Dating for social experience can be exciting and fun! When I finally figured out that I needed to slow down during the dating process and actually learn to date I began noticing the advantages of having many interested men vying for my attention. “Dating only” took the focus off of finding Mr. Right and suddenly I could get all kinds of dates with Mr. Possibility. This approach works very well for men as well as women. It is easier to look at Mr. (or Ms.) Possibility and say, “sure, lunch would be great” even if you’re thinking “oh my gosh…a runner” or “he’s a vegetarian.” Also, when a potential date realizes you are not intent on finding your soul mate it reduces their feelings of having to live up to your perceived ideal of them. I began to enjoy meeting people and understanding the differences in men.
Ø Note: “dating only”– dating for the sole purpose of social experience as opposed to hunting and tracking down Mr. Right!
We all have qualities we desire in a mate. Qualities such as honesty, kindness, and good morals are things I seek. These are not unreasonable desires. We definitely should not settle for less when it comes to the values or morals we seek.
While morals and values are important, many qualities are not “have to haves”. Things such as the same hobbies, the taste in food, and the same athletic ability are negotiable. Think about mindsets you have about a mate. What interests, likes and differences are really negotiable as opposed to “have to haves”? When we remain too rigid in saying the potential date has to be “this way” or “that way” then we limit ourselves in experiences and opportunities we could be having.
I love to dance. Do I have to only go out with someone who dances? No, I can belly dance or take a line dance class. I can find forms of my passion to do without a mate. I already do! I don’t like working out at all…the reason I love to dance is because it doesn’t feel like exercise. Does that mean I should rule out someone who works out? Not at all. While he’s at the gym, I can pursue my passions and we can meet again in the middle. It is healthy to have our own interests and passions. We can develop hobbies together if we have none existing. We can shares our interests with each other and still retain enough independence to pursue our individual interests.
I read many dating forums where people talk a lot about refusing to date anyone who will not meet their standards. The sad fact is that these women or men may never meet anyone who will meet their standards. Don’t misunderstand me, setting standards is necessary but there has to be some compromise and some give and take. Putting your social life on hold while you wait on Mr. Right to appear is not the best alternative. We all know that when we are desperate for Mr. Right, he will not appear. It’s only when we forget about finding Him that he does in fact seem to appear. While we’re not actively seeking Mr. Right, let’s enjoy meeting new friends and having new experiences.
Many online daters (men and women alike) also refuse to email, talk to, or date more than one person at a time. Reasons range in all directions. They are waiting on the “right one”; they want to devote “all their time to this relationship”; they don’t want to pursue someone who’s seeing someone else, they don’t “date around”, they don’t, they don’t, they don’t. Their profiles will usually contain some sentence such as, “will devote all my time to you”, am looking for “my one and only”, “will not settle for less than perfect”.
These people usually do not date much at all but rather spend vast amounts of time talking with one person who they finally exchange phone numbers with, eventually make a date with and then upon meeting realize that they are not a match. Then the process of finding someone online, contacting them, emailing, Instant Messaging, finally a phone call and then a meeting…start again. These are the same people who are intimidated if you are talking to anyone besides them. They lack self confidence. They don’t want to date someone who “dates around”. It’s all or nothing with them. They are here to find their soul mate and nothing less will do! This is not the best attitude to have when online dating. Talking and/or dating someone exclusively prior to establishing a true relationship is premature and a time waster.
In the past, I had always been the one who tried to make things work by doing this or that. I tried to be the person they wanted rather than simply being me and finding someone who desired and loved the real me. When I stopped trying to please men and began allowing men to please me things completely changed. I began to understand more clearly how men and women react best to each other.
Suddenly I am meeting lots of different men who are all interested in me! Men who are interested in you are all too happy and eager to woo and court you. Although, they are on best behavior you can still learn a lot about them through the way they treat others, their choices in fun, and their priorities that come through in the stories they tell you about themselves and their lives. You can learn a lot about men! Men can learn about women as well by dating for social experiences.
In the last four and half years of online dating, I have enjoyed many invigorating and enlightening conversations. I have met men from many walks of life. I have laughed more than I’ve ever laughed in my life! I have dined in many different type restaurants and enjoyed fine dining (eating foods such as duck, prime rib, lobster, filet Mignon along with desserts such as crème Brule, tiramisu, cheesecake, and all kinds of chocolate goodies). I’ve set in mountaintop and riverside restaurants overlooking amazing views.
I have traveled to new places. I rode in a horse and buggy and went to the straw market in downtown Charleston. I road on a train to see the Great Smoky Mountains where we sat in the Club Car and enjoyed the air conditioning, champagne and hor’dourves. I went motorcycle riding on the back of a Harley down beautiful country roads. I have hiked to various mountain spots and visited different waterfalls. I have gone ballroom dancing, seen all kinds of movies at the theatre, and visited museums, wineries and amusement parks. I’ve gone roller skating, ice skating, dancing, and bowling.
I have received over 30 bouquets of flowers, milkshakes, candy and even a loaf of sourdough bread along with many other interesting and exciting gifts. Online dating has been an experience of a lifetime and I have found that men are quite unusual creatures who thrive on making a woman smile. Why should we deny them that?
By social dating, I now enjoy the advantages of:
¨ making new friends to talk with via Email, Instant Messenger, Telephone, or in person
¨ doing new things
¨ going new places
¨ realizing what I “have to” have in a mate and in what might be a “maybe or a “no way”
¨ being the object of a man’s attention, desire and passion
¨ learning that men are just as scared as we are of starting over
¨ learning what I do admire and respect in a mate
¨ learning that men are all so different (very diverse lot they are)
¨ learning that many men are so alike … they desire to find a mate who they can please and make happy as much as we do!
Social dating allows you an arena in which to practice becoming date and mate worthy. It affords you the experiences of conversing with people from all walks of life and will help you define the qualities that you admire and don’t admire in a man. You will learn about men and their ways and mindsets. You will learn what traits you can easily live without or live with. Social dating is a true learning experience!