TO DATE OR NOT TO DATE? THAT IS THE QUESTION

Today is Monday.

Since it’s my sworn duty is to make you guys smile my thoughts quite naturally led me to the emotional minefield that is the dating game.

Just last week I understood for the very first time that dating in the United Kingdom and dating in the United States is approached by horny interested people in a totally different way.

In the UK if you go out with someone once or twice and ‘like’ them, you’re dating. You don’t date anyone else. You are exclusive until you break up. This means people in the dating game are put under a huge amount of pressure, especially if they live in a small community where everyone knows everyone else’s business. This can make girls in particular very reluctant to date at all. I know this because I have two daughters at the dateable age and they find the whole thing ‘stressful’. I wonder if this is why we have a huge surge in internet dating sites and speed dating.

However, in the USA, it’s perfectly acceptable to go out with two to three people at once until you’re sure you want to go steady. Once you start dating exclusively it becomes a very different thing. MAKES SENSE TO ME. And I think we should import this brilliant idea to the UK.

However, I foresee issues ahead. If a girl was seen out with three different men in the same week she would be called a certain name, not a nice name, which in the USA is called ‘ho and in the UK would be a slapper. And if a man was seen out with three different women in the same week he’d be called a ‘player’.

In my novels I’m not shy in using certain real events mined from my kids and their friend’s experiences. They’re enough to make your hair curl! I put the protagonists through the dating wringer and when people say to me, ‘Oh, that would never happen in real life. Who would jump out a ladies’ rest room window in a hotel bar to get away from a blind date?’ I have no problem replying, ‘my daughter did. Twice!’

All I can say is that things were a lot different in my day. I dated a right couple of dozy buggers before I met my DH, who proposed within two weeks of meeting me – this is the God’s honest truth btw – he was thirty and I was twenty one. That might seem young today, but when I had my second daughter at twenty four I was regarded as an ‘elderly mother’ (We work fast in this family!) Anyway, as ever, I digress.

Questions:

How do women/men girls/boys in the USA overcome this issue? Are they upfront that they’re casually dating?

How many frogs did you kiss before you found your prince/princess?

Tell the truth, what have you done to avoid an awkward scene/moment in the dating game?

Any tips/advice from you guys out there dipping your toe in the dating pond?

You know I love to hear from you, so please leave a word or twenty, below.

And don’t forget – Episode two of Desert Orchid here on Friday. Come and meet Charisse.

15 thoughts on “TO DATE OR NOT TO DATE? THAT IS THE QUESTION

  1. Ironically enough, even though I live in North America, the only second date I ever went on was my husband. (That said, I had met the others in advance casually before so we’d had time to get to know a bit about each other before we went on a date–I live in a small town as well.) After the first date with the others, I knew they weren’t right for me or they knew I wasn’t right for them and we moved on without hard feelings. In a way, I think that’s better and less likely to leave someone hurt than dating multiple people casually for a while before deciding on one.

  2. Oh my – I could probably write another novel on my track record for dating. Back in the day, I think I mastered the skill for choosing the wrong guy. I dated someone for 5 years – three of which he didn’t consider us as exclusive unless it meant me going out with someone else. But apparently it didn’t apply to him dating others because he did, I just didn’t know about it until after the fact.
    There was one blind date I had with a deputy. We went to dinner and dancing at this restaurant and bar where I knew most of the staff. We had a good dinner, great conversation, and then he started drinking. After awhile, I was bored out of my mind – he didn’t dance, he didn’t want to talk, he just wanted to sit there, watching everyone. So by the end of the night, I told him that I was friends with the bartender in the back bar and was going to help her clean up afterwards so she could get home at a decent hour. I walked him out, said goodnight, and came back to help my friend. Next thing I know, he’s busting open the back bar door (which is locked when that bar closes down so patrons stay up front) and trying to “lead” me out to take me home. Um, controlling much?
    I’ve gone out with a guy that didn’t like me because I had migraines. I’ve dated a guy who turns out had been actually living with someone else for three years and fooling around on her. How I didn’t figure that one out is beyond me!
    By the time my husband came into the picture, I had stopped dating completely. I’m just grateful that my hubby found me – he’s a good guy and has been wonderful to me. 🙂

    • Jennifer, I am struck speechless. What a journey? No wonder you stopped dating. Isn’t it interesting you found a man who was kind? That’s the key, kindness.

      You must have a couple of books or five in there for those stories.

      Thank you for sharing. I’m shaking my head here because some of those men would be singing soprano if they’d gone out with me, just say’in!

  3. Oh lawd! “Back in the day” I had two blind dates and never ever ever ever would I ever ever do that again. Both were disasters. The first one, though, not as much disaster as I thought at 18 – he didn’t speak a word of english, had bad breath (really bad) and was so excited to be going out with “an american girl” that he kept grabbing my arm and grinning like a maniac and then shaking my arm with excitement – now, at the time I was mortified and I kept leaning to the other side to make it seem I was with the guy on the other side of me- not proud of that, but at 18 we aren’t always so good at social niceties *laugh* –

    The other blind date was about a year or two after that one – omg – I can’t even speak of it – it was that awful – bad – horrid – I was never so glad to see home . . . lawd! lawd! Ungh. *shudders* This guy drank became so drunk, I feared for my life if I were to get back in that car with him – my mom always told me to put money in my shoe (this was pre-cell phone days!) in case something happened and I always laughed – not that time! Lawd!

    Meeeemoooriiiiesss – Laughing!

    • ROFL Kat,

      Blind dates are an absolute MINEFIELD especially when you’re young and less experienced (I was totally clueless at eighteen, didn’t even know what a condom was – I blame my mother, lol!).

      Thank you for the brilliant comment!

  4. Rarely is anyone upfront in dating. They sidestep, shuffle, bob and weave, etc.

    From what I’ve seen and heard, that exclusive thing is a tricky tricky thing. If girl brings it up, she’s being clingy and needy. If she doesn’t, she can spend months thinking she’s in girlfriend world while he has several other girls who all think the same thing. 🙂

        • We live in a small town and my girls find it claustrophobic because too many noses are in their business. They have their careers and are independent. Why are you not dating? Blah, blah, blah. Plus people constantly try to set them up, although I think they’ve given up with one of them, lol! One’s thinking of moving to Australia – that’s as far away as she can get! lol!

        • A grass is greener kind of situation. The problem in cities is everyone is pretty anonymous. A guy can date a dozen girls and none know about it. It’s very shady.

          I can understand wanting a private private life. LOL. It makes sense. 🙂

  5. Wow, assumed exclusivity after on or two dates? What a concept! I think in the US most assume it’s not exclusive until a couple explicitly decides otherwise. Good thing for me, because I was dating another guy when I met my husband!

    • LOL! I know, it’s crazy. I’ve been talking to my girls and you should have seen their faces when I said that in the USA you can date three people at a time and it isn’t until a couple explicitly decide otherwise that they ‘go steady’. My youngest rolled her eyes and said one at a time was plenty!! Poor thing.

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