Jake and Emily. Day 24.

“I have absolutely loved this decision-free dating experience.”

 
 
 

Jake

What did you do today?

We went to our relationship coaching today. This weeks session was much better than last week. This week had a much more positive vibe. We mostly just talked about the experience that we are having. We focused on the things that were going well in our relationship. We had a brief discussion about having the discussion about whether or not we would keep dating after this thing is over. I think our mutual agreement at this point is that we don't want to talk about it. I have absolutely loved this decision-free dating experience.  We are both enjoying our time together, and thinking about making decisions about a more long-term relationship would just add stress to an otherwise stress-free relationship.

We also spoke about our fears of going public with this relationship. I never post on social media, and I don't love the idea of posting my relationship on the internet for the world to see, but if it's helpful to someone, I want to help.

What did you learn about them? What did you learn about yourself?

Having said that, I'm going have a vulnerability moment and share something I have learned from this experience.  

In the past, I have had a very difficult time entering into and feeling content in relationships. Typically, as I go on dates with a girl and things progress towards a relationship I start to feel anxious and unsettled. I start to project the relationship into the future. If there are things about the girl that don't fit the ideal in my head, I start to blow those things out of proportion. If I don't break things off immediately, I let the anxious feelings build until I get to the point that it's no longer fun to be with that person anymore. Then, I eventually pull away and break things off.  

Here is the incredible thing. In this relationship with Emily, it's as if I was able to switch a switch on my anxious feelings. Our relationship is definitely not perfect, but I'm not stressed about the fact that our relationship isn't perfect. Now, in the early stages, I did feel a little anxiety, but then I realized, whether or not I felt like we were a good fit, whether or not I could see myself in a long-term relationship with Emily, and whether or not I enjoyed every minute with her, I was committed; I was in this for at least a month. There was no decision to make, and if there is no decision to make, there is nothing to stress about. For the last couple of weeks, I have been able to fully enjoy the benefits of being in a committed relationship while having fun getting to know Emily in a way that I could never have done if we had just been casually going on dates. On top of that, all the typical stresses of dating are gone. Now this experiment has brought its own challenges for sure, but like "How do I adjust to dating a complete stranger" challenges.  It's been fun.

Now at the end of a month I will be in a much better position to make a decision about whether or not I want to keep dating Emily. I feel like in our dating culture, we're all out there trying to make decisions about whether or not to date each other based on the bits of information we can gather by going on few dates.  It's not long enough to get to know someone, and everyone is so worried about sending the right or wrong signals and figuring out if their interested that no one is even acting themselves anyway. All the while we are afraid to commit because something better might come along later.

So what have I learned?  For me, I think dating needs to be a game of mini commitments.  Make a decision, then once a decision is made, stick with it.  Could I enjoy spend an hour with this person? Yes? Do it and do it as well as you can.  Could I reasonably spend a week getting to know this person? Yes? Do it and get to know everything you can about that person in a week.  Would I enjoy dating this girl for two weeks? A month? (it turns out, a month of dating feels a lot shorter than you would have thought). If the answer is yes, then do it and give it your all. Then re-evaluate.  What about another month? And another? Little decisions are easier than big decisions. And making a decision once every week or every few weeks is much less stressful than making a decision every day.

We live in a world where we have too many choices. Too many choices lead to decision paralysis and perennial dissatisfaction with the decisions we make.  What would our dating culture look like where we traded a few first dates for one temporary committed relationship?

On a scale from 1-10 how would you rate your time together today?

Seven.

On a scale from 1-10 how positively do you feel about your relationship at this point?

Seven.

On a scale from 1-10 how would you rate your chemistry with him/her?

Seven.


Other thoughts?

See above. ha…





Emily

What did you do today?

It's hard to believe, but we are heading into our last week!

We kicked the week by chatting with Jordan. Considering we're not sure what should happen, there's probably lots of things we could've talked through. But we kept the conversation light this week....which was probably good considering last week ended on a bit of a weird note and this could potentially be a stressful week.

It was fun to talk with Jordan about how things have gone in general and how this experience has affected us.

It'll be interesting to see how this week shapes up. We hung out at my house for awhile after coaching. Before Jake left my house  I was like "Sooooo, we made plans for Saturday night... which is also Day 30. Do we need to excuse ourselves halfway through the night to go have a quick DTR?"

I was kind of kidding. But, for real... how are we going to wrap this up?

I think we both kind of have a fear of being too honest about what we really want/ what's making us anxious about continuing.... then it'll all blow up and we'll have an awkward few days together. I’m pretty sure I want to continue, but it’s feeling like a good decision to evaluate how we’re feeling later in the week.

We agreed to stay blissfully present and put off any real conversations. That’s probably a horrible solution in most situations, but it’s our solution for now :P

What did you learn about them? What did you learn about yourself?

I learned Jake is planning to play at open mic on Saturday, and I'm going to hold him to it.

I learned he enjoys piano more than guitar.

I learned that “La La Land” taught us both about previous relationships. In a weird way, it helped me come to peace with a hard breakup. The final scene still gets me though. I know they were doomed from the start, but come on! Ryan Gosling flew you to the moon, Emma!

On a scale from 1-10 how would you rate your time together today?

Six. The last few days have been pretty great, but today it really sunk in that Day 30 is looming. I think I have an idea of where Jake’s at, but I’m not totally sure. I kind of feel myself withdrawing. Not sure if Jake noticed, but I was pretty quiet and in my head. I think the decision to just be totally present for the next few days is a good one.

On a scale from 1-10 how positively do you feel about your relationship at this point?

Five. Not being sure of how he sees things is sort of affecting how I see things. But I’m confident we’ll start seeing things more clearly. We shall see the things.

On a scale from 1-10 how would you rate your chemistry with him/her?

Seven.