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Dating - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Can't do it.

I Have Decided. See the foot? The foot is coming down. The foot has connected with the floor. People, I have put my foot down.

Every time I arrange a date I wind up looking for any excuse possible to get out of it. Meeting a friend or acquaintance for coffee, even if they are of the opposite sex, is fine - I already know them, we have common ground, but most importantly we are not there for the purposes of judging one another's suitability for a relationship. This is the part that makes my skin crawl. And although I'm good at acting bubbly and cheerful and natural when on a formal date, my stomach is like iron. And I don't relax until it's over.

It's not that I can't handle feeling judged. I don't mind at all; I think I polish up reasonably well. I'm smart, make good conversation, make jokes (not necessarily funny ones) and can generally work out how to skim around or fill up those awkward silences. Nay, my dear readership, the problem is the opposite: I don't like the idea of making a judgment call on someone else so quickly.

This is not a moral concern. It's an empathetic one. I've had the experience of going on a couple of dates with someone who I am mildly interested in, and watching that person become very interested in me. I'm not good at rejecting people, especially the nice ones, and I really, really don't like doing it. I don't like to disappoint people.

So why do I keep doing something I never enjoy? I'm not into masochism. Submission, a little, yeah... but that's a topic for another entry. :D

Guys have told me again and again that they prefer meeting one-on-one rather than coming along to a group gathering, but I'm not going to go out of my way to accommodate anyone else's antisocial tendancies anymore, not when I've spent so long battling my own. My friends and I are a package deal. Bros before hos, man!

I prefer to meet new people in a (smallish) group setting, where a new person can sit back and watch the interplay between established members of the group and get a sense of everyone before they leap in themselves. To me this is less confronting than a one on one scenario, wherein you're forced to leap on in whether you like it or not (the alternative being a rude exit or a date riddled with excruciating silences) - and I can attest from at least one uncomfortable dating experience that in the field of human interaction there are few things worse than coming to the slow realization, halfway through a date, that you have nothing in common with the person you're talking to, you're a little bored by them, and that it's all downhill from here.

So what right do I have to impose my comfort zone on you, my prospective male partner, from day one? Well, I don't see it as a control thing, I see it as a practicality. If I've got to do something I don't enjoy to keep you comfortable from the first date, that's proof positive that we're not compatible to start with (this applies in reverse, too.) Therefore, me bending over backwards to date because it's what you're comfortable with or because it's the socially acceptable way of meeting a partner is really just another way of setting myself up for wonky, ill-matched relationships from the start.

I like my relationships to grow organically. I met Rob through online dating, but every other man I've ever dated or had any kind of emotional relationship or friendship with, I've met and continued to meet through friends or circumstance. Naturally. Organically. Our lives just happened to flow together at that point in time and there was no need to force anything.

In conclusion: dating isn't working for me; dating is out.
13 have fought ~ fight the power!
ge_mig_du From: ge_mig_du Date: February 7th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
but then you have to think of what a hassle it is if you're going out with friends and you've got to look after them the whole time... I think it's almost as hard as keeping up conversation with a very dull person. And then I think of me on a first date I wouldn't want to be thrown into the deep end with all their friends.... not only do you have to impress the person but also their friends. So really in the end one of you has to make allowances and give in to the other persons idea of a date. Unless of course you meet someone who has the same idea... not always easy as I'm sure your aware :P. sorry I'm bored at work and had a double shot coffee and am buzzing! :D
isnotanexit From: isnotanexit Date: February 7th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
ughhh, i completely agree. I hate going on a date with someone I barely know O_o

I prefer to just meet someone randomly, through events or through friends, or whatever. And then slowly start hanging out with them - either with their friends or mine or both... and THEN once I know the guy, and KNOW I'm interested, then yeah, I'll go on a date. But only THEN!

sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: February 7th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess the problem is most guys don't want to because they're feeling judged and ganged up on by your harem of bros?
aibo From: aibo Date: February 7th, 2008 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I know exactly what you mean, the whole thing about dating people you haven't seen before and only talked too occasionally just feels awkward, we seem to be the people where friendship comes first before feeling gets involved. I remember one guy in a (sorta) dating guide states in his profile that he does not "date" at all. "Lets meet for some coffee and have a chat, and see if there is any spark".

In other words, we are people who either believe in love at first and second sight, or love that comes with friendship. Currently pondering how to write that in an online profile.

PS: Honestly, I had a woman getting really pissed at me after I had only seen her three times in three months, without any much action from my site. We are best friends now, but heck did she complain in her final letter to me;-)

scoutlostthewar From: scoutlostthewar Date: February 7th, 2008 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm with Ruby on this one. The last thing you want to do is be imposed on a group and all their injokes and politics on the first day. I mean, I'm mos def not antisocial but I'd prefer a one-on-one "date" before meeting the rest of the crew.

Besides whats your definition of date? If its beers or coffee its pretty easy to skip out if its going that badly. Save the dinner/movie for later. But then again, I actually like going on "dates" so whatever. Meh.
jagafeh From: jagafeh Date: February 7th, 2008 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Finally someone who gets the whole dating thing the way I do. I've never understood people who say that they'll never date friends. The best relationships are the ones where your as much friends as anything else. Is it just me who has a hard time working out how you can separate friendship and relationships? The only ones which have worked for me was when there was both. Thank goodness someone else thinks the same way.
master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: February 7th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Off topic but I can't find your email addy.

Are you still looking for another house mate or are you full up?
tania From: tania Date: February 7th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep! Tania@crikeyduck.com. Who've you got in mind?
master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: February 7th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
A friend mine Chris, loss4words. I've given him your email addy.
master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: February 7th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also for you humorous enjoyment, this is a website he runs.

tania From: tania Date: February 7th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Crazy! Not only have I heard of that website, but my friend Viv knows Chris and was talking about him just yesterday!
master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: February 7th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, talk about the 1 degree of brisbane effect....
tengukun From: tengukun Date: February 7th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... I feel very much the same way, hence my quitting the dating scene a while ago. :P
13 have fought ~ fight the power!