How are we doing? Is dating working for you? Is dating being real, or could it use a stint in rehab?

My working philosophy is that meeting and uncovering new people is more complicated than ever. Like the cereal aisle in the supermarket (or the dry pasta aisle, or the juice department for that matter) choices abound. What is not in abundance is reliable information on how to discern between boxes of cereal, or indeed how to decide between them. What works for me might give you gas by lunchtime, and a third person might be better served by eating eggs for breakfast.

We all suffer – not too strong a word IMO – from the Hollywood notion of dating. They take us from quirky but cute meeting to satisfying ending by way of a challenging interlude in ninety minutes of flawless Technicolor. Of course we’re all smart enough to differentiate fantasy from reality, but still, at some level a precedent so created creates room for disappointment.

Dating can be about disappointment, or it can be about discovery. As I have written previously, dating is a string of failures with one success if you want to look at it that way. Or it can be an around-the-world series of moments with different people, the ultimate prize being self-discovery and the treasure of finding The One. X marks the spot, after following a few red-herring clues.

But the greatest need is the map on which the location of X is shown. And for that, dear friends, I’m sorry to say that only you can provide the document. For everything else we have Google and blogs.

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