I thought I’d take a break from writing about the doom and gloom of the economy and switch to writing about the doom and gloom of dating.
A while back, I wrote a post on online dating and said I had given up on that. Apparently I have what it takes to be a politician: I went back and tried it again. Naturally, this was against my better judgment, but I was having little luck meeting anyone single, compatible and mostly sane via running and social activities. To be honest, I was not really putting much effort into it. My divorce had been my own personal financial crisis and my relationships since then did not work out. As such, I was a bit reluctant to put both my remaining stuff and my heart at risk once more.
So far, the online dating is going as it did before-nothing seems to have changed. The basic rules remain. For example, when you get tired of someone, just stop emailing. There are some pleasant exceptions, of course. As another example, there is no need to actually read anyone’s profile. For us guys, you just look at the picture. For women (or so a woman said to me), you just look at the photo and income. I exaggerate, but only just a bit. After all, I get emails from women who love Nascar, seem to already be in an exclusive relationship with Jesus, and hate to read. I don’t like Nascar, I’m okay with Jesus, and I love to read. I can only accept the ego boosting view that they were won over by my photos and ignored everything I had to say about my interests and religious views. In case you are wondering, I do read the profiles carefully…after looking at the photos.
One thing I have learned about dating in general is that most women have a set of dating rules. Some women will tell you a few of the rules right away, perhaps out of a sense of fairness or perhaps to show that they are in such demand that they need a codified body of dating law to keep the situation from decaying into a Hobbesian date of nature. Many of these rules involve set time limits for certain events. If the time limit is exceeded, the dating is off. For example, a woman might have a three day rule-you have to meet her in person in three days or the deal is off. Other rules involve certain actions that must be taken. For example, flowers must be sent as a gift or the deal is off.
I have also learned that while women are supposed to be less rule followers than men, they seem to be deadly serious about their dating rules (except, of course, when they are not). From experience, I have learned that if you break one of the rules (known or secret) that is usually it. There are, of course, exceptions but they seem to be fairly rare. In some cases, this response is reasonable. For example, if a woman has a rule that the guy cannot be sleeping with other women when they are dating, then it is fine for her to stop the relationship if she finds out the weasel is weaseling behind her back. In some cases, this response seems a bit insane. For example, if you cannot meet with a woman who has the three day rule until day four due to a good reason (work, for example) and she says “that’s it”, then that would be a bit crazy.
Naturally, it is good to have standards and some rules. However, I think it is a mistake to be strictly committed to rules that seem to be rather arbitrary. On the plus side, a person’s rules tell you a lot about her, so they can be very useful in making your own assessment.
I have most definitely learned that when a woman makes her dating rules known, that I have to either follow them or simply break things off at that point. If she is serious about her rules, then I should respect them. Also, from a practical standpoint, if I am unwilling to accept her rules then it is just going to end anyway-and probably in a bad way. If she is not serious about her rules, but makes it seem that she is, then she is being dishonest. I’d rather not be involved with someone who is not open and honest about her principles and standards.
In my own case, I do have some basic dating rules. I don’t date women I work with, I don’t date women who are likely to try to kill me, I don’t date women who are addicted to drugs, I don’t date women who are emotionally deranged, and so on. Most of these rules are involved in keeping me and my pets alive and my stuff undamaged. I do not think I have any unreasonable rules. But, of course, everyone thinks his/her rules are just fine. So, perhaps I also have some crazy dating rules and don’t realize how crazy they are.
Fortunately, I am at the stage of my life where everything is quite good (aside from being single). As such, I have an excellent incentive to be cautious about dating: I have a lot to lose. So, I suppose my most basic rule is this: I won’t date anyone who will make my life worse. My other main rule is: I will date someone who makes my life better.