Originally Posted by DharmaBum23
Which requires a tremendous mindfulness, I've found. From my experience, putting in more than you are willing to loose isn't a single discrete action, like going all in during a game of poker(and sometimes even a night at the casino isn't like that).
That's a really good point. Almost anything "really bad" takes a long time to happen. Smoking your first cigarette doesn't give you lung cancer. Trying drugs once doesn't make you an addict. Having one drink doesn't turn you into an alcoholic. And every time I've lost a lot of [fake internet] money playing poker, it's been through a couple hours of small bets, losing every hand, and then getting bored and going all-in just to put an end to the game. Of course, the analogy breaks down there because in real life, you can't just refill your bank roll with a couple clicks of the mouse.
It's easy enough to get sucked in to the whirlwind of romance, giving up little pieces at a time, until you wake up one day and realized you've invested everything that matters to you into one other person, and there's usually no turning back.
I agree with that part, but that begs the question somewhat. Even though dating does not necessitate "being in a relationship" it does seem that dating at least sometimes ends in "being in a relationship"(which is when things get serious). When someone says they "don't date", I've found that that usually means that they don't participate in the romantic side of life.
I think of dating as a precursor to the romantic things. I date people as a trial period to see if we're compatible enough for romance. I completely agree that this sometimes results in a relationship. In fact, almost every relationship I've had, with the exception of my marriage (go figure), started out with just dating.
All my previous relationships have reached a point where things have started getting serious. At that point, I've always felt compelled to clarify with the other person whether they want to be in a relationship and what they want out of that. I don't like to assume that if you do a, b, c, and d, then you're in a relationship and there are certain unspoken rules to that. I don't like unspoken rules at all. You don't know that you're breaking them, and you don't know the consequences for doing so.
I have to confess, I still don't understand this "everything" business. Maybe it's because I was raised to be extremely independent and somewhat selfish, and the idea of putting everything into another person just seems ludicrous to me. And that attitude has not in the least bit hindered my ability to have happy, healthy, satisfying relationships. I think it's actually helped that ability, because I'm able to identify clearly when things aren't working for me and what needs to change in order for that to happen.