I’ve got a theory about dating. Yeah, dudes, I know. I haven’t been dating for more than two decades, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think about it.*
This all came out of a discussion with Pitt and Mike, a couple of friends of mine who are a) on the way to getting divorced and b) long divorced. Both men are back in the dating pool and have joined several meet-up groups. The problem is they keep meeting up with women who — to the perception of Pitt and Mike (and me as well, when I get the skinny on the dates) — keep acting like they were in high school.
These ladies will tell someone else to tell someone else that they like a certain someone. Even in this age and day of enlightenment and equality, Pitt said, one lady told him (paraphrasing closely), “If I do on a date, there’s no way I’m paying a dime. That’s the guy’s job.” And this was a woman with a good job who was doing well.
It’s a lot of back and forth with a lot of the behavior trending toward immaturity. That’s when I had a flash of insight. What I think happens to people who get married is that their dating styles and expectations freeze where they were when the stopped dating.
Their dating acumen ends as soon as they get married. Sure, they might go on dates with their spouses, but it’s not the same as meeting a stranger, feeling them out (not up) and then deciding if you want to spend time with them. So their dating acumen is stuck at wherever it was when they got married.
If they married in college, they (and I’m talking dudes and dudettes here) will tend to see dating through the lens of a college student. What was acceptable then is so now. What didn’t pass muster then, doesn’t do it today.
I really think this is what’s going on. And not just with the ladies Pitt and Mike are dating, either. Although I didn’t mention that to them when we were talking. (Here’s hoping they don’t read the blog.) I get the feeling this is a cross-gender issue.
Of course, having identified the problem, I’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it. Unless, you, the dude or dudette reading this is, in fact, one of those who married young and is recently divorced. Then you could take a look at your own behavior and see what you can do to drag your dating self up to your actual age.
Or, if you’re going out with someone like this, just realize what’s going on and make allowances.
I’m just glad I’m not out there having to start dating all over again. I’m not sure if my body could hold up to an endless round of keggers and pizza. Still, that’s what you’re supposed to do on a date, right?