Because dating is shopping for people, an element of fuzziness is normal.
By fuzziness I mean that people are not inanimate objects in the way that, say, a bed is. Buying a bed is a relatively big deal. We spend a third of our lives in the company of our bed: our health is affected by it, our mood is affected by it, even our job performance is affected by it. With all that in mind, we look thoughtfully and decided soberly on the kind of bed we buy.
If we agree that dating is indeed about finding the best fitting person, perhaps we should approach the enterprise with as much dispassion as buying that bed. Simple in theory, not so much in practice.
Most folks want to be thought well of by any person they date. We want to be liked. If we discover that, on the first date, the person is a minimalist platform bed when we are looking for a fancy four-poster, well, it seems insensitive to be that forthright. Anyone can see that platform beds are excellent sleeping equipment…if you want that kind of thing. But continuing to date a platform bed when it doesn’t make you happy, is not good for either of you.
Learning to say:
I see that you will make someone a nice companion in the future. That person is not me…
…is the essence of avoiding messy dating entanglements. The sooner we discern incompatibility, the better. We don’t hesitate to dismiss products we don’t like; the romance world needs much more of this.