Shopping Around, or: The Importance of a Plan B

A couple of guys have mentioned to me that they been on dates with women who then cherry pick, after trying the selection on display in the shop window.

Well I have come to the conclusion that this is inevitable with online dating, and it is actually quite useful to have a Plan B.

One chap has said to me he didn’t want to date more than one woman at a time, and I was not offended when he said he would get back in touch with me if his forthcoming date didn’t go so well. I still would have been happy to meet him, but at least he was honest that he had a date lined up. It is almost as if there is too much choice, but at the same time you have to be extremely on the ball because, to continue the retail analogy, the quality merchandise gets snapped up pretty much instantly.

Now this competitive shopping analogy is is pretty bloody grim really; where is the romance and spontenaiety in having to plan your search for love like a military operation or some kind of endurance race?

And if that wasn’t bad enough, when you do finally get a date, it is best to approach it a specific way ie to go in with almost zero expectations. I remember once I was so nervous that the whole encounter became an extremely stressful experience. I realised that I had let my imagination run away with me, as I hopefully envisaged me and Mr X skipping off into the sunset and a blissful old age hand in hand.. No. Stop!

You are going to spend a pleasant hour or two in good, and possibly attractive company, enjoying a glass of something refreshing and getting to know each other in a relaxed enjoyable way.
Now some of you may be scoffing at these anxieties, thinking perhaps what’s the big deal? But if you are basically a fairly shy, reserved person as I am, you may find going off to meet a complete stranger quite daunting – and combining that with the hope that they will be The One, or at least slightly interested, as well as not being a complete jerk – can sometimes result in nerves and stress.

So for your own health and happiness I recommend approaching your date with the minimum expectations, and not looking beyond the next few hours. But on the other hand try not to think ‘Oh no, why am I about to waste two precious hours of my life with a complete idiot?’. Negative thoughts may be an antidote to the unrealistically hopeful ones, but they are also unhelpful.

Remember, the first date is really just an introduction, not necessarily the start of a relationship, which is why I think having a Plan B is acceptable.

And I can guarantee that whatever you imagine before your date, your expectations will be confounded – and possibly in a good way. You may not meet Ms Right immediately, but you may well make some good friends, and have some great laughs (and compile a library of anecdotes) along the way.

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