New Year’s resolutions: Dating? NOT!

Words from Joel…

Before you move into actively seeking a mate or a date it’s good, as my colleague Christine points out, to ask why would  I start dating?

Many men and women I’ve met feel some kind of peer pressure to be a couple. Women, in particular, voice the concern that they will not be invited to social gatherings if they show up single. I have enough anecdotal evidence to convince me this really does happen. Single men, on the other hand, are sought out eagerly to fill empty seats at dinner. I can’t explain it.

Men I know, and some women too, want to feed a hunger for sex. That’s a powerful urge, one not easily satisfied. I get it.

So there are many reasons to seek a partner and I agree with Christine’s analysis posted here earlier in every particular.

But let me offer some ideas why you should NOT be dating.

  • You really like a lot of time alone. Reading books, writing, watching TV. It’s much easier if you don’t have think about someone else and the time you SHOULD be spending with them. Not everyone is equally social and some of us just aren’t social at all. We are loners. That’s not the same as lonely.
  • You don’t negotiate well. You have your ways of doing and being and really don’t want to change. What you eat, how you eat. What you talk about or don’t. Politics. Religion. If you’re set in concrete in your attitudes and actions you may not be a good candidate for a partnership.
  • You don’t have time or energy to work at dating. Finding a romantic partner is like looking for a job. You have to persist, organize and accept rejection. Unless you are truly committed, you will only suffer frustration.
  • You aren’t really over a previous relationship. Jumping in too early will not turn out well. It can take years to get over a failed relationship. One measure I like is how often do you miss that previous relationship or get angry about it. If you can’t go more than a week without angst about the past, you probably aren’t ready.

Which is to say there may be good reasons for you NOT to date. My recommendation, only get started if you’re sure you’re ready and willing to invest the time and emotional energy required.

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List what you want from your loving partner

Joel: In response to a Facebook Friend who posted a list of attributes of a “Gentleman,” I posted this –
Glad to see this issue raised. I once listened to a woman in a singles group as she listed the (fairy tale) attributes of her ideal man.
When she finished, I asked, OK, so what do you bring to the table for him? After a long, long silence, she said, “Respect. I will respect him.”
To which I said, “Sorry, can’t use that. What behaviors and specific acts will you engage in to DEMONSTRATE your love; i.e., the kinds of things you listed that you know you want him to actually do for you, e.g. open the car door, etc.” (Please respond and you get extra points if you can use i.e. and e.g. in the same sentence, correctly!)
 lx

This is especially important for women looking for a mate so they can define limits and understand love is a two-way street, give and take, and, at best, giving more than you take… If you have a list of things you want from a man, put beside each item what you will actually DO for him to reciprocate.

Mind you, I like lists of things a woman wants. I have been and remain not naturally or instinctively sensitive in these matters. A woman I should have loved once, after a major fail, gave me a list she called “Minimum Expectations For Valentine’s Day.”

The next year I delivered. So… lists are good, just make sure you understand reciprocity.

If you don’t get this concept, check out “The Five Love Languages.”