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The importance of dating norms is that they lay the groundwork for any form of relationship. They let the man know what you're willing to accept and what you're not. They assist you in achieving what you truly desire rather than settling for anything less. They will save you a lot of time, heartache, and disappointment.
Travis, one of my friends, is looking for a wife. He wants to have a family and wants to find the woman who will be his future spouse and have children with him. When it comes to dating, however, Travis is a bit of an opportunist: if he's out with a woman who isn't aligned with his future goals but still wants to casually date him or enter into an FWB (friends with benefits) situation, he'll put his actual future goals and desires aside and take her up on it. He's briefly content at the moment because he's met his bodily demands, but it keeps him from meeting women who are more in line with his ideals, and he then complains that he's having trouble finding them.
He's only recently begun dating someone who has captivated him. He is smitten by her since she is educated, lively, and humorous. What is the potential problem? She might not be interested in having children. He's scared to bring up the subject directly because if she verifies that they're not on the same page, he'll have to act on that information, and he's currently hooked to the concept of her. His previous long-term relationship was also with a lady who didn't want children, and despite knowing this, he continued to date her for several years.
Charlotte and her partner of two and a half years are in an on-again, off-again relationship. They live together and have talked (in an abstract way) about getting married and starting a family, but they quarrel every week since their timetables are so dissimilar. She wants children five years ago, and he is considering having children five years from now.
Charlotte told her lover the previous time they split up that they were on completely different timetables; she told him that her top priorities for the next two years were to purchase a house, get married, and have a family. In theory, he supports such goals, but he is not interested in striving to make them a reality in the next two years.
After Charlotte's most recent split, I sat and watched her cry for months. He was the most appealing man she had ever met. He was the loveliest person I'd ever met. They shared similar interests. She was afraid she'd never be as physically attracted to someone else as she was to him (can you notice a pattern here?).
I reminded her that just because he was the finest man she'd ever dated didn't imply he was the best man she'd ever met. This would also offer her the chance to raise her expectations for how she wants to be treated in a relationship, as well as locate someone who shares her objectives and schedule.
Travis is concerned that his new girlfriend will state categorically that she does not want children, putting a stop to what had begun as a promising relationship. Charlotte simply missed her lover too much, and after 6 months apart (during which they spoke weekly and he went out to see what else was out there before crawling back to her), he moved back in with her, but they continue to fight and squabble about timetables for the time being.
When Travis and Charlotte have sought my guidance, I've advised them to stick to their boundaries: If you and someone else aren't on the same page about the key concerns (such as financial goals, marriage, or children), don't waste your time and theirs.
That will only lead to disappointment.
However, every one of us is on our path. I'm reminding myself that some individuals take longer to understand why standards and limits are important in dating, and it's my job as a friend to be helpful and non-judgmental.
All I can say is that I hope everything works out for every one of them.