Learn to date – Part one

This is for both genders…no-one is exempt!

I have become quite taken by a song by country singer Shea Fisher, titled  “Don’t chase me (‘less you’re willing to catch me)”.  In the murky waters of dating and relationships, I believe she has a quite valid point to make.

For some people – too many people – the search for the One has resulted in a long and messy trail of first-and-only dates, short-term relationships, and what seems to be rising levels of infidelity (both men and women) within marriages.

I think relationships are yet another casualty of our retail mentality.  Which is too say, we do a lot of window shopping, cruising from store to store, trying on one person after another, and throwing them aside because they are not “perfect” for us.

Now, I am the last to advocate settling for someone you don’t love deeply.  Settling is a very, very bad thing.  But what I am saying is that if you find someone who is close to your ideal, then actually give them a chance.  Stop making every little thing on your “perfect partner” list into a deal-breaker.  And bear something else in mind – if you do find someone, who is perfect is every respect…what makes you think that YOU live up to their standard of perfection?  Yes, it does work both ways.

Being single, I have my fair share of those one-and-only dates.  Some of them are one-and-only for very good reasons.  Like the guy I met for lunch, who proclaimed himself to be a spirit healer, and then tried to use that to persuade me that I needed to listen to the spirits (through him) and become his lover (yes, this is over a LUNCH date!) in an open-ended relationship.  Open-ended because the spirits had told him he would be meeting his soul mate later in the year, so he couldn’t commit to anyone else.  Er, yes.  The point being, if you meet a loser, nutcase or anyone else waving red flags, run for the hills.  If they are so boring you would gnaw your own arm off to get away, then say “thanks so much, wish you luck in your search, goodbye”.

But if he or she is most of the way there, but just not your laundry list heart-throb…for heavens sake, give them a chance.  At least 3-4 dates in different environments just to see if they do have potential as a person.  After all, if not your one and only, perhaps they might make a really great friend (and one whom you can then set up with your single friends).  Consider it to be networking.  And remember there is no possible way for someone’s great qualities to all emerge in the course of one date.

We create a great deal of misery and loneliness for ourselves because of the way we approach dating.  We often have unrealistic expectations of the other person, and are subsequently disappointed when they fail to perform as we had visualised.  Remember, they are a person too, and may be as nervous as you (or even more nervous!).  Also, there is a tendency to behave differently on a first date – trying to be the person you think the other person wants you to be (this ties into the whole expectation thing).

So essentially, what I am urging is this…try and get past the first-and-only date block.  Give them three or four to allow you to find out more about them.  Treat them as a person and not a commodity.  Dating is meant to be a process of getting to know someone…not making snap judgments.

5 responses to “Learn to date – Part one

  1. I TOTALLY agree with giving people a chance. In past relationships I have always met a really hot guy, date him, and then discover his assholedom within 3 months. A year ago I met this geeky looking fellow who was sweet as pie. Shallow? Yes, I definitely was. This guy however was just so nice that I gave him a chance. I realized that there are really nice people in the world and when someone likes you, YOU KNOW IT. When you are unsure of of what another person thinks of you “aka” mixed signals, they are JUST not that into you. It took me a very long time to realize this. Eventually me and Mr. Nice guy didn’t work out, not because of looks or because his personality changed. We just discovered that we wanted new things in life. Due to the experience of giving him a chance though, I feel as though I became a better person, especially in relationships. I have now met the man of my dreams and am proud to say that material things or shallow physical feelings are pretty much non existent when it comes to my love life. Kudos to you and your article. It is always wonderful to give someone a chance. You never know what awesomeness can come out of it 🙂

  2. I love this post! I always believed in giving relationships time to get seasoned. I was never one to quit early in the game unless I saw some red flags. Dating this time around I am also taking some chances and trying something new. Meaning, I hopped into the world of online dating. I browsed some profiles, hit on a few guys (totally not like me), and even went on dates with a few guys that I felt might have something more then what they wrote on their dating profile.

    To tell you the truth I had some great dates. Only met up with one red flag. About half the guys never contacted me after the first date. A few others I had a handful of other dates. I ended up continuing to see one guy for almost 7 months now (lost track of how many dates so far, LOL).

    I had a conversation with my sister not too long ago. She is a serial dater. She dates a guy for about 1-2 months and then dumps them. She has this mysterious list that compares each guy to and once she makes it through the list and they don’t have every quality, she dumps them. I told her you have to make a list of pros and cons for the guy. No guy will ever be perfect, you just have to find the one that is nearly perfect. You go through your list of pros and cons and if the list of pros is longer, or if the cons are really minor things you can live with, then there should be no reason to kick the guy to the curb. I think the moment she started to take my advice, she started to date guys that weren’t losers (she had a bad track record there for a while), guys that were finally good to her.

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