5 Reasons To Date Besides Finding "The One"

Some girls date to find "the one," while some girls date to have fun — like a certain feminist pop star. In a recent interview with Glamour UK, Taylor Swift says the media criticizes her dating choices unfairly, insinuating that she should be more serious with the company she keeps. Swift says: "I think the media has sent me a really unfair message over the past couple of years, which is that I'm not allowed to date for excitement, or fun, or new experiences or learning lessons. I'm only allowed to date if it's for a lasting, multiple-year relationship. Otherwise I'm a, quote, 'serial dater'. Or, quote, 'boy crazy'."

Unfortunately, it's not just Taylor Swift who deals with the dating double standard. It's pretty much assumed that guys need to play the field before they decide to settle down (if ever), but for women, there's still this pervasive expectation to date with the goal of lifelong commitment in mind. Not only does this cultural assumption create unnecessary competition between women, it also creates a dread of being single or dating without the promise of a firm future with your mate. Dating is just as much about having a good time and exploring yourself — and your options. Here are six reasons to date — other than to find a lasting commitment or a life partner.

1. Date To Have An Activity Partner

All those concerts, art openings, sporting events, pub crawls, and 5 a.m. rooftop hangs are a lot more fun with a partner-in-crime. Sure that partner can be a friend, but it adds an extra dimension if you have someone you're seeing to bring along for the ride. No serious commitment required.

2. Date To Hone Your Sexual Style

"Casual sex" comes in many colors. There's the random hookup, the "friend-with-benefits," and the person you're dating that you know you're not madly in love with, but maybe madly in lust with. Having a no-pressure connection is a great way to get to know what turns you on and what gets you off, like vibrator + tongue + Blondie's "The Tide Is High" = YES.

3. Date To Learn About Yourself

When you spend enough time with someone, you'll get feedback on the little things they notice about you, like how when you're bored you stop being a good listener, or when you're frustrated you start humming the Golden Girls theme song, or when you're super excited you tend to spend your money hella fast. While you may not always agree with their perception of you, it can only help you learn more about yourself in the end.

4. Date To Learn About Yourself In A Relationship

You can learn a ton about yourself as a person through dating, but you can also learn a ton about how you function in a relationship, too. Knowing what you ace and what you can work on when in a couple can only help future relationships, and it's better to learn sooner rather than later if you tend to get passive aggressive during disagreements, let low self-esteem get in the way of sex, or can use a little more empathy all around.

5. Date To Experience People Different From Yourself

Dating is an ideal way to explore all kinds of people who you never thought you could connect with. Whether you date someone from a different country or political party or someone that is just into completely different things than you are, that whole "opposites attract" thing often turns out to be true. Dating without a serious commitment can help you move beyond comfortable couplings and push you to try something radical and new.

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