Ramblings Post #146
I stole this topic. Don't worry, I told the person I stole this topic from I was gonna steal this topic and he's good with it. I got from my message board, the only one I ever joined for the conversation, and where I've been a active participant for a long time. It's like an internet gated community. The original answers to this question were funny, thoughtful, and insulting. And I found out a lot of folks really aren't satisfied with "dating" as they see it. Kinda sad.
Do you really...really know how to date?
Let's see. For most of us, dating in our twenties was a movie, where we sat in the dark and watched in silence, then a bit of awkward conversation over a rushed inexpensive dinner at the local mid-range chain ( Applebee's, TGIF's, Red Lobster, etc. ) and then off to someone's place for sweaty heing and sheing. Not much later, the non domiciled participant would be expected to leave. Then after a month or five, everyone would switch partners.
This was dating? Really?
I'm older. Not necessarily wiser, but definitely older, and I'm not happy with where I've been and where it looks like I'm headed. But I know that this was was "seeing" somebody, not really dating. It struck me once, that the sum total of a relationship that was about to get intense, consisted of maybe six hours of being together (over the course of three dates) and four or five phone conversations, one of which was a call to tell me she needed to push one of those dates to another time. From strangers to grooving in less than seven hours.
Spanky once asked me what happened to courting? Where a man got to know a woman before they got to the tricky tricky, and I told her that somewhere we'd all reversed the game. A confluence of events conspired with fate and Starship. Men, aware of the sad reality of the "friend zone" and the reduced status that came with it sought to move up the endgame. Women, liberated and free to do as they pleased after ages of repression, decided that they didn't have time to waste, and indulged heartily. People got straight to the doings, before they found if they actually could stand one another.
I mean, let's be honest here, for the first date, you aren't yourself. You're an extra clean, slightly smoother version of the normal you. The second date is worst than first, because you weren't sure of what you getting into at first and now you're spiffing up with an agenda. By the third date you're just about a completely pretend human, synthesized to fit the other person ideal so you don't talk yourself out of the naked cha cha slide you figure is still on deck.. Which is why after a month or two, I'm guessing thirty to forty hours of real time interaction, it is only then that you realize that this person is, and always was, a less than worthy candidate, or worse...a psycho. And then you move on, find a new mate...and repeat.
So what is dating? Or as Spanky called it...courting?
It's taking the time to get to know someone. Really know someone. A month or two. Or five. I was appalled the first time I heard a woman say she had a minimum of ninety days before she'd go there with a guy. Unilateral decisions regarding co-physication have always been abhorrent to me, and still are, but.... I now see that she was expecting "courting". The getting to know someone before the getting to know someone, in the biblical sense. And that there was a strong possibility that she understood that love meant more than just quality time. That the quality time she was looking for was two souls sharing existence, liking each other, before touching each other.
Dating is more than movies and dinner. It's talking, about life, loves, hopes and dreams. Its when you see what the other person is really about, not the show they can put on. Figuring out if they're hanging around because of the way your hips look in them jeans, or because of how much money they think you have. And a lot of us don't do that because, as we like to phrase it, "we don't have the time." All we got is time. Time to that or be lonely and mad, because nothing comes prepackaged. And honestly, at times learning who someone really is can be painful, which I think is the deeper reason we don't want to fool with it. When you've taken the time and turns out they were just a good performer, it stinks.
As I've stated before, and will state again: The best couples are people who actually like each other. You know, friends. I also know most of the world does not agree with me. But then I am who I am, so go figure.
Let's see, counting up the number or euphemisms I used for sex. Eleven, man I'm good.
Barkeep, eleven shots of tequila. No, I'm not gonna drink them all myself. I need six volunteers.
[Update: I missed one. There are actually twelve. It was early...my bad]