There are days when I wish there was some way to bypass the preliminary dating stage of life and fast-forward into a full-blown relationship; kind of like walking through the wall at Platform 9 ¾.
I don’t like dating people. That’s not to say that I don’t like the people I’m dating; I’m quite fond of the people I date (that’s why I ask them out). My problem is with the process of dating, and its unwritten rules, which I am a constant violator of.
Some people stress over what they’re going to wear. I stress over whether or not I should knock on your door when picking you up
To me, knocking on the door to pick a woman up for a date isn’t remotely weird; it should be common practice. If she lives in a building, buzz her apartment and you wait for her to come down.
Apparently the protocol nowadays is to call when you’re close, so that they are waiting outside. Some even send a “Here,” text when they pull up to the house or building. To me, calling a girl to say, “I’m close,” isn’t as sincere, and I will never, ever send you a “Here,” text if I am romantically into you.
(Disclaimer: If, somehow, you’re reading this article and, somehow, we make plans for a date, and I send a “Here,” text, feel free to completely change your mind right then and there.)
Chivalry isn’t dead; it’s just unappreciated
I was raised with somewhat traditional values: Paying for the first date; opening doors for people; saying “Sir” and “Ma’am,” as well as using your manners and taking a genuine interest in someone.
If I ask for your number, I’m going to call you — soon; and when I call, it will be to make plans for a date. I’m not doing the, “Wait (this many) days to call” thing. Most of my phone’s contacts consist of family, friends, colleagues and high school coaches; believe me, I don’t need, nor want, a number that I have no purpose for.
If we have a good time on the date, I’m going to want a goodnight kiss. It doesn’t need to be anything more than that, but I feel like the end-of-night kiss is a way of us both knowing, “Hey, I like you; this was fun; let’s do it again.”
And to me, “again” does not mean two or three weeks from now. If that second date goes well, I’ll want a third; and then a fourth; repeat cycle. The first date can easily end without a kiss, but if it goes well, I know that I’m going to want the kiss. Maybe it’s because I like kissing, or maybe it’s because I believe you can tell a lot about your chemistry with someone from the way you kiss.
The problem with dating in the world of hook-up culture is that nobody wants to be exclusive anymore. Nobody wants to commit to anything, really. People are always weighing their options to see if there’s something better out there.
I don’t like the unknown
Is she talking to someone else? Does she want more? Should I be talking to someone else? Should I feel bad for talking to someone else? I want more, but what if she doesn’t? There are too many questions that are unanswered.
I’m a one-woman kind of guy. I’ve casually dated more than one girl at a time, but I hated it. For one, I don’t have the time, money or patience to juggle more than one woman in my life. Secondly, I don’t want a Rolodex of women to choose from; I want someone who doesn’t make me wonder how she feels about me beyond the obvious, “Well, I’m here with you, so I like you enough for that.”
When you casually date, there’s too much grey area: If I assume we’re only seeing each other, I can be considered a fool; if I think it’s OK to see other people and she doesn’t, I can be considered a douche; if she thinks it’s OK to see other people and I don’t, I can be considered insecure.
There’s too much grey area, and way too much for my liking.
Light at the end of the tunnel
It sucks being in the dating stage of life, whether you’re actively looking or on your way to a relationship, but eventually it will pass. Eventually we will meet someone who makes this rat race all worth it.