Photo by Brek Dalrymple


You may love it … or you may hate it.  I’m talking about hating it as much as I imagine I would hate a Beiber concert.

However, if you want to find the love of your life, your best friend, or just meet some cool people … you have to date. Hopefully, you know what you basically want and that you have to go through some frustration – just like you do at work, with your family, or your friends. Their are no free rides …. unless you have a friend that works at Universal Studios (in which case I’d like some free tickets because the weather is starting to get nice and I love the Hulkster coaster.)

During a recent conversation, I was told by a someone that she’d been on so many first dates that she was “exhausted.” I get that, especially for girls that just happen to be fairly foxy.  It’s like interviewing; it can feel forced and a little tense. Good dates are good — but bad dates are a nightmare.  It’s this frustration — or maybe nervousness — and sometimes the desperation that I believe causes most weird, irrational dating behavior … odd responses to questions, out of context comments, overly nervous chatter … stuff like that.

I also think that if you’re a serial dater, after a while, like a Lennon/McCartney song, it becomes a craft. This causes people to not allow enough time to truly see what’s there, or alternatively a  tendency to try and close too soon.  Closing means many things, but here it simply means artificially moving too fast.

I think the key to dating without smashing yourself in the head with a Alabama brick is having a sense of what your goal is, and to approach it with a combination of purpose and patience.  If your goal is to meet a bunch of awesome girls/guys, then there’s no real issue. Just ask out five times as many people as you actually want to date — and you’ll most likely be a busy dater.  If, on the other hand, you’re looking to get married and have kids – expectations about how long and who generally would be right for you need to be understood and yes, a little pragmatism doesn’t hurt.

If you’re a 50-year-old balding, fat guy of normal means, you are not — I repeat NOT — going to get a 25-year-old professional volley ball player (and I know this guy).  And why would you want her, dude?  Seriously, you can dream, but you can’t be crazy. And girls, stop taking dating advice from your perennially single girlfriends. That’s like taking dieting advice from a deuce and a half.

The Problem

An interesting recent dating study found that the vast majority of us daters miss critical personality traits when we start to like and appreciate who we wine and dine. You go on a date and the girl is kinda cool.  Maybe she actually likes football/camping/running/cycling/Star Wars or extreme cage fighting.  But the problem is, you missed the detail that she gripes about all the people in her life (run, Forrest!) or that she brags about how “awesome” she is, or how bad her last boyfriend was to her — or worse, how lucky you are to be in her presence (yep, I know that girl!)

I believe the seeds and clues to your new dysfunctional relationship are already there, if only we could pause in our idyllic fantasies to see them.  If you’re a guy, stop fantasizing that she’ll bring her smoking hot aerobics instructor girlfriend into the bedroom just because she made a passing joke about it; if you’re a girl and he tells you about his house in Malibu but he has a crummy apartment here … um, yeah …

People who know me have heard me say this a million times: people don’t change.  You can’t make an insecure person believe in themselves, you can’t fix anyone, and if you think they need fixing, you’re probably the one who needs the makeover because you are not accepting of who we are as human beings.   All of us need fixing, but we never think we do.

So what is a hopeful person to do, then, Mr. Know-It-All? Understand what you can’t accept, more than what you can accept. know that you also have stupid behaviors, accept yourself and other people exactly as they are because they are not going to change — even if they swear they will.  In my often incorrect opinion, there is a reason some people seemingly have it all: They accept human behavior and don’t fight it, they evolve and learn and accept, and long ago gave up on the concept of “control.”

People are where they are in life because of who they are.  Never forget that.  Like Ronald Reagan, you have to trust but verify — meaning don’t let your emotions do a flying elbow drop to your Spider-Sense. It knows something, although I don’t know how.
Why? Because once you jump in, it is not easy to get out.

Why?  You already know.  You now have a regular squeeze and hopefully toe-tingling sex and the older you get, the more risk averse we become because the repercussions are higher. But remember your ultimate goal:  If it’s a serious one, then you have to have the core values that you cannot negotiate on.  You have to take the core issues very seriously, because otherwise you’ll wake up and have wasted years of both your lives.

My Solution

Finally, if you’re truly looking for love:  Never date for money, never date for sex, never date for revenge (yeah, I know that girl, too).
Besides bad karma, this type of dating will depress you and waste your time. And if you’re down and have a bad attitude, it will leak out of you and all over your new date, when you’re a little nervous and feeling a little tense, no matter how hard you try not to let it.

My Big Closing Statement:
Date someone you simply like as a person first, because you’ll never love someone you don’t like.  But you can love someone you like!

Good Luck and let me know how it goes!


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