Cause if you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it… Beyoncé’s "Single Ladies" has become the anthem for single girls everywhere—you're guaranteed to hear it at every wedding reception this summer until eternity—and it pretty much sums up how we feel about dating. If a man likes you, I mean, if bae really really likes you, then they’re going to wife you. Otherwise, pack those boxes and send 'em to the left…To the left! But what if Beyoncé, relationship experts and your mama have it all wrong? What if the goal isn't to get the coveted baby blue engagement box from Tiffany & Co.? Pump the brakes before you race to the finish line (or aisle). Here are 7 reasons to date without obsessing about marriage.
1. Get to Know Yourself
We spend so much time getting to know our boyfriend (or girlfriend) that we forget about ourselves. Relationships—whether they end in marriage or get drowned in tears and pints of Häagen-Dazs ice cream—are an amazing way to delve into how we love, connect and interact with the world. The most honest mirror? Take a look at your last five relationships and you’ll see the real YOU.
2. What U Talking About?
You’ve heard it before: The key to a relationship is communication. Learning to communicate in the best and worst of times with your significant other helps you in life in general. If you’re the type to be trigger happy on Twitter or your go-to response is a string of emoji when you’re confused/sad/angry, then learning to express yourself will help in your professional, emotional and personal development.
3. Find Your Purpose
Finding your soul mate means finding your purpose. When you’re aligned with the right person, things just kind of fall into place. You’re awakened to new horizons and the world seems abundant with possibilities. The right person may encourage you to travel, support you as you start that new business or just inspire you to be your best self.
4. Great Sex
Great sex. I know, I’m Captain Obvious with this one. Through dating, you learn your body and your desires. What do you need to be physically satisfied? Earth-shattering orgasms, anyone? How important is sex in your relationship? Could you marry someone without sexual chemistry? It’s different for every woman. The more experience you have--with however many or few partners you choose—the more in tuned you are with your own sexuality.
5. Keep it Spicy
There’s nothing worse than becoming “that old married couple” that does the same thing day in and day out. Some folks swear that keeping a relationship unofficial keeps things hot and heavy. Just look at Hollywood lovebirds Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. They’ve been shacking up since 1983 and clearly, it’s working for them.
6. Modern Family
Back in the day, the perfect American household was Mom, Dad and 2.5 kids. Ditch the picket fence and minivan. Today, families come in all shapes and sizes and we love it. From same-sex spouses and single parents to extended, blended families, the modern family is what you choose.
7. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Remember how fun dating used to be? Dating as an adult turned the rush of high school crushes and summer flings into mind games, endless texts and having “The Talk.” Why not enjoy dating instead of thinking about it as a bloodsport to the aisle? Picture dating as meeting new friends and trying out new restaurants and cocktails, not endlessly pining and pinning wedding inspirations on your Pinterest board. Dating doesn’t have to suck!