November 14, 2009
"Let me just be honest with you for a minute." If you say this when you're out on a date, does it imply that you've been lying up until that point of the evening?
This quote tends to be followed by a very heavy silence and then a bit of trite and often cliched sentiment having to do with having just gotten out of a relationship, not looking for anything serious, or just wanting to have a good time.
I am almost 28 years old and have never really "dated around" all that much, so I'm not exactly sure how "dating around" works. My most reliable sources on the matter are the Archie Comics I grew up reading, in which there were constant incestuous entanglements between Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Archie, with only the burly testosterone-driven Moose ever settling down into a stable relationship with "his girl" Midge.
What I have gathered from these texts is that there once was a time when dating around did not necessarily mean sleeping around. I'm not sure when it happened- probably the 60's, damn hippies!- but somehow casual sex crept into the whole dating scene and complicated the hell out of things.
I spent the majority of my early and mid-twenties either completely alone or in serious relationships, so never really had the opportunity to see multiple people simultaneously- which I believe is the basis of "dating around." Yes? Certainly I was "dating" my girlfriend(s) and we would go on "dates," but that's being a boyfriend. Very different from "seeing" different people.
That is not to say I've never gone on dates and all that business. It just means I have no idea what the rules of dating are. I assume there are rules anyway. Like if you're on a first or second date and you are currently "seeing other people", are you supposed to tell her or just let it come up in conversation? If you go out a few times and there is no spark, can you just stop calling or do you need to make the beak an official act by verbally expressing it to the other party?
I suppose every situation is different, but it seems foolish to me in any situation, to enter into something with, "Let me be honest with you for a minute." Why must it be presented in this awkward and direct way? It really puts your date on the spot. You might as well say, "Now Heather. What are your intentions here?" Do you really need to arrive at your date with a bullet point list of things you have decided can and cannot happen as a result of said date? Presumptuous!
By saying that you're not looking for anything serious or just wanting to have a good time, you are essentially implying that dating inherently always becomes something serious and involves having a bad time. Why can't dating just be what you make it without setting up ground rules like that? Kind of takes the fun out things doesn't it?
I understand the principle of safeguarding yourself - and your date- from wasting each other's time if your goals are not in alignment, but doesn't it limit your options to arrive with a set agenda? As I said, I am by no means an expert on the subject and I suppose it's pointless to speculate. After all, I just got out of a relationship and I'm not really looking for anything serious right now. Call me!