Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Rules.

It'd be an understatement to say that I hate dating. No matter how you break it down, dating is a job interview for sex. You bring out your top game and awkwardly ramble through a couple of hours with a complete stranger (or sometimes even a well-known friend), hoping that in the end they won't hate you. Mostly, I just end up hating them. After weird dinner conversations and awkward grope-fests in movie theaters, I'm usually stuck thinking that I could have done a million other things with my night that would have been a million times more fun. Fun is very important to me, you know.

However, for someone who really doesn't enjoy much of what dating has to offer, I'm waist-deep in experience, meaning that I have a ton of advice for those would-be cupids out there this Valentine's Day.
Surprisingly, the rules are actually very simple:

1)Having Standards.
People say that there plenty of fish in the sea. These people don't have any standards. The perfect date should be fucking hard to find.
When I say 'standards', I don't mean things like a sense of humor, a kind and respectful disposition, confidence, or a positive attitude. These are things that everyone and anyone wants in a partner. No, my dear friends, I'm talking about nitpicking a little. This shows that you have honest respect for yourself, and are not just settling for the next thing that comes along.
Having standards makes other people respect you as well. For example, my good friend Pickle says that he would never date a girl that snowboards. His reason? It's important to keep some things, for example, a very well-liked hobby, to yourself. Now, would it be easier to drop standards and settle for someone he met on the hill? Probably. That being said, part of having standards is being patient. If you want to hook yourself up with someone decent, you have to be a respectable person, which means patience out the ass.
Every other week, someone in my office is trying to hook me up with someone. The problem is, the people they're trying to set me up with really don't meet my standards. Case in point, I don't want someone that works in another non-profit organization, nor do I want someone that went to photo-school. I like to keep some things to myself, including my career and schooling.
I also want someone that is going to challenge me, fashion-wise. This means that I'm really not into dating someone if they enjoy rocking baggy pants or dress sneakers, no matter how nice of a person they are. Every person I've dated for the last few years has been able to remind me when something is out of style, meaning that even my wardrobe benefits from having them around. It's a tough thing to find in a person, but it's 900% worth the wait.
Of course, these aren't my only standards. I also frown upon expensive hair-cuts, clingy guys, and recent small-town transplants to the city.
Sure, you may lose out on a few dates, but in the scheme of things, if you stick to your guns and the date works well and turns into something long-term, having standards you're going to save a ton of time and effort trying to turn someone into something you can live with for the rest of your life.

2) Dating 'Up'.

If there's one thing I believe in very firmly, it's dating 'up', meaning that each person you date should be as cool as, if not cooler, than the person you dated before. For example, if you just finished a relationship with someone with facial piercings, then the next person you date should be without. If you've dated someone without, there's no going back, partner. Since day one, I've been dating 'up'. My first few relationships were nothing short of awful, but each person gradually got a little better. Unfortunately, dating 'down' makes you look desperate to the world. Trust me, people notice when you've stepped down, and although nobody will say anything, they'll all be wondering why the hell you've dropped your standards (which, eeeeeverytime, will lead to public ponderance on how long it's been since you've been laid).
No question: it's tough to keep dating up and up and up, as it gets a little harder each time to find someone that isn't as stupid or whiny or fat (or skinny, depending on your preference) as your last partner, but, once again, this makes you a respectable person, as it shows constant improvement in your choices.

3) Listening To Signals.

If there's one thing I've figured out, it's that most people will lie to themselves while dating.
I've been on dates before where things seemed to be going well. For example, a while ago, I went out with a guy who was a Miami Bass rapper, lived in Calgary part-time, as he was taking care of his sick mom (a family-man that allowed me to be selfish with my time? Hellllll yeah). He wore slim jeans, had gold everywhere, and had a rare collection of kicks. He owned his own house, and made witty conversation the entire night. Seems perfect, right? I thought so too, but at the end of the date, after everything was said and done, I pulled out the deal-breaker: "I have to work tomorrow".
If you've ever been on an amazing date, you'll know for a fact that it really doesn't matter if you have to work in the morning. You'll stay late and continue the fucking date. The words are particularly poignant if any sorts of physical activity has occurred. Leaving after sex (whether you work in the morning or not) means that the date was purely physical, and probably isn't going to move past that stage.
It's time for the dating world to face the facts: even if you like someone, trying to cop out on the end of a date is a sign that you're just really not into the person after all. On the flip side, having someone tell you that they need to leave, as they 'have to work in the morning' is a really great signal that they're just not that into you. Take the hint and move on, sport.

So, what am I, your new favorite love-guru, doing this Valentine's Day? Well, I'll be working hard at hustling some major dinero from Calgary's finest bigwigs for a charity gala for work. Yeah, it's not romantic, but it's the first time in years and years that I haven't been out, sitting across the table from someone who would probably rather be elsewhere. To those of you that are putting on your best fake-smiles and giving in to the holiday, best of luck, suckers (and keep the rules in mind, or you're just wasting your time).

~sarah p.

p.s. After last year's precious Valentine's post, I've really had to work hard at coming up with something that would raise the bar (it's all about self-improvement, guys). Good news is, I've gained access to a computer with my favorite program ever, MS Paint (a rare luxury, now that I'm working on a Mac), and have something pretty outrageous in the works. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

well done Sarah P. I find all of the above to be very true, espeically about the "dating up" part. Tell Pickle I wouldn't date him either. hahaha

And since I failed to comment on your last post, I wanted to ask about the new career choice, does that mean you may someday join me on an outpost adventure somewhere?

Miss you lady, I'm off to NZ in 3 weeks!

Anonymous said...

MS Paint *is* the best program ever, next to minesweeper. Ah the horrible illustrations I've left on co-workers' vehicle under the wiper blades...

sarah p. said...

Yes, Nicole, we can go on all kinds of medical adventures!!!
Miss you too!xoxo