No two dates are the same

9 Sep

Have you ever wondered why dating is such a chore?

You’re probably faced one of these two problems:

You’re running out of places to go. You’ve already seen all the good movies, eaten at all the nice restaurants you know of. This is a happy problem: It means you have someone to go out with.

The other problem is a more troublesome one: you can’t get women interested enough to go out on a first date. And if one did get interested, you’ve no idea how to get to agree to a second date.  You wish you had a plan that would guarantee a second or third date. A technique that would definitely impress the ladies.

Experts are only too eager to tell us of their foolproof plan. Sitting in my junk mail folder is yet another pitch from a dating guru, selling A Complete Programme for Dates #1 to #9, detailing the exact things to do and say that would get a woman to agree to a second date, the first kiss, and ultimately agree to become your girlfriend. Results guaranteed, for a low, low price of USD 499.

Do such plans work?

Let’s look at what most women complain about their dates. It’s the usual suspects: men who lack confidence, spontaneity, the ability to listen. Somehow, none of these problems can be solved by planning.

It appears to me that such plans were designed with men in mind, not the women they date. These plans appeal to us because it makes us do what we’ve been trained to do since young, when faced with uncertainty: to plan, and to refer to rules.

Rules are supposed to make sense of chaos by simplifying our choices, by making clear connections between actions and outcomes: If we do it This Way, we will always get That Outcome. Planning is supposed to minimise uncertainty by making us focus on outcomes, and take steps that will ensure success.

In practice, however, planning and rules are the exact things that kill spontaneity in many men. And a fixation on outcomes is the very definition of dating anxiety.

The key to fun and meaningful dating isn’t rules and planning. Rather, it is to embrace the fact that there are no certainties in life, or in dating. Writers of dating advice seldom acknowledge this, but there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in dating.

Think about it. In any single given date, you have the choice to do anything you want. Your date can be free or expensive. Outdoors or indoors. Sit-down or active. No rule exists that all women like only certain kinds of dates, or that everyone in this country are only ever open to certain activities. It’s all up to your preference, and your date’s.

In fact, when you look at the micro decisions that occur at every point of a date, the number of choices opens up into infinity. Phone or email? Funny or direct? Go to a fancy café nearby, or go for a walk together, because the weather is cool? Dessert now, or after dinner? People who enjoy dates are those who are flexible to the needs of the moment, and are not tied down to schedules or arbitrary norms. The more spontaneous you are to your date and to the situation, the more possibilities there are for a good time.

You don’t have to get everything down to the last detail. Dates don’t have to turn out exactly as planned.

If you worry about running out of interesting things to say and do, consider this. It’s not because there’s nothing to do in this country. It’s not because the women you meet are boring. It’s not because you are boring.

It’s probably because you’re anxious about everything. It’s because you’ve limited your behaviour and choices only to what you think will impress your date, rather than recognising and reacting to the opportunities that are always in front of you.

When you think too hard, you tend to miss out the obvious. You suggest late-night supper (because you’ve got it all planned,) when she’s obviously tired. You think of ways to impress her, when you should really be noticing her anxiety (yes, women can be anxious too) and putting her at ease. You run out of movies to take your date to, because all you’ve ever done with her is to watch movies (She told you once that she likes to watch movies.)

Stop thinking. Start reacting. It’s a good thing that no two dates are the same.

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2 Responses to “No two dates are the same”

  1. Phoebe September 10, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    So, dragon boat is not a lousy idea for a 2nd date?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 4 Things You Can Do Immediately After Your First Date | My Sex Seeker Blog - September 14, 2011

    […] – The Online Dating GuideOur best first date guidance for men and womenHow to find if she likes meNo two dates are the same #header { background:#150A04 […]

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