TaGQ: Shall ye friend first then date, or just date first?

A friend was telling me about her experience with online dating recently and mentioned that she liked the fact that she got to go on real dates right from the start, as opposed to how some men simply ask her to hang out informally.

I’ve been on a couple of first dates (at least I think they were dates) in the last month. Kind of like this article I find myself enjoying some of them, but unsure of how to followup. Actually, I recently came to the realization that unlike my friend mentioned above, I don’t really like dating that much. Contrary to what you might think this doesn’t mean I’m anti-social, in fact I get a long with a variety of people and with the exception of extremely formal events I’m comfortable connecting with new people. Basically, I like building friendships.

This same attitude towards dating has limited me in the last year. It is based on a hypothetical theory I have about just meeting people and creating good connections, and then if there is a mutual interest going from there.

Now, I’ve never actually been friends with someone for a while before dating, so I’m kind of in uncharted waters. But I think it might make sense. And, of course, having that attitude allows me to enjoy spending energy and time with people without worrying about the outcome. That’s different from a lot of people I know, who seem to weigh out their interest in the people they are attracted to by potential, which makes me wonder, should I be doing the same?

I would love to hear more thoughts on this TaGQ…..I know there are some blog lurkers out there with opinions.. =)

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9 thoughts on “TaGQ: Shall ye friend first then date, or just date first?”

  1. Uhghhhh! Bleh, just let me say I hate dating period. I feel sized up at every turn and somehow i never make the cut. Also, it seems there is such a thing as “serial datists” which are men (maybe women too) who seem to want to date several people at once, which I feel is a major disservice to anyone they are dating as well as to themselves. When we date multiple people it is human nature to compare them which no one should be compared to another in that way. I mean after all you are only getting to know one another. Also, I think when we date multiples we do not allow ourselves to focus on anyone or any relationship in particular and truly give it a chance.

    All this being said, I am convinced at this point in my life I am destined to remain single :/ that’s my two cents (and then some lol). Thanks for the follow!

    1. I’m sorry to hear that…I’m afraid I mostly agree with you there about feeling sized up.

      It hasn’t made me extremely cynical yet, but it has made me cautious. Whatever real shared values look like, I expect they probably have little to do with the impressions exchanged when people first meet so it’s a pain feeling evaluated quickly. I am less convinced than you that you’re destined to remain single, or that it’s a negative. But I find myself prepared for that too. Most people politely but stupidly tell me that I am smart and nice and a decent sort to which I silently think “yes perhaps, but that’s not really the issue here is it”

      1. LOL yep x3! I am not sure however that I am cynical so much as I have been enlightened after 7+ yrs. of being single and trust me “single” wasn’t my first choice :p

  2. –Seriously, I am glad I’m married. I don’t know if I could handle the dating scene.

    I hear it’s like hell out there. And anyhow, nobody else could put up w/ my shit.

    Good luck, dear. x

    1. Oh yeah. It’s not pretty, and to Cheryl’s point from above sometimes people even size you up in what they think is a positive way but actually just undervalues you (I, for example, tend to value my own goofyness as a nice trait whereas some women value my income potential, which is NOT a compliment in my world).

  3. I’ve read a bunch of articles about online dating recently. I don’t know why, since I’m married! Here’s my 2 cents. I don’t think I could do it today.

    When I was dating, before cell phones and texting, people talked. We looked at each other — not our electronics.

    I’m flirty. If a guy is looking at his phone? I hate him. Immediately. He should be paying attention to me.

    I like to take things slowly. And let the anticipation build. Now, people send each other naked pictures and share information that generally comes later so quickly.

    To your point about being friends.

    Okay, this is weird but hear me out.

    No. No, no, no. You HAVE to have the chemistry thing. It can carry you through a lot of dark times. Physical attraction is über important. People might say otherwise, but I’m the chick who says feh. Or meh. Or blech. You have to want to BE with that person.

    But.

    The second part is that the person has to make you feel like your best self. No drama. Annoying baggage from old relationships? Check it at the door. They need to want to care for you and put you first. (Even if you don’t want that, your potential partner has to want to help you when you are down and out.) And you have to want to help that person, like feel driven to help. That’s what I think people mean by “being friends.” You want to have all those things. You want to have common likes. You like to ski? She hates winter? It ain’t gonna work. Find someone with similar interests. Start there. And go to dreams. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Does she want a huge family? Do you want to be free to travel? You aren’t a good match. Just walk away. No matter how hot she is. Because that train us a train going nowhere.

    That said, I’ll tell you I married a man with whom I was friends first.

    Luckily, I was dating the drummer in his band and I always thought he was way cute! 😉 But I still laughed after our first kiss. Crossing over was weird, but worth it. And then I never looked back!

  4. Agreed on texting/electronics, I find that very distracting. It’s not an automatic rule out but it is one of the things that gives me pause when thinking about a closer connection with someone vs. just being acquaintances, and I try very hard not to do it myself.

    Also the grammar thing (similar to what you wrote about for Nat’l Grammar Day). That Drives Me Crazy. I get that it’s what everyone’s doing now days and being 28 it’s true that most of the time I do “know wot u mean” when someone texts me some jumble of shorthand text / IM language. As long as they’re over the age of 20. High school texting language is incomprehensible to me and I’m glad I don’t have reason to exchange messages too often (though to be clear I find them perfectly reasonable when talking in-person).

    That’s interesting what you say about chemistry. I definitely think that has to exist. Maybe my hesitation is connected to what you were also saying about taking things slowly. Do you feel you and your husband were able to figure out pretty quickly it was going to be a lifetime partnership? What Cheryl said above about feeling sized up quickly is what makes me hesitate too…and I think it takes time to see if someone is a good partner…..

    1. I’m afraid I’m with C.R. on this one. I hate dating. I’m not cynical so much as tentative, cautious and hopelessly optimistic that “one day” it will happen. Of course, at 31 with 4 more years of (very time-consuming) study ahead of me, it’s a gamble. Lol. I’ve tried it both ways – friends first and dating first. Neither really worked. Lol. I’ve also made peace with the fact that I may not ever get the ‘husband and family’ scenario – so if it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be.

      I also get the lines – “but you’re so sweet and so smart and you’re funny and blah blah blah” – I’m still not sure what all that means. None of those things has helped my dating situation so I’ve come to the conclusion that those things are not what men want. This is a favourite rant topic of mine. Lol.

      So back to the actual question, I’m with Joe on this one… I much prefer the slow route, forming a connection, seeing if values and goals are compatible and then hoping like hell for the best. But if it doesn’t happen, I have lots of other love besides romantic love in my life and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise that’s enough 🙂

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