Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon: Lighten up, let’s date

“What happened to the days of dating someone just because you liked them?”

One of my best girlfriends and I were chatting one night about guys—not an uncommon occurrence with us.

It was an interesting question, and truthfully, one I hadn’t thought about. But once my mind started to dive into the subject, she was onto something.

The last few guys I’ve been interested in have all been so technical about every move. Every text message is picked apart, my social media feeds have been admittedly stalked and I’m starting to wonder if my next date is going to involve fingerprints and a background check.

When did we all get so serious about dating?

I don’t know if I’m just high on life – I am still feeling free after coming to the conclusion that dating is completely out of my control, and I’ve been skipping around town wearing red lipstick ever since.

But dating should be fun, right? The dating part, or the beginning stages of a relationship, should simply be about getting to know someone. This is when you’re figuring out if you’re even compatible, or if there’s a special spark.

If things work out and you’re considering buckling up for the long haul, OK, then let’s go Colonel Mustard on this sh-t and dig through my closet. But until then, let’s take a chill pill (don’t mind me, I’ve been listening to ’90s on 9).

Okay, so I’m not blind to the fact that there’s two issues with taking things easy from the start: 1. Feelings are at stake, and 2. Time is of the essence.

We’ll start with feelings. Five years ago, I would have agreed with this idea. However, feelings are just the risk you’ve got to take when you put yourself into the dating game.

Sure, it sucks to lose someone, even if it’s just a new companion, but if you go on a few dates and it just doesn’t work, then you’ve got to remind yourself that you have lived without this person before, and move on.

If it’s casual in the beginning and less like an episode of Married at First Sight, then you’ll be more apt to bounce back quickly if things go south.

Point two: time. Yeah, we’re all busy, and we’ve got old episodes of The Wire to watch (just me? Ok.), but any relationship, or fling, is an investment. Even if it doesn’t work out, you probably learned something about yourself, even if it’s sharpening the picture of who you want to be dating.

Upon some light research on the subject of “dating for fun,” I came across several articles where people were debating if this was actually an “OK” thing to do. Um, what?

Again, when did we all get so freakin’ serious?

Yes! Of course dating for fun is okay! That’s the O-N-E perk we have as single people – we can do whatever we want.

One article was talking about this apparently crazy idea of dating just for fun, without the guarantee of a ring at the end.

This isn’t revolutionary, folks. I’ve been dating for 14 years and have never seen a ring or even a glimmering shard of a ring, so there’s that. It is, in fact, possible to date without a guy getting on one knee at the end. Can we make a pact to stop taking each other, and everything, so seriously? After a hard day of work, I could use a beer, a laugh and possibly a cute guy to lean on when I’m re-watching all eight seasons of Dexter.

If you’re ready for the pact, I’ll be at the Skee-Ball lane, still wearing red lipstick.

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