In my junior year of high school, I got asked to the homecoming dance by a senior in my trigonometry class. She was a really nice person that I got along with but I didn’t navigate the concept of going as her date well. Everything from showing up separately to only spending the very beginning of the dance with her, I was a pretty crappy date. As a foolish high schooler, it was easy enough to justify in my head and also distract myself with other people. At this point, it is barely even a memory other than the fact that I was not a good date. The Crosby, Stills and Nash song “Love the One You’re With” tends to remind me of this situation. Not because a teenage version of me should have “loved” the one I was with. At bare minimum, I should have either had the courage to say no or live up to my side of the bargain. This discussion of high school regret is not all about self-flagellation.
Our lives are filled with options. We have an almost infinite number of choices that we make through our lifetimes. In the time that we live, it is easier than ever to look at other people’s situations with envy. Social media is filled with lives that seem to be photoshopped to look perfect and they mainly are. The downtimes and troubles are rarely on display. So it can be easy to wish that you had a different “date” at the dance of life. Fortunately (in my opinion) you don’t get to trade and you need to “love the one you’re with.”
The beauty of this date that you have is that they are not stagnant. They can get better with time. However it is up to you to make your “date” better. The only way to improve your “date” is to be a better version of yourself. If you’re not happy with how it’s going, you’re the one who has to change. You don’t get to “trade up”! This is the one that you’ve got. So love the one that you’ve got while always trying to get better at dancing, conversing, relating and loving. No one else is going to steal you away! You’re all you’ve got and that’s a great thing!
Be a good date!