Sustainable dating

19 Mar

Earth hour takes place next week. Since the media is awash with messages about saving our environment, I thought I’d shamelessly ride on the hype and hijack a buzzword for our purposes: “Sustainability”

For many of us, dating is like running a gauntlet. Every little step is like a overcoming an obstacle: You get her to agree to a first date, you meet her, you make plans for a second date, you meet her, etc. You work hard accumulating attraction and goodwill points. You spent on meeting your relationship milestones: the next date, holding her hand, your first kiss, etc. It’s a constant challenge to think of new places to go, new ways to impress your date.

You ask yourself: is dating supposed to be such hard work?

Not every dating problem is solved by doing more things. To disabuse the old cliche, it might not even be about doing the right things.

If you’ve been meeting lots of new people but you always run of things to do and say, the solution isn’t to meet more people. If you’re seeing a woman but you never seem to be able to agree on where to go for dates, your problem isn’t necessarily a lack of options. Or that Singapore is a boring city. (If only I got a dollar every time I heard that complaint.)

You may just have to ask the right questions. For example, there’s a simple way to track how you’re doing with a woman. Ask yourself: is it sustainable?

Here’s some sample questions that you can ask yourself.

  • So she liked your flowers the last time. But does she like you? Are you going  give flowers on every date to keep her happy?
  • So the initial attraction was strong. How strong is the attraction now? Is it still there, now that you know more about her?
  • How well are your dates going? Is there momentum? Do both of you contribute to the conversation? Or are you the only one holding up the chit-chat?
  • Are you hard pressed to think of new places to go? Or do you have absolutely no interest in each others’ activities?
  • Do you look forward to doing absolutely nothing in her company which, in the long term, is exactly what some couples do?
  • Are you the only one initiating dates? Are you afraid that, if you don’t, she will simply move on with her life?
  • Are you meeting in order to know more about her? Or are you hoping to discover, with each date, something that will revive your flagging interest?

You get the idea.

Dating takes effort, but it’s no supposed to be work. Not even a formal relationship, which takes more effort to maintain, takes so much energy as to sap all the energy from a romance. If it’s taking a lot of work just to keep her interest alive (or yours), there’s no point worrying about things five years down the road. Think about whether you’ll still be seeing this woman next month, doing the things you’re doing doing now.

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3 Responses to “Sustainable dating”

  1. Ms Observer March 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    When should guys think about these things?

    I think this has to taken into the fact that a girl can often be moved and accept a guy whom she doesn’t like in the beginning.

    • Wyck March 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      I believe guys should always check in with themselves in any situation. This is to avoid “oneitis” (go google the word) and other forms of tunnel vision.

      As for that “a girl can often be moved and accept a guy whom she doesn’t like in the beginning”–ask yourself, how many guys have *you* rejected? 😉 Single men are better off having good social lives and having real options, than being stuck on that one “special” (read: “unfortunate”) girl and hoping things turn for the better.

  2. Ms Observer April 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    It’s not that bad. I agree guys should be careful about having one sided feelings. But If the girl still goes out on 2nd or 3rd date, that’s a maybe.

    Normal, nice girls usually look out for consistency and some effort. It’s not always love or chemistry at first sight.

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