Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MEMO TO MEN: On the different types of dating

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Inside the dating world
DATE: August 28, 2012
My dating card may be admittedly blank, boys, but I do know one thing: Dating is a lot like going to the grocery store. If you have no idea what you want -- or need -- going in, you're going to be easily overwhelmed. The frozen foods. The produce. The aisles and aisles of cereals. Before you know it, your head will be spinning, and you'll end up fleeing the store empty handed -- and possibly screaming.

Well, the way I see it, dating works the same way. It's deceptively simple at first. After all, you're just going out with someone, right? What's the harm in that? What could possibly go wrong? Everything, really, if you go into said date without your trusty grocery list. But instead of the list being peppered with the likes of onions and strawberries and bread and pickles and coffee, your dating list isn't so much a list as it is a reminder. It's a reminder of your answer to one simple question...

What type of dating am I looking for?
Because when you think about it, there really are different types of dating, aren't there? And, I suppose, you'd have to match your attitude and expectations according to the type of date. So, boys, here's how I have it all figured out in my head. There are 3 levels of dating...

Dating to get your feet wet
Akin to casual dating, I suppose. Maybe you want to get to know someone without all that pressure, or maybe you're hoping a friendship will develop even if no romantic sparks fly.

Dating to find a boyfriend
Maybe the relationship won't last forever, but it will certainly last longer than that getting-your-feet-wet relationship did. You are looking for something deeper, whether you're together for 6 months or 6 years.

Dating to find a husband
I can guarantee you, boys, that this stage will be the most important one for me. There's going to come a time when casual dating just gets, well, too casual for me. Right now is going to become far too temporary, and instead of looking for someone I can enjoy a great burger with (the get-your-feet-wet guy...) or someone who brings me chicken soup when I'm sick (the boyfriend...), I'm going to be looking into the future. Who can I see myself spending the rest of my life with? Who is the guy that I'm going to be able to rely on through thick and thin? Those are the sorts of questions I'm going to be asking myself.
Does this make sense, boys? When all is said and done, not all dating is considered equal. In fact, maybe even no two dates are ever quite the same. Because dating to find a boyfriend is different than dating to find a husband; they are two totally different things. But you know what I just realized? I'm probably going to learn a heck of a lot in each stage. Are you excited, boys...? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. I guess i got lucky because when I began dating my husband I was not even looking. I guess he came into my life just when I needed him. He and I dated for 4 1/2 yrs before we got married. Now that he has been my husband for going on 14 yrs we have been through a lot with my health and with our families. We have been able to rely on each other as each others friend and confidant and rock.

  2. There is something to be said for timing, suburban!! Congrats on your happy 14 years -- and to many more, i'm sure!

  3. When I started dating my boyfriend I was looking for something along the lines of "get your feet wet"... Not that I needed experience, I'd already been married and divorced (erm, twice). All I wanted was a cute guy to catch a movie with every now and then. That is so not how it happened... By the end of the first date, I knew he was special. By the end of the second date (which was the very next night and our very first kiss) I knew he was a keeper.

    I think those kind of dates, the ones where you go in not expecting anything and end up blindsided by butterflies are the best.

  4. Same here! Actually I went on a lot of dates with my now husband where I thought "he seems like an OK guy to grab a burger with." I was 22 so definitely not dating to find a husband or even really a boyfriend. I'd just graduated and was getting over a recent break up so was in casual mode 100%. And then a few months in a realized I was absolutely head over heels in love with him...

  5. wow, i really enjoyed reading this. i've never dated a boy either. i guess you could say that i'm waiting for the right time with the right person. although i do have a lot of friends that are boys. LOL. i believe in the saying that the unexpected love is the best love. the kind where you don't go looking for it, and it just sneaks up on you out of nowhere.

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  6. i started dating mark in HS so my dating life was virtually non existant! sometimes i regret that but sometimes not - i think i got my 'feet wet' when we went to separate colleges, haha :)

  7. I loved hearing all these stories!! Carrie, you're so right about unexpected love!

  8. this is very true...i totally understand that there are different types of dating, and it would prevent a lot of heartaches if we could all go into it knowing what type that particular relationship will be. sadly, though, most people don't talk about this until it is too late, and usually someone is more invested that the other...

    thanks so much for dropping by!


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