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Expiration Dating: How to Date with Limitations and Just Live

A good friend of mine recently ended a dating relationship she had with a man for five years. I wasn’t able to comprehend exactly how she could devote her life to someone for such an extensive time that she wasn’t in an exclusive relationship with. After careful mind fucking I finally decided to take myself out of mental misery and ask her why she did it. She said that her investment of time was led by the notion that he would eventually commit. Her answer didn’t do much to help ease my mental frustration. In fact it made me feel very sorry for her. I thought about how the five years of company she awarded her dating mate could have hindered her from meeting a man who was ready to commit to her. Her situation made me think is there an expiration on dating?

Much like a bag of chips thats been opened for some time, dating can turn quite stale and hard to digest. Thinking back to my friend I question if her sudden decision to end her dating period came from her lack of interest in the guy. Or had a good thing finally gone bad? After you’ve been dating someone for an amount of time shouldn’t it be common knowledge to throw them in the trash? I’ve always placed a limit on the amount of time I transition from dating to relationship. Unfortunately this has back fired on me. I can remember a dating period I had with a great guy. We had an amazing connection and we both could see ourselves in a relationship with each other. Unfortunately we lived in different states and he had terrible experiences with long distance relations. I gave him an ultimatum and he declined.

I think of him often, not because I want to be with him but because I wonder if I limit myself with expectation at times. While I can’t see myself committing to something for five years without a payoff I do wonder if it was my friends fault that she didn’t place expectation on her interest sooner. Would he have finally cashed in her pay out if she had? Not likely. This thought made me question, if you can see use in something past your deadline is it ok to keep it around? Yes. If you see consistent growth and substance in a dating partner give it a realistic turn around. My mistake was that I was afraid of saving something for later that might leave me empty handed. 

Communication is key. While you may feel the urge to commit your guy may not. You don’t want to limit yourself by placing a harsh ultimatum on someone you care about. Care is a silent confirmation on if he’s a keeper. If he handles you with respect and cares for your heart be understanding. Find something that he is willing to commit to and be ok with working towards your end goal. If a relationship is your ultimate goal see if he is willing to exclusively date without the title so that you all can work on him transitioning into a committed relationship. Read between the lines and don’t give yourself false expectations that may eventually spoil over time.

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Dating with expiration is possible and very effective but you have to be upfront and honest about what you are willing to compromise on. Otherwise your resentment will cause you to miss the true essence of dating. Much like a soda you can’t just put the cap on the old bottle and expect it to remain bubbly, you’re better off just popping it and enjoying it. Live for every moment you have and find the pleasure in it. Don’t become consumed in the timing so much that you miss out on the fun and care free dating period. On the opposite end don’t settle on digesting anything that has gone bad. Keep your expectations evident in your mind and realize that just because you settle for a slice of the pie now it doesn’t mean that you won’t have the chance to have the whole pie in the future!

From the heart of Ebony S. Garris