Note: this is not about anyone that I have dated at any time
I recently read this blog about a guy that’s decided to stop dating, once he got into his 30’s. You can check the link out for specific details but he listed ‘gamesmanship’, ‘superficiality’, ‘outdated and overused rules’, and ‘men ruining dating’ for his reasons for leaving the dating game.
Dating is not for everyone. For me, a combination of sometimes extreme shyness, lack of transportation, and not-exactly-GQ-cover-material looks didn’t lend me to become an active member of the dating scene before turning 30. The few dates that I did have (with the only woman who I dated pre-30 and the 2 that I’ve dated after 30) were pretty wonderful. However, the older that I’ve gotten, the less patience I seem to have for formal dating and the more in-line my thinking has become with the author of the above link.
In my particular case, gamesmanship has never been a part of the dating reluctance. I am not trying to “keep a tally” of whom I’ve went out with or whom I may or may not have hooked up with, and send the scorecard to my friends. That’s just idiotic, in my humble opinion. Quality, not quantity. If someone does want to have a more casual time out or just hook up, instead of going on a “formal” date, and I am single at the time, then I might take those options first. Either way, you won’t read about or see me bragging to a group of friends about it.
For me, the things that have soured me on dating are material shallowness and the “dating rules”. The “rules of dating” are, at best, a major annoyance. ‘You can’t wear this’, ‘you have to behave this way or that way’… baahh. Unless you are wearing an orange prison jumpsuit on your date, and it’s not a Costume Party, you and whomever you are interested in should be able to just go out, wear whatever’s comfortable, and enjoy the afternoon/evening/night in whatever ways you want, without worrying about some ‘unspoken rule’ violation (like ‘paying for the meal’, ‘kissing/not kissing on the first date’, etc.). If things go well, then go out again; if not, then you both go your separate ways (while still being civil).
As for the other reason: I keep hearing these questions when conversations about dating come up with lady friends: “Does he have a job and a degree? Does he have a car? Does he have his own house? If he doesn’t then I’m not interested.” The job, I can VERY slightly understand where that requirement came from. But… excuse me, since when did owning a house and car, and having a degree become prerequisites for going out to dinner or a movie?!? You are not taking applications for a Junior Programming position, you are looking for a date! These will be the same folks that, 6 weeks after going with someone, will break up and flood Facebook with “If You Can’t Handle Me At My Worst….” and other like-minded memes and statuses.
Now, I’m not swearing off dating…. but it’s not something that, far down the road, I’m going to lose sleep over if it doesn’t happen. It’s just that those factors have me becoming more and more reluctant to do it as I get closer to 40 than 30. I’m getting too old for “dating games.” 😉