While most of us like to think of dating rituals as a game, I prefer to see it as a closet full of patterned shirts. The thing is, dating isn’t so much a game of snakes and ladders or RISK; it’s more like a pattern that keeps repeating.
This metaphor can be easily compared to the materials hung up and stashed away in your closet. There are the shirts and patterns that work. The ones that you always depend on to buy because they are the most fitting to your lifestyle and flattering with the rest of the ensemble. Yet there is also the ones that sneak in after a crazy rendezvous at the mall that almost makes you wish you didn’t have your wallet handy at the time.
Everyone has a type of person and style of dating they find themselves sporting often. However, this comfort does not always mean it is a pattern that works. If your dating pattern is something that makes you happy, then you have found the style that fits with you and what you want. But if you find yourself always putting on the same patterned shirt that doesn’t work, it’s time to go back to your closet and try something else out.
I do not recommend going to a store when you are trying to find out what pattern works for you. You have to look inside yourself and ask what you, in that moment, truly want for yourself. Look back at your shirts of all the same pattern and see why they do not fit with what you want or what is in the rest of your closet.
People who fall into a pattern of serious relationships may be wearing polka dots instead, but they may also be wearing an ill-fitted shirt for similar reasons. The polka dots keep going back into old or quickly fall into new relationships because they are afraid of being alone and looking at themselves.
Although these are just two examples, what is really important is that falling into patterns is a way to avoid asking or looking at what you want. Right now you may not want to go after it, which is fine, but one day you will see that the pattern is not one that fits with you. When that time comes you must come to understand yourself before you seek someone else.
What you wear is only meant to enhance the best parts of who you are, this goes the same for dating. Your best pattern is the one that brings you the happiness you deserve. So go look at your closet, find what you really want, and wear it proudly.
After some time away from relationships I have begun to build a new closet that fits with my new understanding of self, starting with going up to a guy in red suede shoes and asking him out for coffee. It may not work out, but when you are trying to find a new pattern you have to be open and try everything. Say yes to a person who is not “your type” and take risks; mix those patterns!
Don’t get down if you have not found your pattern yet because you will find it one day. Also, don’t feel ashamed if the pattern you really want is not something others see you in, if your pattern changes, or if you have different patterns in your closet because what only matters is if it fits with you.