Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dating Protocol

So I came across this post on a blog for The New York Times about a book that gives tips for dating in New York City. I found this to be a rather interesting post because dating in Mormonville is certainly very different than the real world. It's interesting that this article drew my eye and that I had planned to write a post about this because my good friend Stella wrote a post which was basically her dating statistics. I really have no desire to compile anything of a similar nature, but I will say that I do bat about .500 when it comes to girls I ask out to girls that I actually date (and I don't use the term "date" loosely, these are all girls I dated for over a month's time at least). But I digress...

So the book is basically formed off of a survey of individuals in the city of New York although the blog post also consulted some of the statistics from other cities, most notably LA. So I'm not really going to quote the actual stats or what not, if you want to see that, go to the actual post, I will more talk about the generals.

1. Don't Trust Those Blind Dates
Here they mention that friends and family are the best way to meet a date (family is not the best dating pool, that's called incest but friends are fair game) and blind dates are really not that effective. Is anybody really that surprised by this? I mean the thing is you have to find a way to create a meaningful connection with a person if you hope for it to go anywhere. Blind dates aren't likely to create this because it's such a quick means of being thrown into a situation that is usually a bit more advanced along the lines of friendship even. Of course I do have a good friend who actually married a girl he went out on a blind date with, so it still can work.

Random side note, I've never actually been out on a blind date or ever been set up with somebody. No biggie.

2. Text Messaging as a Non-Romantic Medium?
Thank goodness the people mostly show some sense here. I really don't think text messaging should ever be used as a means of asking somebody out, but I can't deny I hate text messaging. It's somewhat of a necessary evil. That being said, pick up the freaking phone if you're going to ask somebody out at the very least. I think in person is a great way of doing it, but it often can be difficult. Of course in the case of the inverse, that is breaking up with somebody (or even expressing that you're not interested) a text message is still not appropriate. I can't believe anybody would honestly do something so impersonal unless they like feared for their safety or something. On the same note, yeah, email is not kosher.

3. What Do You Do With Their Stuff?
Ok, so I'm not sure this is usually as big of a problem in Mormon culture because you obviously aren't moving in together or staying the night, but sometimes it does arise. Frankly it's not appropriate to do anything with it is return it. I mean lets be honest, it's stealing if it's something they want back and you don't give it back. It's hard to justify doing much else with it. Oh and if you get engaged and it gets broken off, girls give back the ring. Why would you want it anyway? Seriously...

4. Do New Yorkers Like Traditional Gender Roles More?
I think whoever asks should expect to pay. Now I'm the type of guy that I typically offer to pay when asked out, but I wouldn't insist upon it. I do love it when a girl asks me out though, I find it very flattering.

5. Quiet Places to Talk
It's hard to really identify with this category on the survey. The locations aren't really Provo type locations. That being said, I feel like on a first date it's about getting to know the person, so it's probably a good idea to do something where you will have a good opportunity to talk. Of course, there's nothing wrong with going to something where you don't have to talk all of the time because that can often be hard on a first date.

6. Meet My (Fill in the Blank)
I think I'm a bit more onboard with the people who "want a reality check." I mean if it's a good relationship, you really shouldn't have to talk about it. But I guess the problem is there are so many people (undeniably mostly guys) out there giving bad relationships that a lot of the issue arises from that. It does disappoint me how often plenty of smart girls seem to fall for the tricks of dumb guys though. But DTR's are kinda lame and really something more for when you're getting really serious or thinking it's time to call it quits. You should know what sort of commitment you're getting and giving.

7. So-So on the Bridge and Tunnel Crowd
So this one definitely doesn't apply because it's about New York locality, but the principle of location does. Location can be a big thing in dating, especially early on. The longer the distance the tougher it is and the shorter you've been dating the more difficulty distances create. At the end of the day, it's all about how much you're willing to commit.

8. Where Does the "Other" Come From? Maybe New York
Look this is about infidelity and I don't think too many people that would commit such actions would read my blog. I think this is a slimy thing to do period, even if you're just dating. You make commitments to each other and if you want to be with somebody else, call off the commitments first (unless your married, then just accept the fact you're committed and enjoy it). I'm of the attitude that if you're dating somebody, you really shouldn't even be having relationship type discussions with anybody other than the person you're with. Wouldn't you want that kind of respect from the person you're dating? Why don't you give it to them?

9. Personality Matters More Than Money
Certainly should be the case. I think this part of the survey is rather on par for what it should be. Looks are an important thing because as I often tell people, you have to be able to stand to look at the person. If you're not attracted to the person physically, it's just not going to work. However, that doesn't make it the most important factor, just probably the one that piques your interest first. Most of the criteria is really up to you from there. You know what you like and I can't tell you what to be interested in, other than I don't recommend being all about the Benjamins. Financial stability is a good sign that it is somebody dependable, but they don't need to be Donald Trump.

10. How Would You Snoop?
Please, are we 15? Why do you ever need to snoop? Be an intelligent person, you can tell things just by being observant, you don't need to be snooping. Of course I think this is a more difficult thing for Mormons to be able to snoop because of the not living together or being in each others' intimate living spaces as much. I guess I'm pretty anti this though because of a bad experience I had with an ex stealing an email and AIM account. Impersonation is not a kind thing.

Overall I thought this was a pretty interesting insight into the world of dating and didn't think it was too far off base. At the end of the day I think the key to dating is simply remembering the golden rule. Honestly, we have such a hard time putting ourselves in somebody else's shoes to decide how things will be received and whether or not our actions and words are a good idea. It's not that hard people, just follow Jacob's words.


Michael Powers said...

Good stuff Scott. I agree on almost all points. I, however, will keep stuff if they don't ask or seem to want it back. Especially if it's a t-shirt or beanie that I really like.

And about girls asking guys out...I like it, and I like how it can give girls a better view of how hard it can be for guys. They should also realize that if they take initiative, the guy can say 'no' and not be a horrible person. I think being clear from the get-go is good and appreciated. Being led on sucks. And of course the asker should pay always.

squirrelyearl said...

Well, on the note of leaving stuff. I think 95% of the time it's been me who has ended up leaving something so in that aspect, that's probably also affecting my world view. I mean if it's a gift that's a different story because it's still a gift. But yeah, I haven't had too many instances of an ex-girlfriend having left something. Although I guess my most recent ex did leave a DVD at my place for a while. That was a good movie too, wouldn't have minded keeping that but that's just not my style.