Alex Blaze

Weekend open thread on dating

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 31, 2007 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: dating

Here's a question for the weekend: What do you think about dating? R. and I were talking about how little we've each actually "dated", instead going to parties with guys or hanging out with other friends or, well, you know....

But actually meeting someone random on the street or wherever, setting up a time to go to dinner and then a movie, talking for all that time without any context, and then going home and to bed (separately), seems rather artificial. I've tried this several times before and failed miserably at it, I'm thinking because of the artifice. Usually we end up chewing slowly and quietly, like goats.

What do you all think? Does dating work for you? Does this ritual make sense for two girls or two boys who don't know each other?


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Yes, i actually think dating is the ideal situation, its a chance to actually get to know someone, and connect or not connect mentally and emotionally before you actually connect physically. And at the very least youve met someone, got to know their name, and made a new aquaintance, What is the negative side to any of that. Patience is a virtue, I suppose the fact that im in my 40's may have a bit to do with my view point,but with age comes wisdom they say.

Dating makes sense if you're looking for someone who you can enjoy being around both inside and outside the bedroom.
After you get to know the person, if you decide that you don't find them attractive, you don't have to sleep with them and you have a friend. Nothing wrong with that.
If you don't want a potential friend that you can also potentially fuck, dating is not for you.

Ethan

Does dating work for you? Does this ritual make sense for two girls or two boys who don't know each other?

Isn't that the point of dating? To get to know each other? Sex isn't for deep conversations about art, history or common interests outside of the bedroom.

Don't get me wrong, I've had one night stands, met people and jumped in bed and then tried to turn that into a boyfriend, etc. But, you know, Jerame and I went on 3 dates before we slept together just so I could get to know him and see if I wanted to be his boyfriend. We've been together for almost 10 years now. It seems to have worked. None of the other guys have lasted as long...

Well, as Alex & I discussed the dating ritual for heteros is inately due in part to the fact that they know that if they sleep together they could potentially (thru unwanted pregnancy) have to be connected for the rest of their lives. Same-sex couples do not have to worry about that. The push towards heteronornativity (dating, etc. "just like str8 people") is in part, I think, due to the fact that we now have something to risk (HIV/AIDS) that is-- in a strange way-- comparable to the risk of potentially creating life. And so we now have to "be careful" just as str8 people (for their own reasons) do.

And there is also the media influence: the fact that monogamous couplings are romanticized as the "end all" and "be all" and since we are all spoon fed these images and ideas we think it's what we want regardless of what experience shows.

And Bil: I quite frequently have very interesting conversations in bed about art, politics, history & common interests. Sex that precludes dating does not necesarily exclude "getting to know someone."

AND:

I resent the implication that by "dating" you are somehow superior. AND that because you "dated" that was the secret to the longevity of your relationship.

A. I met my ex- when he answered my personal ad. We talked twice & he asked me over. We talked, had a drink and he asked me to spend the night. I DID. We were together 15 years. SO... it is possible to "get to know someone" after sex without bothering with imitating the hetero "dating" model.

B. My mother was married to her THIRD husband for 12 years. They fought like cats and dogs, planning to end it every 2 weeks or so; they made themselves & everyone around them miserable. SO...longevity is not proof that a relationship is healthy or successful.

Whoa, slow down there, R. We met thru an online personal ad and talked online and thru e-mail for a while before we even went on a date. :) But I think your example A falls right in with my example actually... You talked first. You got to know each other a tad bit before just hopping into bed and then asking questions like "Are you a Republican?" later. *grins*

I think there's some truth to the statement that you don't find love from the bookstore or the bathhouse. Hell, lots of romances that start in bars don't last past the sobering up stage, but then again meeting someone in the grocery store isn't any more prone to lasting, is it?

Longevity isn't the highest indicator of the health of a relationship, no. But it is a good indicator of when two people enjoy each other's company. (I've found most couples who love each other don't just separate willy nilly - they have good reasons and try to stay together as much as possible.)

And you can have pillow talk about art and history, yes. But when was the last time your brought home a hot guy that you barely knew and started discussing the finer points of Rembrandt before 69ing? (or whatever). All I'm saying is getting to know someone further before hopping into bed is usually a better indicator of if you'd like to see the person again once you get off.

It goes both ways, R. To call gay men dating an act of "pretending to be hetero" is not too flattering a description either. The traditional model works for some, while the alternative works for others.

Come think about it, I find it sad that some gay men pick the separatist "them breeders" mentality considering the often close contact they have with bigotry.Ironically, these comments chastising gays for "imitating straights" often sound like comments a straight man would make among his straight male peers. We should know better than to bicker about and trying to impose our personal views of a relationship upon each other.

Bil said to R.:

But when was the last time your brought home a hot guy that you barely knew and started discussing the finer points of Rembrandt before 69ing? (or whatever)

7 weeks ago.

Follow up to my previous comment, which I thought was clever because it was concise, I'm just trying to express that what's true for some when dating isn't true for others. Maybe some people hook-up and leave a guy/woman right after they get off, others might not. Some might enjoy dating, some might not, and some people somewhere in between.

But everyone here's been interpreting the question as dating first then sex vs. sex first then relationship. I was asking about (and of course, just because I asked about something doesn't mean that people have to answer about it, lol) if dating from nothing, like just meeting someone for 5 minutes on a bus or through a friend, works for them. Like dating one-on-one at the first meeting vs. going out with a group of friends or working together or having some volunteer activity together, or something like that, or, of course, sex. But not just sex.

I'm really asking if I'm strange that going on a date with someone who I don't know anything about means that we're going to stare at each other awkwardly for an hour and a half before I call the whole thing off. I've fared better with some other activity preceding one-on-one dating, either the friends thing or sex. Am I the only one?

About imitating straights, I'm thinking R's saying that gays following a complicated, artificial ritual that straight people do makes little sense - if people want to get to know each other first that's cool, but why follow in the heteronormative model for getting to know one another? Why not think up what works for us as individuals instead of taking a ritual that might make little sense for straights themselves that they follow just because they often don't critically analyze it?

And, of course, I agree that short-term, sexual relationships can be satisfying, and that long-term, romantic relationships can be troubling, and that longevity in a relationship isn't always the goal.

What about women? There have only been boys so far participating in this thread. (Nothing wrong with that, I love boys!)

And more importantly, as I scroll up, what's up with those "bullz-eye" ads with those almost-naked women? Ugh, I wish we had more control over the Google ads in ways that didn't completely cut them off. not that there's anything wrong with almost naked women, I'm just thinking that I don't like those ads and the grotesque computer modification of those women's bodies. Maybe I'm the only one.

Lucrece:
I couldn't care less whether or not you find my observations "flattering."

"Come think about it, I find it sad that some gay men pick the separatist "them breeders" mentality considering the often close contact they have with bigotry.Ironically, these comments chastising gays for "imitating straights" often sound like comments a straight man would make among his straight male peers."

WHAT????????????? Can you say: "Apples & oranges?"

"We should know better than to bicker about and trying to impose our personal views of a relationship upon each other."

Obviously, we DON'T know better, otherwise we wouldn't be having this debate. AND: It is more often the assimlationist gays (the "good" gays) who impose their views as the "correct" or "superior" way that we all should follow than the seperatists ("bad") gays

Seeing how you're set on trolling, sprinkling strawman arguments, and being inconsistent with reconciling ideals of behavior with your own behavior, I'll refrain from debating with you. May I also remind you that spewing "apples&oranges" does not mean that its application is valid? Or that posting with various words in caps does not emphasize your point or fill it with more validity or capability for being understood, rather the opposite, besides coming off as hysterical and condescending?

Here's a tip to deal with your vitriolic focus on voicing your resentment at being looked down upon by "assimilationists:" If you "couldn't care less" whether or not I find your observations flattering, why should anyone give a damn about your resentment at certain implications? Surely you can't expect a courtesy you're not willing to extend to others yourself.

P.S. This is the first time I see someone defining a debate as an event in which each "side" attempts to impose its views on the other.

Leland Frances | September 2, 2007 4:55 PM

Some posters' concepts of the variety of hetero "dating" "rituals" in the US are only off by nearly a century. Even pre-engagement monogamy is about as rare as 45s playing on a turntable at New Year's Eve parties.

"the dating ritual for heteros is inately due in part to the fact that they know that if they sleep together they could potentially (thru unwanted pregnancy) have to be connected for the rest of their lives."????????

Birth Control Pill [Happy birthday, you'll soon be 50!] meet R and Alex; R & Alex meet Birth Control Pill. And say "Hello" to her sister, Morning After Pill [now available over the counter in the US for women 18+] and the Pills' still politicized but still totally legal cousin, Abortion.

Congrats, Alex, you're a dollar richer for using "heteronormative" again! :- )

Can y'all please post the going rate for "heteronornativity"? And is that near Bethlehem? Hopefully, some hunky shepherds are involved and some wiser men.

I'd like to also nominate "assimilationist" for a cash prize, tho as dusty as it is perhaps it should go in the "Two for A Dollar" bargain bin.

Oh, and the next time one of you bad "good gays" try to impose R, could you please use more lube?

:-) :-) :-) :-)

Looking back in my own life, I've never had great results with "dating" --- and the dating that I did enjoy some element of success at, got better once we were getting naked together. In fact, I only consider these dating experiences "successful" because they turned out to become good fuck-buddies more than lovers.

Let's see ... of the relationships I've had that lasted three years or longer:

(1) One I met quite serendipitously via a cryonics magazine. (That's right --- he froze dead people. Later on, I helped. This explains much of my background with California-style Libertarianism.)

(2) One I met at the baths. (Bathhouses are not necessarily good places to find love, but like the bars, if you spend a lot of time hanging around, occasionally you will get lucky even there.)

(3) One I met via social circles ... he was a friend-of-a- friend-of-a-friend.

(4) One I met while hanging out at a gay/lesbian community center.

... and I've had considerable stretches in my life during which I was single, which is OK, too.

So, my personal conclusion is this: Dating, like so many things in life, is something that one needs to experiment with carefully. Some folks find that it works for them; others find that it doesn't.

I happen to be one for whom it doesn't, generally speaking.

All this talk about "nice straights do it this way" and "homos ought to do it that way" is just so much over-generalization and hyper-analysis ... which I found to be mostly worthless, in my own life.

P.S. Leland et al.: Oh, please! When handing out dollar bills for using big words, I suggest we use the official Scrabble board and letter pieces as the scoring mechanism. It may be arbitrary, but at least it is standardized and in common usage.

Now everyone, pull your Scrabble games from out of your rarely-visited closets and figure it up: How many points do I get if I use the word ... h-e-t-e-r-o-n-o-r-m-a-t-i-v-e?

Ooooh~, wait, wait, I'm choosing s-e-r-e-n-d-i-p-i-t-o-u-s-l-y!