The Art of Dating from One Who Knows Not

(Originally published November 20, 2013)

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Now that I’ve recently dated three incredibly different women I can speak as the seasoned pro I am. Dating is a TRIP! It’s actually a pretty fun thing. And honestly, I’ve had amazing luck in the finding (but not keeping) of great women. Lesbian book group, the well-intentioned setup by friends, the online dating avenue–each of these has worked for me.

My best friend Michelle and I went through a recent(ish) phase of reading books about dating and watching shows like The Millionaire Matchmaker and…dare I type it for all to see?…the Bachelor/ette. We laugh our asses off (to the dismay of her surly teenager) and we’ve also learned a lot. Here’s a small sample:

1) You do it until you don’t have to anymore (assuming you’re looking for a long-term relationship). (Sex columnist Dan Savage often says something to this effect, though I’m totally butchering it.)

2) It’s a miracle that two people might come together at just the right time, in just the right place, in just the right “head space,” with just the right mix of animals and flexibility to be able to make room for each other.

3) If you tend to take things personally, date and date and date and don’t stop until you realize that it’s a waste of time to take things personally (refer back to #2 for a reminder of just some of the things that can keep two people apart).

4) There are those who believe you must have a list of everything you’re looking for in your perfect partner. This is total crap! The flip side of the “perfect” list is the “dealbreaker” list, which gets created by default. I have a feeling my woman #1 bailed under the cover of darkness because something I said hit her “dealbreaker” button. This is what it’s like to date these people: <Head hiding behind upraised arms as if that’ll protect against the oncoming asteroid> “No whammies, no whammies, no whammies… Oh, WHAMMIE!” And yet if you manage to circumvent the dealbreaker landmines like the psychic ninja you are, guess what? You’ve become NO LONGER YOU (bwawawa…you lost–please play again.).

5. So what’s the listmaker to do in the event there’s a smidgeon of truth to #4? Well, I don’t know. I don’t make lists. But I might suggest that you inquire about whether someone’s energy, someone’s very being, is expansive for you. Does this person expand your sense of possibility? Your sense of adventure? Your sense of humor? Your sense of childlike wonder and joy? Do you giggle or smile or emit beams of light when you think of/receive a text from this person? Is this person a contribution to your life? And are you having a blast being a contribution to theirs?

6. No matter how well-intentioned we all are, very few of us know exactly what we desire at any given moment. Dating is a way to clarify the confusion…at the expense of others (LOL!). If we’re all playing the same game, though, and nobody takes it personally, it’s all good!

7. The real reason I’m having no luck in love is because of this discrepancy:

The photo hanging on the wall beside my bed of what I desire:

And the actual reality (the indentation on the upper right side is from Chester, my cat):

It’s all about Feng Shui, people! And mine has gone awry! All I need to do is throw another pillow on my bed and I’ll have my woman in no time!

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