If you’re here at this blog post, the question you likely have in your head is “should I date”.
Let’s cut straight to the chase. Think about these 3 questions:
Why do you want to date?
There are many different reasons why someone might choose to date. Be it for the JC dating experience, peer pressure or even because you genuinely like the person! The first step to deciding whether you should date is to identify the reason. Shut out what others are saying and be true to yourself. The decision will have a significant impact on your JC life.
Does liking someone necessarily mean you must date? Similarly, does dating necessarily mean you truly like someone?
Even if you do decide that you like the other person, there is an underlying assumption we must face head-on: us liking each other does not necessarily mean we should date. Dating after A-Levels is always an option. Should your liking for each other withstand the test of time, then you may consider moving forward. Meanwhile, you may choose to remain as close friends, yet setting clearly-defined boundaries to ensure no one gets hurt. I’ve always believed in “close friends first, partners second”. So even if you break up, you guys will still remain as close friends.
For those of you who are already dating (somehow), it is equally true that you can be dating someone you do not genuinely like. This could be because everyone in your friend group is dating and you feel the peer pressure or FOMO. I’m not denying the possibility of you growing to like the person, but there is also the chance that you might be gaslighting yourself into liking the person, which is unhealthy.
What are your priorities in JC and is dating a stepping stone or an obstacle?
Before dating, I wished I had set aside some time to sit down and truly reflect: what are my priorities in JC? Looking back, I realised I never really clearly prioritised my commitments. As I juggled among academics, CCA, friends and dating, I realised that prioritising is a dynamic and fluid concept. However, we should make choices that are rooted to our core values and principles.
Certainly, there are occasions when academics are more important than CCA (before exams) and situations where CCA is more important than academics (season). I had to choose between my commitments in multiple instances. Examples would be choosing my partner over friends, or CCA over studies. Point being, there will be moments when you would have to choose. Are you prepared to make choices that are difficult? Are you able to communicate your priorities to your dating partner and are they okay with not being the highest priority?
I wished someone asked me those 3 questions before I dated. Obviously, every relationship is different and even if the relationship may not have been smooth-sailing, I truly treasure the lessons I took out of it. Ultimately, I do not expect this piece to offer a lot of utility. Who thinks rationally when they are head over heels in love? However, I do hope that if you start having doubts again, revisit this page and read this through, as many times as you need.
Make the correct choice this time.