Dating Tips: A Rantish Preamble & Part De Deux

Dating! I was peer-pressured into posting a “dating tips” thingie last month and, ever since, I’ve been sort of avoiding posting a continuation. Why? What, you want the loaded answer or the honest one?

So happens, the answer is both.

Dating tips are bullshit. Anyone who tells you there’s a sure-fire method to snag the one your heart desires is so full of shit they ought to open a Port-a-john franchise, all right?

Don’t believe ’em! They’re trying to sell their book, themselves, what the fuck ever, but what they ain’t selling you is the truth.

It’s all about personality and instinct and timing and chemistry. It’s about things we’ll never grasp. It’s about the other person and you, how the clickage transpires, or whether it doesn’t at all. And it’s also about luck and how willing you are to look past the little things that might be tempering the encounter — a bad day beforehand, distressing news about a loved one, an upcoming payment they’re short for. Who knows.

And the worst thing about dating tips is, they’re unrealistic. They’re never going to work for everyone, and if they do work, they could be doing you more harm than good. So, you go out, you follow “the Rules”, and they like you. Then comes the hard part. You have to stick to what they liked in order to keep them. Meaning, you have to be something you’re not. How realistic is that? You want a future with them, yet you’re trying to craft yourself into something that will mesh better with them, just because you think you need that person? Yeah, there’s some smart thinking. Fuck, man.

Like I said, it’s bullshit. The trouble is, most relationships are doomed. “Dating tips” and their like tend to just allow you to postpone the inevitable with someone who’s not even seeing the real you in the first place.

I don’t exactly get a lot of second dates. Why? Because a) I’m real, and b) I’m pretty in your face. I don’t tend to watch what I say, I don’t flatter the male ego, I don’t try to pretend I am what I’m not, I don’t try to make myself all girlie-girl and demure. (Though I have my moments.) I am what I am, and if they don’t like it, they’re not right for me, and I don’t want to bother with that. Simple.

Dating tips are like recipes. They’re great for people who don’t know what to do without ’em. If you need them, use them, but remember to keep it real or you’re never going to be able to maintain what you’ve begun.

Statistically, most relationships fail. Be it because of communication, sex, money, whatever, it ultimately comes down to reality and odds. Somehow, some way, the media makes us feel like failed relationships are a reflection of us. We failed.

Or did we? As if saying the right things and doing the right things could keep a relationship together. If that was the case, there wouldn’t be a staggering 50% divorce rate or a 90% likelihood your relationship has a limited shelf-life before you even make out on the couch. If there was an easy solution to relationships, don’t you think someone woulda figured that out by now?

So, yeah, dating rules? Bullshit. Take from them what works for you, what you think are good standards. A lot of these have worked for me. But they’re not one-size-fits-all like a ballcap. They’re adjustable, flexible, and even expendable. Don’t marry the rules. Don’t marry any sort of a credo society tells you is a cure-all. There are none in any realm of this existence. Life is a figure-shit-out-as-it-goes deal, and the more you’re willing to be flexible, the better your experiences will be, in dating or out.

So, now, if you really need some kinda dating enlightenment, then here’s the continuation of my last posting, found here. If you think it’s all crap? Fine. Won’t hurt me none. I told ya to go by your instincts in the first place, and I stick by that. Fuck my rules, and fuck anyone else’s. Be yourself.

Oh, and I had planned to add more to these, but now I can’t be bothered. See above if you have issues with that. :)

  • Remember, this is someone new in your life. Don’t expect them to be your Spackle when you’re feeling blue. If you’re feeling empty, find the filling of life elsewhere. It’s too much to ask that anyone, even a lover, make you feel whole. God knows it’s killed relationships for me, coming and going.
  • Women, women, women! If you’re on a dinner date, don’t order a fucking salad. What, you think that he’s going to suddenly see you as being 15 lbs lighter because you ordered a salad?! Eat healthy, by all means, but don’t just order a salad for dinner. Some guys really love seeing a chick actually eat food, let alone enjoy it! It’s a cliché for a reason. Food is sensual. Allow it to help set the mood for your evening. Share it.
  • Men, men, men! Watch your drinking! I once had a date with a guy who had five fucking beers during our dinner. As far as I was concerned, the date was done long before the cheque arrived. Have a drink, maybe two. Anything more, and you’re looking to get judged silently.
  • Always treat the wait staff or any employees anywhere with respect and be friendly with them (but not too much so, it’ll look phony or effusive). This lets your date see that you’re a good person with a friendly personality.
  • Remember, on a first date in particular, you’re going to get judged for anything you do. We’re all looking for signs that our date’s right or wrong for us. Don’t let stupid things take you out of the running – don’t be an aggressive driver, don’t be a messy eater, don’t be cheap, don’t swear too much (if at all), don’t be loud, don’t be rude. Et al. Save your flaws for later, eh?
  • If it’s a “You had to be there” moment type of story, then save your breath. It’s just going to fall flat, and you’ll feel like an ass.
  • Body language is everything. Don’t cross your arms. If interested, lean forward towards your date, not away from them. Touch them in ways that doesn’t cross boundaries – a brush of the hand, sitting closer than you maybe ought to… little things.
  • Make eye contact, particularly when you’re saying something revealing or personal. It works great to meet their eyes as you’re sipping your wine, leveling them over the rim of your glass. After all, you’re using your lips and tongue, and tasting – all rather sensual things. Eye contact brings them into the moment.
  • Don’t interrupt. It’s an annoying habit. (One I’m personally trying to break. Ha.)
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