The past couple of days, I’ve had convos with two different people — one man, one woman — both one-on-one, about dating.
Profiles on both: they’re both sane, have a good head on their shoulders, the like. AKA not chemically imbalanced or certifiably off their rocker. I’ve known the girl about eight months now, the boy around a year, but met him for the first time last Wednesday (long story). They’re both considered catches, and both are single.
We both got to talking about dating in our respective towns. I have to admit that, having met him for the first time, my guard was up and I felt like I was holding back a tad, just because of the first impression factor (I’ll blog about that later). I notice this all the time about myself — if I care about how someone perceives me, I don’t really let me be myself. If I don’t give a rip, I can act how I want and it ends up being more natural. (I think we all do this.) However, he made a great point as I was commenting about the crazies here in LA.
“Dating is easy, but dating a quality person is not.”
Simple but true, right? We all know this. I could argue how hard it is to date in LA, but matter of factly, I could solidify two dates a weekend if I had no standards in my life. Most women could in this town. Most women on planet Earth could.
But the question is this: would you want to?
Would you want to go on dates with someone, knowing well ahead of time they wouldn’t be worth it? If you weren’t attracted to them? If they had something missing — and you knew it right off the bat?
“How do you know they’re not worth it if you haven’t been out with them?”
Well, we all have a list of “things” that make someone attractive to us. For me, nice teeth and height are a major factor. I know you’re not supposed to judge a person on looks, but it’s an undeniable fact that I’m attracted to men who are really tall. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, because having physical attraction is a substantial part of dating and a relationships. It’s the other 50% to the 50% of chemistry. You either have it or you don’t. And you can bet I’m not kissing someone with foul teeth. Sorry, but I know a majority of people wouldn’t either. Hit up the dentist for a cleaning, throw som veneers on that shiz if they’re wonky, and call it a day. To clarify, I’m not saying “YOU MUST HAVE STRAIGHT TEETH!” I don’t even have (perfectly) straight teeth. I’m just asking for a little oral hygeine, por favor.
Back to the point. I find that women these days go on dates with several men, but nothing fruitful is coming of any of the dates. They’re just that: one date on a calendar of 365. A nice meal with some conversation (good or bad), and then it’s back to the grind the next day to find someone else. Perhaps these dates are just to find some much-needed self confidence. Maybe they’re just for the intimacy factor. Who knows. But are they worth it?
Most first dates can be categorized as: a complete snoozefest, awkward, creepy… even infuriating. But there has to be some allure to being a Social Datalite, right? Right??
I discussed this topic with my girlfriend at work. She confided that many of her friends were dating and dating and dating, but that they weren’t dating quality people. The girls would pick up and head out the moment the date was over, with no desire to see the person again. Free meal and they’re done. (Which frankly, in LA, is cost-effective.)
“When I date someone, I’m not looking for a good time. I mean, I am, but I’m not just looking for a fling. I’m looking for someone who might have attributes that would lead to a future.”
Ah, the missing ingredient. This is why dating is difficult for a person such as myself, and, as I presume, a majority of other woman as well. We all know what we want, and most of us want something significant and worthwhile, otherwise it’s a waste of time. Why date a nice guy who is missing several attributes you need in a relationship, knowing these missing things are dealbreakers, when you could find someone else who has all those things if you waited a little longer?
At the same rate, why not fill up the time you have in between seeking out a real catch, with someone you enjoy being around… just not necessarily is Mr. Right? Mr. Right Now can’t be that bad, can he? Oh life. Such questions we are posed with.
When it comes down to it, I’m really too picky. I need the stars to align and a real connection to get me out of my gym-work-dinner-write-bed routine. Yes. I have turned down social outings and dates to get my fitness on and blog. (Pathetic? Whatever. I have plenty of other attributes I should be considerably more ashamed of.) Even when things are new and fresh and slightly awkward (first dates can be the worst), I need comfort, and to see the big picture… at some point.
My big dating story is circa 2005. I dated a guy at the end of high school. Scratch that: I dated three. It was pretty liberating, not gonna lie. I enjoyed being with all three of them, but here’s how it all went down:
Number 1 was an ex that was consisently on and off. Number 2 was a guy I met a a bonfire once and then chatted up on AIM (God help me) until he got home for the summer. Number 3 was a friend, who I had actually dated in middle school for like… two months.
Number 1 was an a-hole, and the only reason he actually gave a crap about what I was doing at that point was because he realized that I actually didn’t give a crap about him at that time. I went from pitiful, heartbroken ex-girlfriend to insanely attractive ex-girlfriend merely because I didn’t reach out to him at all. Then, miraculously, it’s all coming up roses and candy bars, with him planning extravagant vacation plans to boot. Please note that it was one of those situations where we weren’t together, so we don’t give me the “cheaters” chat.
Number 2 was a total babe and actually terribly mean at times, before we started dating. I must admit that after our initial date, which we went on with two mutal friends, I pretty much washed my hands clean of him. But then he convinced me to try again with a one-on-one, and let’s just say I was smitten (this sounds too much like an episode of The Bachelorette). The kid wore a pink polo to pick me up because I had told him in passing I thought it was cute, brought me a rose, the whole nine yards — it was just fantastic. And it was totally that Notebook-esque romance, where we had such strong feelings but also fought to death because we were so stubborn.
Number 3. Hilarious, so much fun to be around, friends with all my friends… it was hard not to have these amazing feelings for the guy. However, when there isn’t a spark, there isn’t a spark. In the end, he turned out to be just a friend. It was sad. But he is still one of my dearest friends. (Keegs!!!!)
The point of divulging my player-esque mentality back in high school is that I didn’t have the comfort level with Number 1 & Number 3 as I did with Number 2. And at times, I thought we had the “big picture” component (ah, high school blind love), but we obviously didn’t. Obviously. Because I’m more solo than a red plastic cup right now, and have since dated people who I thought had the “big picture” component as well. (Another keyword: thought. When you know, you know, apparently…)
So why date a bunch of measely people in the mean time? I can’t hop on board with the dating game. I’ve accepted one date in Los Angeles and it was less than fulfilling, to say the least. I guess dating has its pros: finding out what you do and don’t want, feeling wanted, meeting new people. But the cons, including awkward conversation and forced laughter, are enough to make me cold and unbothered to go out again.
Plus, isn’t it so much more special when you go on a date with someone you truly start to like and care for? Simliar to long-distance, you appreciate the really relaxed, romantic, “easy” (not read: “loose”, but perfect, rather) dates when you have them every once in awhile, instead of running yourself through the power-dating mill and possibly subjecting yourself to sitting in a car in silence — or worse, having to figure out how to dodge the unwanted kiss at the end of the night. (I’m a genius at this if you need tips.)
But don’t take it from me. I want to know: should we all be dating or waiting? Why? Prove your case. Heck, maybe eHarmony is calling my name? (Doubtful.)
Just for kicks, I had never seen this pic of Carrie & Big — they both look phenomenal, compared to their normal haggardness. (PSA not to smoke!)