Meshing two people into one unit, turning two people into a couple, is a tricky business. With a number of moving parts on a lot of levels resolving in different time frames, we underestimate the process at our peril.
A few of these factors can be de-tangled before we even start, but it requires conscious pre-meditation. Actually, that’s a good word for it; meditation. Out-thinking our instincts and peer influences will stop us from immediately taking a wrong turn and subsequently keep us close to the right path.
One way to begin is to figure out our expectations. The romantic and beastly part of us wants the immediate gratification of all our desires, wants, drives and dreams. Write it down like that and the absurdity stands out. Ideally we’d manage our expectations as we go along: low to begin with because we’re dealing with a stranger, gradually increasing as we get to know this person.
That is easier said than done, but if we’re to protect ourselves, a certain kind of clinical thinking like this might help us navigate the complexity.
Online dating is as much of a dysfunctional circus as ever as I discovered last night. Not that I was on a date so arranged, but my friends regaled me with stories.
A catalogue of low-rent prospects…
Out for whatever they can get…
We re-visited the predictable reactions of normal people to abnormal ways of finding possible boyfriends or girlfriends; it’s horrifying.
One subtle point was one friend’s astonishment at the speed with which people have sex and/or assume exclusivity (whatever that means.) In her mind, dating was about interacting with one or more people with the aim of better acquaintanceship. In other words, she’d be meeting and going out with as many prospects as she wanted.
Men interested in her bridled at her attitude to this, based on the assumption that once they’d met, sex was soon – and sure – to follow, and a monogamous relationship would ensue. This, mind you, between two strangers who’d met for perhaps two hours total.
Her thought was that dating should be time spent filtering and sifting possible candidates for consideration; the prevailing thought among the men she met was that all getting-to-know-you stuff would be compressed into a few dates, there’d be sex and voila! A couple!
Who would volunteer for something so asinine? How many failed interactions, how much emotional exhaustion, how much cynicism comes from this unthinking foolishness?
No wonder people run out of enthusiasm for the thrill and happiness and, yes, work, of marriage. We run a marathon before we run our marathon.
Like is more valuable than love.
Love, however, has more in your face PR, an enormous advertising budget and a long history of mythology.
We know who should win this battle, and who has won. Until now.
Playing hard to get might work, or it might not. If your aim is to entice someone, you might be best advised to wait until they have shown some interest, otherwise it might all backfire.
Is that your experience? Or does your aloofness win every time?
Kregg and I remain detached yet tempting while sorting it all out.
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Or, more likely, just the way I am.
I’m increasingly opening my eyes to an epidemic of bad dating practice, which is the expectation that a prospective spouse must accept me precisely the way I am. In other words, I’ll make no concession to the other person, no modification, no accommodation, make not one thought different from the way I currently behave.
Implied in this outlook (possibly unthinkingly, but still…) is that when future change occurs, I’ll expect you to adore/respect/accept that as well. No questions, no discussion, no melding of minds, nothing.
The blindness to human nature that this stance manifests is breathtaking, and yet I hear it more and more. Finding the right person is about finding that person for whom you want to change for the better. The starting point for connection is understanding that we need a blueprint of character, but much of our day-to-day behaviour can and will change day-to-day. That applies equally to the other person, and so expecting them to modify their thinking and actions without you doing the same is preposterous.
If you want to be alone and rejected, looking and not finding, remain rigid. People will accept you the way you are, but not into their heart.