the dating woes I promised to discuss

Dating Conundrum 1 

Let me paint you a picture. You’ve gone out with someone a few times, maybe 5. You enjoy him and have a good time, but ultimately, you’re just not that into him. Do you wait for him to call to ask you out again, or do you call preemptively to end it? The obvious answer may seem like the former, but on the other hand, if you know it’s not going to work out, isn’t it rude to make him ask again?

And furthermore, what words do you use to end it? You can’t say, “I like you, but not enough,” or “I like you, but I’m just not very attracted to you,” or, “I thought I liked you, but then I met someone else who’s even better!” Yet you still owe the person a legitimate reason that somehow semi-truthfully avoids blaming your disinterest entirely on him. Here are a few I’ve come up with:

“I just see us more as friends.”

“I don’t see myself making a commitment to you anytime soon.”*

Dating Etiquette 1

Sometimes your friends or family members will be rooting for a particular guy. I learned this summer that the socially acceptable thing to say is “he’s not my type,” instead of “he’s not attractive at all.”

Dating 2011

This issue of attractiveness leads me to my next Modern Love-esque pondering: the influence of the digital age.

Clearly there are a million factors I could look at to study this influence, but today I am going to stick to meeting someone/developing a relationship over the internet. 

They say 1 in 5 marriages started as online dating, which, the more I think about it, is an ASTONISHING probability. Why? You can talk to someone on the phone every day, you can even see them NAKED on webcam, and STILL be disappointed in real life.

A friend of mine got a little hot and heavy on webcam with a guy she had never met in person. Meeting him in person was a slight disappointment—he was a little fatter than he looked on her computer. Maybe she didn’t realize just how short 5’5” was, or that he has an annoying inflection when he asks questions. There can be any number of things that can go wrong—bad posture, odd gait, discourteous to waiters, not good at making eye contact, etc. These online daters must sift though LOTS of people before they happen to get lucky. I mean 1 in 5?!?!

I’m sure what I’m saying sounds like common sense, but I guess when you’ve grown up communicating with people in large part through the internet, you don’t realize the extent of the digitally-induced illusion of reality.

*Additional suggestions welcome.

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1 Comment

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One response to “the dating woes I promised to discuss

  1. Daniel

    I think a key realization for me was that dating and sex can be a legitimate and healthy end in themselves as opposed to a means to an end. Let’s face it–they’re fun, enjoyable, and one of the most entertaining ways to occupy time.

    It’s when I look past the journey to the destination that I lose the perspetive to enjoy things in the moment as they’re happening. It sounds like some fortune cookie philosophy or some bullshit motivational poster, I know. I’m a little incredulous myself.

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