Friday, September 18, 2009

Dating is Not Engagement

Don’t assume that because she kissed you, made out with you, went out with you that you are now in an exclusive relationship. *Most* women will consider the relationship exclusive when sex gets involved but don’t assume that either.

She will not just be dating you. You should not be only dating her either until such a time as both of you decide you want your relationship to be exclusive.

You need the practice dating anyway, as I will say time and time again. If you’re dating a lot of different women, rejection by one of them becomes meaningless. If you’re dating a lot of different women, you will avoid getting obsessively focused on one person. If you’re dating a lot of different women, you increase the odds in your favor of finding the “right” one. But even that I hesitate to say because you should not be approaching dating as a goal-oriented activity. If your intention is to find a wife or even a girlfriend, dating becomes a lot less fun. And you begin treating the women you date like produce that you throw back on the pyramid of fruit after one look. Remember that the people you date are people, and even if she won’t be your girlfriend, she could be a friend, a business contact, a girlfriend for your best friend or simply a person that was interesting to have one conversation with and learn something from.

A few years ago I had a profile on an online dating service and one guy I was paired with wrote me this one-line email: “Are you a conservative, Bible-believing Christian who takes the Scriptures literally?” I failed the question and was thrown back on the pile. Now I respect that he was looking for a wife and didn’t want to waste his (or my) time if I didn’t meet one of his deal-breakers. But don’t ever do that with a live person. In fact, don’t do it at all: you need the practice dating so don’t limit yourself so early. Do not ask her your deal-breaker questions (no smoking, must be an atheist, must not be a Luddite, etc.) on the first (or second or third…) date. Do not tune out for the rest of the evening when she mentions something that “rules her out.” It’s rude and childish. She’s still an interesting person with funny anecdotes to tell or information to share about subjects you know little about.

Besides, what most people call deal-breakers aren’t deal-breakers. I have a tall friend who said she would never consider dating someone shorter than her. Guess what? The man she married is shorter than her.

Erase even the thought of deal-breakers.

Having them isn’t helping you find the right person.

Having them is keeping you from meeting women.

Next Friday: Dating is Not Re-mothering

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