Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good Advice OR Sorry For Being a Jerk

Folks, I know we've talked about this before and we will probably talk about it again.  I am single. 

I know that I have ranted about my irritation with the dating "game" and my desire for reform, but you should know that it was to no avail.  The problems persist.

Not that I am desperate.  Please know that I am not to the point that I will throw myself into whatever new-fangled dating scheme has come on the market.  I am still an advocate for good old-fashioned chance encounters.  Taking the reins and making things happen can actually work in other areas of life, but this is literally a crap shoot and you cannot control the outcome.

I write this because I have once again come up against the well-intentioned attempt of one of my loved ones to set me up on a date.  And as always, it was a short-sighted endeavor fueled by a desire to see me settled and "happy."  To clarify, I have no problem with the fact that my family loves me and wants what they think is best for my life.  I just have a different opinion of what that picture actually looks like in the end.

What failed in this latest attempt?  Perhaps it was the fact that the proposed date lives at least an hour away from me.  Or that the matchmaker was relying entirely on word-of-mouth, with that mouth being the sister and sister-in-law of the man in question.  But really, to be honest, the most crucial component of the failure was the fact that she couldn't even tell me his name.  Not even his initial.  Because she did not know it.

All in all, the only thing that could be known about the man (other than what could be seen in his awkward color-coordinated extended family photo) was that he liked to read and play piano.  To be sure, these are both things that I myself enjoy, but as the lone factors they are insufficient to pique my interest.

So again, let my story be an example or template for you of how to properly set up a single friend on a date.  First and foremost, do your research.  Knowing me from birth is great, at least it is great for the person you are trying to convince to go out with me.  Try to know (or learn) as much about BOTH people before you even approach the idea of making a match.  Think long and hard about their personalities and what you know they like to do.

Do they both like to read?  Great.  Take it a step further by asking what kind of books they like to read.  If one likes to read Steinbeck and the other prefers Harlequin romance, you may have a problem.  Do both people like comedies?  Cool.  Slapstick or satire?  Think about it.

I am not suggesting that you conduct personality inventories on both parties or put them under the microscope at such a magnification as to be analyzing their genetic compatibility (although I wouldn't be upset if you did).  Just a little investigation and common sense are sufficient. 

One final little tiny thing.  If you do not find one of the people to be interesting, attractive or special, that is probably a good sign that your friend or family member may not either.  Just a good rule of thumb.  If you really like your friend/family member, you want the best for them, right?  Not just the first available person you could find with gainful employment and most of their original hair.  Correct?

For those of you who will read this and be sad/worried/upset, relax.  This does not mean that I have given up on dating.  It is just an affirmation that I have waited 32 years, and I can wait a little longer if it means being with someone I actually really want to date.  Not just whatever I can get.

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