Shopping and dating - do the same rules really apply?

I don't know a great deal about the dating process and being in relationships - I have very little, if any, experience in either area.  Until earlier this year, I could probably count the number of dates I'd been on without needing to use my toes as well.

I only tend to write about things that I know a lot about (hence why there's never a lengthy feature on the conflict in Syria or the threat of IS) and, given my lack of knowledge and experience, never considered writing a blog about dating (certainly nothing positive, anyway).

But while scribbling notes about dating and relationships, I discovered that I knew more than I realised. I think I've learnt more in the last five months about going on dates and being in a relationship than I would have ever wanted to learn from spending years dating a load of wastes of time.

A good friend of mine described the whole dating process like the feeling you get when shopping in T K Maxx - you know there's probably something in there, deep in the middle of all the rails of crap.  But do you really have the effort to rifle through all the things you know you don't want, and don't like, just to find that one, perfect thing?

And is it possible to ever find the 'perfect' man that you have painted that picture of in your mind?  It's like going shopping for a new outfit and knowing exactly what you want down to style, colour and cut.  As soon as you know what you want, you can't find it anywhere.  And the more you describe it and paint yourself a mental picture of it, the more elusive it becomes.

Finding a good man is like finding a pair of heels that won't cripple your feet.  There's nothing worse than sticking with a pair of shoes that kill your feet just because they look nice - faking their comfort every time someone compliments you on them.  You have to put time into finding a good pair of shoes.  A pair that fit perfectly and you don't have to pretend to be happy with.  To do that, you need to be prepared to look outside your usual comfort zone of the New Look court.

The more you over-think the reasons behind your single status and worry about why nothing is happening for you, the worse everything seems and the less likely it is to ever change.

Becoming worried and obsessed over finding what, you think, to be your perfect, ideal man only leads you to overlook the one standing right in front of you.

Earlier this year I decided to stop worrying about the fact I'd been single for so long and stop actively trying to find a significant other.  I'd been single for over four years and had had enough of chasing all the wrong ones and trying to force something to happen with just anyone.  I didn't want to settle for second, third or fourth best.  I was proud of being single for so long and vowed not to change my relationship status for just anyone. (See here)

Then, literally a matter of days later, BAM!

I've rifled through the junk on the racks at T K Maxx to find something worth the hassle; I've found the pair of heels that I don't have to pretend are comfy; and I've found the perfect outfit without even realising it was what I wanted.

My point is, it may sometimes seem like the end of the world is near when you're single and can't find the one you think you're looking for.

It's like when you've been paid and you go on a huge shopping spree - you can never find anything you like enough to warrant spending your money on.  You don't just buy things for the sake of it, you save up until you do see something that you like.

That's why, in my opinion, dating and shopping are easily comparable.  Neither can be rushed, forced, and you can't make someone do it if they don't like it.  You should never waste your time/money on something that's not totally and completely 100% right for you.

I'm happy that I no longer have to waste my time in T K Maxx, on the off-chance I might find something worthwhile.  My shoes still fit perfectly, and are getting more comfortable by the day.  And I've realised that you never really know the 'perfect outfit' until you find it.

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