Back on the single scene. Almost. When you get dumped from your longest relationship to date, getting back out there is hard. It’s actually frankly obnoxious in many ways to meet new people. It’s too easy to date what you know. Of course that holds its own collection of absurdities.
Figuring out how much of yourself to put out there and when is hard enough, knowing when to cut something loose can sometimes be harder. It’s difficult to let go of something in the early stages when you can still see potential beyond what is wrong. But working around things that don’t actually work for you is setting yourself up for failure and disappointment down the road. As I begin to date again, I’m taking some good advice very seriously: Date as if you’re conducting a job interview; if your applicant doesn’t have the required skill set, move on, no apologies. It’s fine to look for the good in people, but not if you’re choosing a partner. You should not have to look for the good in a partner, you should be able to see it right away.
The next challenge is trying to collect all relevant information before you get ga-ga for someone that will ultimately turn out to disappoint. That initial rush in connecting with someone makes you suddenly feel electric, and as if there could be nothing bad about this guy. Not so fast. Like Sex in the City’s Carnival of Freaks, there’s most likely something that is not going to add up. Perhaps the hardest part of dating, other than weeding through the obvious d-bags, is realizing there is not going to be a real connection with almost ALL the men you date. And to not mistake hot “chemistry” for an intellectual connection.
The easiest part of dating, but something that can be sadly forgotten, is to be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you for you, whatever, move on. Don’t change yourself to attract or keep someone because eventually you are going to get tired of pretending, and then the relationship will end anyway and all you’ve done is waste time with someone that didn’t like you for you in the first place. People often end up in bad relationships because someone has not been true to themselves.
So, as I wade through a sea of Affliction T-shirts and madras shorts, looking for some sensible person who can put a sentence together, I remember these three rules: interview ‘em, keep it cool, be true.