From Pixabay, via Pexels

I still believe in old-fashioned love life stuff

Or My thoughts on dating (online or IRL) and romantic love

I remember when a former co-teacher/supervisor suggested that I try Tinder after I shared with her my fears and frustrations with regard to “love life.”

I’ve had NBSB.

And with all the (then pre-Tinder) online dating horror stories circulating around, I told her, No thanks. Even with the fact that you can actually choose who you can interact with on Tinder, I have never been and will never be a fan of online dating. I’ve talked to strangers for a few times, whether online or IRL, and there are few instances where a certain stranger had taken advantage of me.*

Can you blame me, a citizen of a country now infamous not only for the “all-out war” against drug users who should be rehabilitated rather than killed but also for rape jokes, one of which coming from the president himself?

Enough of the side comment. Going back to the topic, I consider dating in person, whether in a group or just the couple. But for me, I’d rather date someone who is sure he wants to commit to spending his lifetime with me. In short, I don’t want to date in the search for my future husband. I want to date the future husband.

But you may tell me, “Hey, how do you know who the future husband might be if you don’t get out of there and date?!”

I want that man to be my friend first. You can be friends with people in other ways than dating per se, right? I mean, you can be friends with people in school or at work. Or in other public places, public vehicles, parties, or concerts — just be careful who you talk to.

Yes, there are stories — whether in romance books or real life — about best friends not getting along well when they become lovers, or a best friend hesitant in telling his/her best friend that he/she loves, or has fallen in love with, him/her. But I don’t have to be best friends with the guy (although I think that’d be better — you’ll know as you read on). We just have to be friends — people who could trust one another. I believe I could test the waters better if the guy and I would start off as friends. We could get to know each other better, beyond our favorite food and books and music. We would know each other’s attitude in certain situations as well as beliefs. And we could practice loving each other unconditionally before we (hopefully) jump off into romantic love.

And if he, my friend, loves me, thinks I am the one for him, he better court me. That’s not only because I grew up in a country where people (though not all) still practice courtship. If he loves me, he will never rush things. And so will I if I love him back. I am a person with a very guarded heart, and if he wants a place in there, he never needs to take that by force or deception. Permission is sexy. And so is patience. And real love.

After that, if we both consider each other as the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, then we can step up from friends to lovers. Only then can we date. And the rest will be history.

I’m not saying you uninstall your Tinder or shun dating in all forms for good. What I do want to say is that I can only be careful with my heart — with myself. I cannot just give away something very precious, very important to me to somebody I barely even know. It’s true that you can never completely know someone, but you can get to know someone enough to know if this person truly deserves that place in your heart, in your life.

*Good thing this happened via phone only. God knows what I’d do if this harassment happened IRL. Sorry for the abuse of that acronym.

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