Sunday, July 15, 2007

Two Strikes- You're Out.

How many chances does someone get with you?

Mine is one, maybe two actual dates.* If, by the second date, I want to hit him in the head with a brick to get him to STOP TALKING, or I fall asleep in the middle of the date (it's happened twice), OR I feel like I should be getting paid hourly for providing company (again- twice), I just never go out with him again. Somebody recently expressed surprise that I "only" give a guy one or two dates before writing them off. I credit this process of elimination due to my well-honed personality. That is to say, I know who I am and I know what I like and I know what I'm looking for, so baby, I know when you ain't it. That is also to say that the men with whom I do allow progression with are men that I feel real, actual chemistry and intellectual stimulation with- so dating in general is a real joy (when I let it happen).

As one of my recent first dates approached me, I thought, "He's not as cute as I remember him." Less than 2 minutes later, I remembered exactly why I had been so excited to go out with him to begin with- even though I didn't find him remotely attractive, there was something about his demeanour that told me he was going to be my new BFF. And within 10 minutes of our first date, I was completely enveloped by how much fun I had with him and how well we connected. What a relief to meet someone who didn't make me feel like I had to carry the entire conversation! Someone who felt deeply, was passionate, and who wasn't afraid to look foolish! I was in stitches most of the night, and we flowed so easily from insane humor to spiritual matters to intellectual pursuits. It was nearly impossible that night to not kiss him, and just as difficult for us to finally end our date and part ways. We dated for a few months. Most of the relationships I've had began with such a story- initial physical attraction was rarely there, but it took next to no time to know we would get along just fine, and in a few minutes more, it was easy to see that this would be someone I wanted to know inside and out.

Now, am I wrong here? Should those less-than mediocre dates get more than one shot? Once I had a bishop tell me, "Farrah, you've got to fill your canteen!" and then continue to encourage me to date boys I didn't like, "for the practice." I thought his advice was rather cruel, as it would be selfish and rude for me to feign interest over someone "for the free dinner." The entire concept is unappealing to me. But he did have a good 30 years of experience over me. So what do you think? Would you rather have someone who didn't really like you continue to give you a chance to win them over, or is that very concept you should have to try and win someone over as unappealing to you as it is to me? This whole "chemistry" thing weighs in very heavily with me, and I tend to follow that instinct above all else. But maybe I'm wrong. I always thought I was being kind by not wasting anyone's time, but maybe that's why I'm the one who's still single...

* I clarify by noting "actual dates," since most dates for many people come from a round or two of meeting and hanging out with mutual friends preceding an actual date.


louisgray said...

Aha! You wrote, "initial physical attraction was rarely there, but it took next to no time to know we would get along just fine..." and that's exactly right.

As you might recall, I once said:

"In scenario one, the young man finds a sister attractive, and then pursues her to find if she could be a great friend and partner. In the second scenario, the brother first finds a great friend, and then later realizes how phenomenally beautiful they are – both outwardly and in spirit. And let me tell you, from stories I have heard, from my own life, and from married friends who have since graduated from our ward, the second scenario is much more likely to find you success – for long after the outward beauty changes, the person’s inner light will forever shine, enhancing all your strengths."

That's how it works. Now, if that person is nerdy enough to still have the comments lying around from more than four years ago, that's a different issue.

f*bomb. said...

And THIS is why I am still co-president of the LouisGray Fanclub!
You are going to need to email me that talk- I still love it just as much as I did 4 years ago.
xoxox! LouisGray for President!!!

Tannerama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tannerama said...

Being a guy and dating "for practice" is a heck of a lot easier than being a girl and dating "for practice." Because, a guy can ask a girl out. Go out. Thats the end of it. (least thats how I handle it.) However, if a girl goes out with a dude it is on her to end things if the dude can't get a hint. So, yeah, tough to be a girl aside from the crappy odds they are facing.

I would rather just "click" with a person. I had a situation when the girl was continuing to give me shots at winning her over and I began to be emotionally invested. And then she said that she couldn't "see herself caring about me." Ouch. But, I figure that two dates is a good number of dates to see if you "click". Keep on doin' what you're doin'.

By the way, Farrah, if you thought that those were my moves... you've sorely underestimated me.

Seymour Glass said...

he had 30+ years of experience being married, not 30+ years of dating experience. as much as i appreciate married people's advice i often think that they've been out of the game for so long it's not 100% relevant anymore.

i think 1-2 dates might be a little bit too few as a rule, but i think it really depends on your reaction. 1 date is more than enough if the person is completely boring or offensive. but if they're on the cusp you should give them a few opportunities.

but i should say that i've been known to end a bad date (all blind dates in fact) early (like drop her off at like 10 or 10:30 early) because it was just not happening (as in, i can't stand having a conversation with you kind of not happening).

Salt H2O said...

Why have a rule? Relationships are too complex to live by certain 'rules' that we create for ourselves. (except for no dating ex-convicts, that's a pretty good rule)

If your gut says to give him another shot- do it. But life is too short to spend your time with people you don't enjoy.

f*bomb. said...

I'm just absolutely floored by the difference between the "if I spend one more second with you I'm going to vomit" dates and the "O my gosh, you are my new favourite person EVER!!!" dates...Where is the happy medium?

cropstar5 said...

i have a one date rule. give the guy at least one chance. but never fail in the first 5 minutes i can tell if i definitely am not interested... so why bother with more dates to just confirm that.

k8 said...

i can't remember a single instance in my life where my first five minutes reaction to whether I was going to be into someone was wrong. which is not to say that i haven't become dear friends with someone i wasn't into at the beginning. Even if you don't act on it immediately, I think there has to be some initial chemistry there or it's doomed. At least for me. said...

I am all for chemistry. If it isn't there . . . then STOP. When I was doing some Fireside work for CES my dating talk was called "If you don't want to go . . . Say No". I am all about once you figure out that you don't want to, then don't.

I feel that the last thing that someone would want would be for another person to just go out on dates with them for the practice. Not only is there a financial piece to this . . . but in a way it is leading someone on. Maybe if we were just 21 and whatever, but once we are around 30 then it just isn't cool any more. Why waste your time?

Anyway, my thoughts . . . once you know it's no then stop.

f*bomb. said...

That book, "BLINK!" discusses this theory- that internally, we all know within a matter of seconds if we like or dislike something and that our gut instinct is almost always right. At least, I believe that's the jist of it. Can someone who's actually read the book chime in here? Didn't someone pick that up for this month's book club? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Besides, there is a big difference between, "If you don't stop talking I'm going to hit you upside the head," vs. "You're not my ideal right this second, but you're kinda nice anyway." Of course, in my experience, I've had mostly the former, none of the latter, and some ring-dingers of the "O MY WORD- you are my new favourite person EVER!!! (Even if I don't find you attractive quite yet)"- and it's THOSE ones I almost always end up with for the short-term, long haul.

darcy fabulous said...

I'm an outgoing girl. People know me as... that outgoing girl. Well, maybe not exactly that, but you get the gist of it. My point is, when I'm initially drawn to a boy because of his physical attractiveness, my fears get the best of me and my sparkling personality fades to a bumbling, goofy weirdo.

On the contrary, when I meet a young man whose looks aren't my first focus, but whose personality keeps me interested, I end up falling in love with the face that houses the person... nothing else matters after that. Cute or not cute... I love the ones that grow on me.

Tonight a good friend and sweet boy laid in the grass with me after I wrecked my bike... and stayed there until I felt ok enough to hobble inside - with his help, of course. I think that's what attractive looks like.

darcy fabulous said...

...But might I add... When it's not there, it's not there. "It" might be physical attraction or personality chemistry... it matters not. But if "it" isn't there... why waste anyone's time?

k8 said...

amen sister. there needs to be an "it". we don't have to define the "it" but i think we all know whether it's there or not.

and if it's not, let's not waste each other's time.

f*bomb. said...

So we all agree that I'm not being too harsh if I don't go out with someone more than once or twice here?

caroline said...

farrah, i think that if homeboy rubs you the wrong way. two dates is more than enough. if you think that maybe there's not the biggest "connection" but he seems like a good guy, more then two might be in order.

i was actually insulted by and highly irritated with a guy on a second date and was told i was being "too harsh and superficial" by not wanting to go out with him again.

single ≠ desperate.

k8 said...

farrah, just reverse the you want some guy saying to his friend "well i'm not really that into her but i guess i'll keep going out with her and see if she gets better."

no thanks! let me go find someone who finds me fabulous from the start.

Aaron said...

i subscribe to the it theory as well. and i'm really trying to rely more on it. and agreed, it's not about defining it, but just like answers to prayers, being open to it coming in all manner of ways. maybe it is a great conversation, maybe it is something you feel, maybe it is that silly grin you can't wipe off your face, it can be anything that makes you want to see that person again.
and i also agree with thom, if i ask a woman out and she's thinking no i hope she doesn't say yes.

chloe elizabeth said...

Great comments! I think I like the whole approach where you do what you would want someone to do to you. I mean, I agree with k8. I don't want some guy saying that he's not really interested, but he'll still go out with me just because. Thanks but no thanks.

However, this has been a new revelation to me. In the past, I've totally been that girl. That girl that's not interested, but still goes out. So, thanks for the post. I've been inspired to change my ways.

Sarita said...

My 2 cents? (Hi Farrah, I met you briefly in Rachel's ward...)

I am all about being genuine, and feigning interest when it's not there is not genuine. I used to find myself forcing myself into relationships that way because "he's a decent guy" or "he has a lot going for him" even when what he had going for him wasnt my interest. They left me feeling a little hollow and my identlty suffered as I was trying so hard to get along with this person that I had nothing in common with. I'm diplomatic that way.

2 dates is more than enough.

f*bomb. said...

Here's the thing: If I had more spare time on my hands, maybe I'd take more time to give somebody a second or third try. But let's be real here- I barely have time to remember to EAT or even sleep, let alone spend the few social hours I have with someone who makes me feel like I'm WORKING to entertain him. I'm not a geisha. Anymore.

Besides, the whole "going out when you know you're not interested" seems disingenious and lacks of integrity. So how can we, as proclaimed followers of Christ, DO such a thing!?! We CAN, however, continue to be real friends, be kind, etc, but DO NOT! PLEASE, for the love! DO NOT! give out your number, flirt with, or go out with someone you don't like and then TRASH on them the moment they are outside your prescence. It's bad karma and it's unChristlike.

Trying to create a relationship out of a good resume is so unnecessary. Especially for one as adorable as you, Chloe Elizabeth! The fact is, there are a lot of attractive, interesting, intelligent, educated, funny, spiritual, kind, good people out there. They're called FRIENDS. But no "good guy" wants to be in a relationship just because you're trying to be courteous. And trust me, you don't either.

The Dally Llama said...

I'm of the belief that if date 1 sucked, absent a compelling reason, there will be no date 2. Why prolong the agony? -But take this with a grain of salt, because first dates are typically a black and white proposition for me. They've either been great, or they've sucked. I've had few that were middle of the road.

So carry on. No foul here.