Haven’t been dating much lately? Feeling bad about it? Staying in tonight instead of going out to find love?
Well, I feel for you, sir. I’m admittedly not a huge serial dater. Never have been. Because, quite frankly, I don’t like dating. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Here are some reasons why. They might make you feel just a tiny bit better about staying in alone to drink some pinot noir and watch college-aged men play basketball against one another.
First dates are an inherently awkward experience. It seems counter-intuitive to repeatedly and willingly subject oneself to an evening where the only guarantee is that you’re going to be at least a little bit nervous and it will be at least a little bit awkward for at least some of the time.
It’s an expensive pastime. Chances are you’re paying for at least some of the dates you’re going on, and if you’re going on too many that adds up really quickly. You could be spending that money on, like, home improvement so that if you end up alone (or eventually get a woman back to your place) you’ll at least have a dope apartment or house.
On a first date, people tend to not act like themselves, and this promotes confusion. There are perceived expectations of how a person is supposed to act on a date, and people tend to go with that instead of doing what they normally would do. And if you’re not going to act normal from the get-go, what’s the point? (Sometimes people overcompensate to try and be too much like themselves. A friend once told me he doesn’t open the car door for the woman on a first date because he “wouldn’t be doing that all the time if he were married to her.” If you are going on dates, try to resist this type of behavior.)
It’s a shell game. Think about how many dates you’re likely to go on before you meet someone who reciprocates your desire to start something serious and exclusive. It’s frustrating.
Technology has made in-person dates more difficult. For one thing, most of us are becoming less adept at face-to-face conversations, since we don’t have to have as many of them as our forefathers. For another, it’s harder now to impress someone, because online dating and social media have made it so, so easy to discover so many of the single people in one’s vicinity (or far distances away, even). This makes it tougher to impress women, and everyone has become much more selective since the breadth of their options has become so vast, especially if they live in a metropolitan area.
You often get stoked for nothing. There have been plenty of times I’ve gone on a date I thought went very well, only to find that the girl did not feel the same and would prefer to never see me again, at least in a romantic capacity. It’s akin to waiting in line for a roller coaster and lurching to the top only to have the cars malfunction, at which point you have to exit and sulk down the steps back to the bottom of the ride. Alone.
Everyone has different expectations, and it’s hard to know what those expectations are going into it. Like, does the girl have some strange opposition to kissing on the first date, to a point she’ll take offense if you try to get fresh with her? Does she really want to kiss you but you don’t make a move because you just went on a date with a girl who was really upset when you tried to kiss her on the first date because you were moving too fast? Will she think you’re trying to bang her if you offer to walk her home? Will she think you’re overbearing if you try to hail her a cab or hold the door for her? Does she even know what you’re talking about when you tell her that “chivalry is not dead?”