An year-end essay on dating

Aby Go
4 min readDec 28, 2019


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief…”

–Charles Dickens, on my dating life

I’m kidding, he was actually describing the French Revolution. However, I couldn’t think of better words to describe my dating life the past year than the opening line from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. It was indeed the best of times, and also the worst of times — yes, we are still ghosting each other. But, there was indeed a lot of wisdom I picked up from my foolishness and before the year ends, and I’d like to share them with you.

This year, I learned that dating shouldn’t just be about finding “the one.” A friend once told me that we should all be dating with the end in mind. I’m not saying we shouldn’t and I’m not saying she’s wrong. But treating every person you date as the potential father of your children puts so much unwanted pressure and sets you up for disappointment. Dating should be about discovering what you want and what you don’t — both in a partner and in a relationship.

However, that doesn’t mean you should settle. Don’t be afraid to set standards, create that list, and stick to it, especially when a person isn’t hitting to your non-negotiables. When you do create that list, really ask yourself why you want what you want. For example, it would be great to be with a guy who earns more than I do because I am looking for someone who is able to help provide for a future family. But why exactly are you fixated on finding a guy with a nice car? If your answer is wala lang, then what you’re looking for is coming from a place of ego and you probably should scratch that off your list.

Standards are important, but so are boundaries. Setting boundaries isn’t about putting up walls, it’s about showing and communicating to your partner what you will and won’t allow in a relationship. Ask yourself: what are your values? Where do you stand when it comes to intimacy? What are you willing to put up with? Knowing what your boundaries are allows you to spot red flags easily (i.e. speeding things up, totally a red flag) and take a step back from something that isn’t working out for you early in the relationship to avoid any potential heartbreak in the future. Until you’re clear with yourself and your…