January 15, 2020
I just got off the phone with a potential client. She’s in her mid-60s, lives in Chicago, is accomplished, and wants to find a partner now that she’s been divorced for a number of years. All of this sounds par for the course in terms of my regular clientele. Most people I work with are in the same predicament: divorced or widowed and looking to spend the rest of their lives with a loving partner.
Where the conversation took a turn, though, was when this woman (we’ll call her Susan) said to me, “I hate dating.” When someone makes such a strong comment, I immediately ask why they came to that conclusion. Too often it’s because of one bad experience. People tend to overlook the good and even ‘meh’ experiences when it comes to dating and only remember the negative ones. Such is life.
But her response wasn’t actually about one terrible date, as I thought it would be. Rather, she said, “It’s too time-consuming.” This is something I hear all the time, too. Online dating can often feel like a full-time job, which is often why some clients decide to use my services. I can take the work out of the process for them so that all they have to do is go on the dates.
But that also wasn’t what she was saying. She was saying that going on the dates themselves takes too much time! She went on to say, “I just want to be in a relationship. I hate dating!” Despite my best efforts to hold it in, I let out a little chuckle. I said, “You know every relationship has to start with a first date, right?” “Well, yes.” “And there’s no way to just fast forward to the relationship part without the dating part.”
This is where a lot of people get confused. In their minds, dating is a means to an end, that “end” being the relationship. But I would say that the early stages of dating are the most important part of any eventual relationship. It’s where you get to learn about each other, meet each other’s friends, have a first kiss, and explore the world through someone else’s eyes. And you get to share things about yourself, perhaps things you’ve never shared with anyone else. (And remember dating NATO?)
Yes, being in a relationship can be comfortable… sitting on the couch and watching Netflix with someone special can be the best feeling in the world. But I would never advise anyone to forgo the initial anxieties and butterflies to get to Netflix-watching. You will have missed all of the things that make this other person special. And they won’t know these things about you.
I know that it can feel frustrating to share your story over and over again when you’re dating. But rather than looking at the process like something you have to slog through in order to get to a relationship, try to think of this part instead as necessary building blocks. Without those, any relationship (or building) will fall down. You need a solid base first. And that solid base comes from dating.
As I closed the call with Susan, I told her this: “You’re going to go on some bad dates. I promise you that. You’re also going to go on some great dates. No one can prevent any of that, but it’s a necessary part of the process to get to the outcome you’re looking for.” Think she’ll decide to work with me? Time will tell.
6 thoughts on “What To Do If You Hate Dating”
I have a question, when you are meeting a few men at the same time, do you relay to them that you are? How many dates is the average to be able to tell if you have a connection? Do you have them pick you up at your house on the first date, we’ve talked and texted and had a first meeting? I would appreciate your advise.
I don’t see why you have to tell a man that you are also dating other men. I take for granted that a woman I date may be doing that. It’s no big deal. If he asks I would answer honestly, but he probably won’t, and if he doesn’t don’t worry about it. On the one hand I’m curious about how many dates is the average to tell if you have a “connection”, but on the other hand I don’t think a number is that important. It’s going to depend on the specific person. After you’ve met three times though, if you’re still not sure I think you should ask yourself why you’re still not sure. Whether he should pick you up or not is again going to depend on the individual. I don’t think you should have someone pick you up for a first meeting IRL. You should travel separately and meet in a safe public place during the day, for safety and so you can easily bail if need be. After that, do what seems right in that particular situation. There are always some risks when meeting new people. Try to keep an eye out for anything sketchy without being paranoid. Bear in mind that if you have someone pick you up they now know where you live. Are you comfortable with this person knowing that or not? You don’t have to have him pick you up at home and you don’t have to avoid it either. Use your best judgment.
Be especially cautious if you decide to go home with someone you’ve just met. Once a couple years ago I almost went home with a young woman who seemed a little strange. I never heard from her again. I’m glad I didn’t go to her place because I might have been walking into a trap. The fact that she ghosted on me after trying to get me back to her place is suspicious.
Karen, all good questions, and in general, I agree with Brian’s responses. There is no need to share that you’re dating others (it’s generally assumed anyway) unless someone explicitly asks. As for knowing if there’s a connection, it varies. Some people feel it immediately, some don’t. If you’re not sure after a first date, then it’s definitely worth going on a second date “just to see.” It’s never leading someone on to meet again to see if there’s a connection. (That’s a question I often get.)
I would not have someone pick you up for a first date. Meet in a public place, then use your best judgment if he offers you a ride home. Just trust your gut either way. I assume people are good unless proven otherwise.
Actually, sometimes I don’t like to go on a date. That’s why I’m searching to solve this problem. Then I found your article it’s a really informative article. Thank you so much for sharing this informative article.
Glad you enjoyed!