. No, Seriously.

I was not a fan of Taylor Swift when she was the boyfriend-hopping surprised face girl. But I’ve changed my tune recently, especially after I read her interview with Rolling Stone magazine. The interview showed a new, more mature side of Taylor that I can appreciate.  She talks about how she’s focused on personal growth and her relationships with her female friends, instead of just finding a ne6966830273_1817c106c2_zw guy du jour. I especially love these quotes:

I really like my life right now. I have friends around me all the time. I’ve started painting more. I’ve been working out a lot. I’ve started to really take pride in being strong…. When you’re not boyfriend-shopping, you’re able to step back and see other girls who are killing it and think, ‘God, I want to be around her.’

Dating can be fun and interesting. But it can also be exhausting and fruitless. Sometimes I frustrate myself with how much time and energy I devote to the opposite gender.  At any given moment I could give you an analysis of what that guy meant by that text or how I think he feels about me and how I feel about his feelings about me.  That’s a lot of brain cells given away to someone who probably did not earn that kind of attention. Add in the fact that it’s easy and fun to talk about dating, and ultimately I’m devoting way more of my life than I would like to be/should be to this topic. It’s sort of like when you watch trashy TV. You KNOW you should be using your time in other ways, but it’s just so fun to watch the Kardashians that you can’t help yourself.

Think about it: at any given moment when you’re out with your friends, how many of you are on your phones texting with someone who’s caught your eye? How often do you tuck your phone into your bra in hopes of feeling a text message come in from a particular someone? It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s also really normal. This isn’t a knock on you and your friends or me and mine, but more of a statement of fact: we all get pretty wrapped up in dating. I have to believe that guys are the same way, though they may show it differently.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with caring about dating, there has to be a balance. It’s fun to have a crush on someone, absolutely. It’s flattering to have someone who wants to see you. But the world keeps on spinning even when you don’t have any great prospects on the horizon. You should still feel good about yourself when you’re 110% single. If you’ve got great friends and interests and/or a job you really like, then you’re golden.  This 2014 Taylor Swift approach is the right one: build yourself up, nurture friendships with people who make you feel good, and don’t let a relationship define you.

My goal for myself is to be aware of how I’m using my time and energy when it comes to the opposite sex. This doesn’t mean giving up dating entirely. It just means when I go out, I want to be fully present, regardless of who’s texting and what they’re saying. It  means putting dating in a nice little compartment where it belongs so it doesn’t start bleeding into time spent thinking about other things that matter.

Do you get wrapped up in dating? How do you balance it with the other things in your life? 

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