I’ve become exceptionally picky about who I date. It’s taken me by surprise. I used to apply my positive attributes filter to anyone that I found vaguely attractive. Now I do the opposite, viewing potential lovers pessimistically until they prove themselves worthy. My time has become too precious to waste on taking gambles and playing games.
Dating is a freaking mine field, from the classic strategic gameplay of texting, through to the biased relationship advice given by ex-lovers. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t talk to ex-lovers about my current love life. It’s hazardous. And kinda stressful.
Over recent months, I’ve become so frustrated by dating that I’ve reallocated the time I used to spend prowling for dates. I now spend that time looking inward, evaluating my happiness levels as a solitary unit, pin-pointing life changes I can make to improve them. Meanwhile, a niggling voice reminds me that even when I’ve finally made my solo life a blissful haven of wonder, as soon as a new love comes along, it’ll all get bulldozed and I’ll have to start again. Still, one can’t live upon ‘what if…’s, as that’ll only lead to emotional chaos.
My dating statistics for the past 18 months:
6 first dates
4 second dates
4 kiss victims
2 third dates
1 person I dated for several months, yet it never became a relationship
I did give internet dating a go, jumping straight in and setting up 2 dates with guys who seemed somewhat interesting. As things played out, date 1 reminded me too much of an ex and date 2 sparked no chemistry. I deactivated my profile for a few months and, when I returned to it, I vowed only to date people that were extraordinarily interesting. The problem with that approach was that it took an investment of time and energy (sending emails back and forth), in order to establish whether anyone was particularly interesting. I didn’t have the enthusiasm for it. I removed my profile again.
I’ve now become a dating traditionalist. I don’t want my dating to be conducted at double speed. I don’t want to meet people for the first time under the pretence of us being potential partners for each other. There’s too much pressure and social behaviour becomes contrived. I feel judged, on trial. I can’t relax enough to get to know the other person as I’m too busy constructing a list of my favourite movies whilst becoming increasingly self-conscious of never having travelled much (a small sacrifice I paid for chasing my performance dreams and living as an artistic pauper).
I’m also done with ‘having a bit of fun’. Go big or go home. Instead of making uncomfortable small talk over a poorly made morning-after coffee, I could be at home, reading about mathematical theory or creating something beautiful. I’m not compromising any more.
Likewise, it’s kind of an ego drain to be in a friends-with-benefits type exchange; we’re both attractive, but not a full romance package. I find that a rather melancholy arrangement.
I want to go slow. I want to forge genuine friendships and see how they unfold as we open up to one another. I’ve never had a relationship come about off the back of snogging someone at a bar. My past relationships have all begun as excited conversations about a mutual interest, becoming dates when we’ve realised that there’s a magnetism between us.
I’ve still not had my first kiss of 2013, but when it comes, it’ll be delicious.