Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Guide to Dating: Don't Do It!

Before I was married, I never had a lot of girlfriends and, being very shy, I wasn't in the hunt as so many people were/are. As such, I really didn't date a lot. Perhaps because I didn't make a lot of money and I wasn't one to "date around" I didn't have the resources or the inclination to go through a bunch of women on such a grand scale.

But, I did have a lot of fun wherever I went and with whomever came with me. I often invited friends to all meet at a certain spot and let's just have a good time. Hmmm? I guess those were precursors to the Meet & Greets?

But, I digress...

Having watched a number of people go through the dating game, I often marveled at how they were able to do it. In many cases, these dates were not going to lead to relationships. In far too many of them, the fencing that would take place to see who would "win" by either having sex that night, or some other night, as long as it was on their terms, became utterly painful to watch.

But, is that the be-all and end-all of dating? After spending $200 or more to impress some woman that one just met, and having "nothing" to show for it seems pointless. That "nothing" doesn't mean that he took her to bed necessarily. What about a relationship, or at the very least, a friendship?

After having $200 or more spent on her with virtually every step of the way a possible grounds for a veto seems Draconian to me. If the man does spend this kind of money and impresses you with his style and grace, what does that get him? What does that get you?

What if neither of you were very good in bed? What if the woman expected the man to pay every time they got together? Sure, this is the 21st century but there are some women who believe it a manifest RIGHT to never pay, or offer to pay, or offer to take him anywhere.

What if that was only a Zip rental car?

I enjoyed reading a blog today that touches on some of the stuff I just posted but this is not a retort to her blog. Much of what she wrote is salient and solid advice.

Rather, I want to suggest something a little more radical than the whole dating dynamic.

I am going to suggest that you don't date at all. When I did meet girls with whom I would eventually enjoy a relationship, I made it as pressure-free as possible. I wanted to get to know her, and her to get to know me. We didn't have to go to the finest restaurants, or the most expensive plays, etc. Those came later when I wanted to indulge her...not up front.

We would go dancing. We would be around my friends, and I would be around hers. I would much prefer being at a card party, or playing Taboo, or something like that were we didn't have to be "all that." She would see me for who I was and vice-versa.

Having seen each other in a public, safe, and secure setting, we could comfortably be alone with each other doing the simpler things. Walking along the Potomac in Washington, DC, or on Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh, or along the shore at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis. From my point of view, if I found her worth my spending my money to honor her, not impress her, but to show her that she was important enough for me to take some of my treasure and treat her well, was to come later...after I got to know her...and could trust her.

Does that make me cheap? Am I a tightwad?

From whose point of view are those labels coming??

My sense of dating is that there is so much pressure up front--
starting with asking for the date, going to a place that is impressive to further the possible lie that each is trying to portray, and then gauging the success of it all by whether she slept with him and if either of them were any good at it, and at every point along the way, one misstep is grounds for a Boomerang-type of reason to reject them.


Personally, I always thought that a woman would be more impressed by the honest brother who was prudent with his money and believed that he had a future that could include a marvelous woman BY HIS SIDE and not in his pocket. The man would be appreciative if a woman took some of the pressure off by inviting the man to something...anything. How refreshing that is. The pressure is off of BOTH of them.

In an honest exchange, on a non-Hollywood-type of date, you are free to express yourself with true PDAs, and steal a kiss or something that shows appreciation for the privilege of spending time getting to know each other. Trust me, ladies, men LOVE this when they don't have to feel like PDiddy all the time. At the outset, you sought to get to know someone, to be a friend, and the gift of making love and becoming lovers (or more) will flow from all of that.

To be sure, and I do hope there is a woman who will say (with honesty) that she doesn't do this. Needless to say, I'm not suggesting that the majority of women --or men, for that matter, do this.

But, for those that do, where has it gotten you after all this time? Still "single" and "happy?" If you're happy, great...just don't bemoan the monster that you helped to create as a reason for where you are.