Sunday, December 12, 2004

It's not just Amazon.com

I should have seen this coming. The first paragraph of my post entitled "Roll them Bones" has resulted in a variety of comments ranging from a gentle scolding about my choices of words to a Flash of a naked man dancing (think about what you're about to do for a good couple seconds before actually clicking that link). All I can say is that there's no reason to read too much into that paragraph. I mean, seriously; we haven't even made out.

But that got me thinking. I probably would be going through exactly the same things if I actually were trying to date some girl that I didn't work with (or, in the case of college, live with). Becoming friends with people I'm not around frequently is even harder than making friends with people I see a lot. In fact, that's the sort of thing that kind of doesn't happen at all for me. If it's someone I'm around a lot, I can usually do a decent job of figuring them out... I have plenty of data to work with. If it's someone I see infrequently, I've got to interpolate a lot, which kinda makes me crazy. It doesn't happen automatically for me... I've got to analyze everything I can and calculate how to respond and what to say and do. Maybe that's another personality defect I've been blessed with.

Having never dated anyone, I can't imagine the process being all that different than trying to befriend someone... disorienting and awkward. I kind of see dating as having to start with friendship for me. Everyone always says that you can't date a friend, and if that's true for me too, then I'll be single forever. But there's no way I could live with someone if she wasn't the type of person who would have still been my friend if we never dated. It just couldn't happen. Of course, this is kind of like me making a broad statement of fact about cliff-diving or parenting or airplane maintenance, but I feel strangely certain about this. People who are my good friends have to be smart, funny, and able to put up with my sarcasm, cynicism, and weirdness. It would be impossible for any romantic relationship with me on one end to work if the other end didn't meet those criteria. I don't want to spend my life with someone like that.

Apparently today is verbosity day. (When isn't it verbosity day for me?) Is anyone sorry they begged me to post more frequently yet?

7 comments:

Swid said...

Truer words were never spoken. It is utterly incomprehensible for me to understand how one can date a person who isn't already a good friend of theirs. I have to know a girl pretty damn well for me to even consider a romantic relationship...I simply can't bond on that sort of level with people I don't know all that well.

That said, I do understand the intent of the "you can't date a friend" dictum...going from friends to more than friends back to friends again is very hard to do in the long run, unfortunately... :-(

Travis said...

Well, then one just needs to find the perfect person before they start dating, and then they only have to do it once, and don't have to worry about all of those state transitions.

Anonymous said...

I'm dating someone who was my best friend for a long time before we started dating. :-) I get to see him in 17 days!!!! :-) :-) :-) Dating a good friend works the best, I think.

Anonymous said...

There was no begging, per se....

Travis said...

Gee (cough)(cough)TJ(cough), I wonder who the third anonymous comment could be.

Luke said...

Dating someone who is not initially a friend can be kind of a thrill. It's really easy to have date conversation because you don't know anything about each other yet other than whatever brought you together (a common interest, a class, drinking...). Transitioning from friend to dating seems like it either happens very naturally (and probably quite quicklY) or awkwardly. But, it's not all roses when you break up with someone who isn't a friend at the start, because you've inevitably become very good friends while dating. Though you have less "obligation" to remain friends, it would almost seem odd to not and yet odd to do so at the same time.

I guess my recommendation is to try dating someone you don't even know and see what it's like. It can make you use parts of your mind and emotions that you're not used to using -- yes, you will obsess endlessly about the meaningless insignificancies of your every conversation, but because you don't have a wealth of knowledge to work with, it's all you have, and it's sort of fun. It's likely to either end quickly as you soon discover that you're not for each other or one of you isn't looking for a relationship or it'll last quite awhile, and you'll have a good time while you're at it.

Kerjo said...

Dating a really good friend is the way to go, I think. That way you already know that you can put up with the person before you start dating.