Saturday, February 04, 2006

Interested? What's that?

Occasionally I wonder if someone I am talking to is interested in going on a date. I know people like to say things like "Just ask", but lets take a serious look at what goes wrong with this.

First, let me say that it is all too common for people today to equate going a date with having to form some kind of commitment. In fact, Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice near the end of chapter 6 observes "A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment." This is often true for both men and women.

Many of us are constantly sizing everyone else up for whether they would be good husbands or wives and never stopping to consider if we have enough information to even consider the matter. We are also experts on what everyone else should be doing. (I think this is because we don't have to worry about any of the feelings involved in living through others.)

What does it mean to be interested? What does it mean to like someone? How does that become love?

If I knew these answers I would probably be actively dating. The trouble is that I find various women I know attractive and find them enjoyable to talk to. I would dare say these are my two basic criteria for wanting to go on a date. If we consider this seriously how much more can we expect to round down before going on a date? Further investigation is the purpose of a date. Last week I was talking to Bob and I said, "Dating seems to be the process of doing due diligence before selecting a permanent roommate".

Before I go on I would like to offer a slight explanation that would help illustrate where some of my trouble on this and other topics comes from. When I came home early off of my mission it was determined that I had Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not otherwise specified. The best explanation I can offer is that while many people find social interaction something that comes easily I have to make a specific study to figure it out. There was once a time when I couldn't even tell I had done something that bothered others or made them uncomfortable.

By this I will have to assume that "Just Ask" doesn't work because there is still something I'm missing. Then again, I really just see dating as two people trying out for a team. Each one can cut the other at any time. The trick is finding someone who is actually holding try outs.

What's to be done? I am doing pretty well at disregarding whether or not I would like to go on a date with someone. This does two things. I presently ask no one out. I also don't spend any time thinking whether I would like to go on a date with someone while talking to them. In a way this is very liberating and is for now allowing me to have more relaxed easier conversation with the women I know.

I guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing and wait for more mysteries to manifest themselves through patient observation. Until then I guess I'll have to go on some dates so I can continue the process of discovery. Besides, it's only dinner, I was hungry anyway.

Shaun

1 comment:

Tom (Future ME) said...

Well said.

Your study of social interactions has served you well.

However, some would say that this is the sort of thing that can't really be analyzed. Sure, if you were to take an objective point of view you might be able to analyze it, but since you are living in it the analysis is greatly complicated. My wife said that early in her 20's it was overanalysis that spelled doom for the few actual relationships that she had.

It is difficult to be single when the accepted norm of society is to be coupled. When I was single I enjoyed it. I could have been single for a long time, but there were other factors at play. Maybe I'll write a blog on it someday. Remind me.

To make a short comment long, it's the sort of thing that can't be forced and can't be analyzed, much less calculated and anticipated with mathematical or even pshycological methodology.