Dating and Relationships – my ramble

Writing is really one of those things best done when the ‘feeling’ comes upon us. I find that I have a hard time writing anything of substance if the desire to write something compelling isn’t really there. In the few classes I’ve taken on writing (in High School and in College) I was told that daily writing is something that should be done to help hone one’s skills. Thus; my somewhat daily ramblings here on this, my blog.

 

I don’t have much to say today, but let’s just see what’s rolling around in my head and see where it takes us. Maybe I’m up for a few epiphanies.

 

Let’s start off with dating, or, well, a better term than dating that eludes me, because dating implies that there are dates, and a single (multiple?) people on which one can go on dates with. Having been more or less single the better part of the last two years has shown me many facets of dating, varying stages of relationships, and that oh-so-thin line between dating and friendship.

 

Last night I was out with a group of friends on U Street and it came to me just how simple it would be, in a town like DC with so many attractive people around, to go home with someone different every night. I was approached by not one, but two somewhat attractive women at the different bars we went to last night. Both seemed nice, and we had a moderate conversation before I simply lost interest and went back to my group of friends. (In these women’s defense, my friends are my favorite people and it was also a bit of a going away party for one of them, so I was probably better off with them than with anyone else)

 

In a city such as DC, with as many options as there are around, it’s so easy to be picky (some may call it shallow) and blow off someone who could potentially be amazing, for the potentially amazing girl across the room. Relationships are fickle, and I use the term ‘relationship’ its loosest form. You have micro relationships with just about everyone you come into contact with; the girl across the bar who you keep making eye contact with, the woman at the bar who strikes up a conversation with you, the girl who you date for a few weeks, only to realize things aren’t quite right, and even the traditional relationship relationship.

 

The thing about DC, (and most major cities, as is made apparent through many, many postings on Metro Cards and Condoms) is that there’s always someone around who’s more interesting, or that can offer something better than whomever it is that you’re talking to at the moment. Even something as simple as a name can throw one off one girl, and on to the next. Is too much variety killing anything of substance from developing?

 

I look around at my circle of friends strewn about the country, and I find a pattern in dating and relationships. That pattern is this: My friends who live in more rural areas, or in smaller cities (think Buffalo NY) tend to be in long term relationships, or married to people that they met in or just after college (five years ago or more for the most part), and are generally ‘happy’*, while those of us in larger cities with a more metropolitan feel tend to live the single life, dating for a while, then moving on or being moved on from. Some of these singles love the life and lack of any serious relationship, but most, when questioned, yearn for something more and continue searching for that one person out there with ALL of the qualities they want/need in a partner. Is this a product of the environment, or is it the type of person that’s drawn towards that type of environment.

 

Variety, and the potential of meeting someone new with amazing qualities, plays a large role in who one dates. Let’s say you like qualities, A, B, C, D, E, and F in a woman (A woman being your ideal woman) and that you find someone with A, B, D, E, and F, but missing C. Will you forever be looking at women who do have quality C and saying ‘damn, I love my girl with ABDEF, but I really miss having a girl around with C.’ Prompting jealousy, infidelity, and the potential end of a relationship. What happens when you realize that there is even more than F out there, and that you may also like qualities GH&I (but secretly loathe LM&O)?

 

My thoughts are that when in a smaller pool of people, the fact that a person is missing quality C, but has ABDE&F, becomes less important. They are the best of what’s available to you. Living in a large metropolitan area though leaves us with what may be too much variety, too much choice. There will ALWAYS be someone out there who is either more attractive, or who you share a more intense moment with than the person you’re with, or who makes more money, or who is better with family, or who is just generally a ‘better’ person that whomever it is that you’re with at the moment.

 

Is ditching the person you’re with for the next person the right idea though? I suppose it all depends on what you’re looking for.

 

Take my thoughts for what they are, but look around at people you know, both in relationships and out, and ask yourself who’s happier. Once you think you’ve got that figured out, ask yourself: what is happiness, and how do I apply that to me?

 

 

 

 

*happiness is relative. Those people in relationships who are ‘happy’ also tend to have a false sense of happiness carefully fabricated at times. This isn’t the case across the boards, as I DO have friends who are truly happy in their relationships, but is worth mentioning.

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6 Responses to “Dating and Relationships – my ramble”

  1. Archie Says:

    Dude, that’s deep. But true. Very, very true. I think there are many people out there who can’t settle down precisely because they get distracted by the pursuit of C when they do have ABDEFG (and sadly, I have married friends who’ve continued this pursuit extramaritally…).

  2. Sam Says:

    As far as I can tell, the trick to a successful and ostensibly happy relationship hinges closely upon a combination of self-awareness and fortuitous circumstance. I think it’s only human nature to wonder about ‘the other’ and whether there is somebody out there who either has more to offer than simply ABDE&F or maybe has a different combination of qualities that includes C but lacks maybe A. I think it’s also human nature to speculate on not only the existence of said person, but also the desirability and the potential for fulfillment with this person. However, I think the speculation regarding this is minimized the more self-aware the seeker is. That is, the more one knows about oneself, the more they can prioritize the kinds of qualities that would be most important to complement his/her personality. At that juncture, C may be a nice bonus but not a necessary one. For example, the concept of dating somebody with large breasts may be appealing to many men, but might be secondary to the prospect of somebody who earns a lot of money or is well-versed in Dostoevsky, and this knowledge of prioritized qualities in a potential partner is only going to be realized when the priorities of the seeker are more closely attained (obviously shifting priorities negate the possibility of completely realizing this). It’s why I don’t understand people who marry out of high school or people who claim to seek long term relationships but who jump from relationship to relationship at the drop of a hat: you need time to figure out who you are and what you’re looking for, and that can only be accomplished when you are single, in my opinion. I think the over-stimulation that metropolitan environs provide is detrimental to the self-discovery process which thereby interferes with the ability to successfully date – that is, date with the goal of establishing a long-term relationship. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have any problem with serial dating and I think that’s part of the fun of living in a city, but I agree that it’s not conducive to establishing long-term relationships. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily because of the increased options, per se, but because this overwhelming amount of options stifles the self-discovery proceess.

    Beyond that, once one has arrived at a semblance of self-awareness, then it’s just a matter of chance: this includes running into somebody who meets whatever range of criteria you would be happy with, recognizing that this person fits that criteria, and also that this person happens to be single (which definitely helps!). In those cases, it’s OK and even appropriate to be choosy because you know what you’re looking for, or at least have a better idea, and aren’t as susceptible to getting distracted by CDEF when you already have or are far more attracted to ABDEF. Fortunately, living in a city increases the odds of the fortuitous circumstance occurring, but it necessarily requires the self-awareness to capitalize upon it.

    Of course, what the hell do I know? I’ve never lived in a city and haven’t really been living in a world riddled with constant temptation. I do know, however, that I’m often full of crap. And you can take that to the bank.

  3. Sam Says:

    Holy crap. I’m so sorry I posted so much. I’m such a wind bag.

  4. The Alaskan Says:

    Are you kidding? I love it! Keep up the commenting. The thing that is so great about relationships, love, and other human perceptions, is that they are completely subjective and prompt a different feeling or reaction from everyone. We could take any line from my post, or your response, and pick it apart endlessly.

    That being said, I completely agree with your statement that (and I paraphrase immensely here) one must first know one’s self in order to truly be happy with another. That outlook tends to be overlooked more often than not, but is something that I ascribe to.

  5. Neff Says:

    Life is all about choices. You make one choice and in doing so are turning down other options. The whole concept of being ready to “settle down” means you have reached a point where you are ready to make a big and singular choice in a mate. The key to that is prioritizing what is most important to you. No relationship will be perfect, but having the vision to focus on what is really important to you in a relationship, and the wherewithall to just let the rest go is how a relationship can be longlasting and successful.

    Here I agree with Sam. To know what you truly value and prioritze, you have to know yourself and be honest about it. Exclude pressures from society or family. Get right down to who you are and what you want. Or else you will end up jerking someone else around and screwing yourself in the process.

    That said I feel like a scientist who understands the theory but can’t prove his hypothesis in practice. Maybe the pool of test subjects in Anchorage is too small, or not the right mix. Maybe the random chance variable has played a role. Or maybe the experiment is not being run correctly. :) At any rate I have not had the problem of having too much variety to distract me, nor have I been close enough to someone to consider a long term relationship.

    Ohh yeah, and the ‘chance’ portion of the equation sucks.

  6. Sara Says:

    It’s been a long time since this post. I hope you have found your way in life and love. I wish that most for you among the other things I wish for you.

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