It seems I have been playing amateur psychologist lately. Friends, neighbors and people I don’t even know have been bombarding me with their dating woes. A typical conversation goes something like this:
Friend: Why can’t I meet someone who is nice, laid back, likes to read, enjoys movies, isn’t clinically depressed, likes the same music as me, doesn’t pick his/her nose, likes animals (but not too much), looks like a Greek god/goddess, appreciates my zany sense of humor, doesn’t mind that I don’t look like a Greek god/goddess, cooks, cleans and doesn’t have a criminal record?
Me: What’s your name again?
It doesn’t matter if they are male or female; I have noted that men and women say they want the same thing yet they seem completely unable to find each other. So out of a totally unselfish devotion to my readers (all three of you), I have taken it upon myself to do a little research about finding that special someone (no I did not hit the bars and save the receipts so I could declare my weekend a work-related tax deduction — I didn’t think of that until it was too late).
A few of the more prevalent questions seem to be: How do I meet someone that I’m interested in? How will I make him or her interested in me? How will I know if it is the person that I am meant to be with? How exactly does one file a restraining order?
Now, before we go any further, I think I should remind you that there are books published about this very topic. “The Rules” and “The Code” have been written with the intent of helping people find mates.
However, from what I’ve seen from these two books, they don’t really apply to real life. So unless you’re living in a made-for-television movie, stick with me.
Meeting people is easy; you meet people everyday. The tricky part is meeting people that you are actually interested in. Sure, bars are convenient, but they are also hazardous, and the combination of alcohol and bad lighting can severely impair your judgment.
Work is a good place to meet someone (as long as it isn’t someone you work with). However, if you work at a fast-food restaurant, bar or penitentiary, you may want to steer clear of this dating avenue.
Meeting people through friends is always a safe bet (if you trust your friends), because if it works out, you already know you get along with each others’ friends. If it doesn’t, you can use that against your buddies the next time the group is arguing about which movie to see. If all else fails, go to the classified ads (no, not for a date, for a laugh; nothing starts off the morning with a chuckle like the classifieds).
Once you have tracked down that special date, how do you get him or her interested? Hell, if I knew that, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this column; I’d be out right now!
Finally, the problem most people seem to have is with deciding whether the person they have met is really worth their time? Do I really want to get involved right now?
That’s the question I hear most often. I decided to try the psychic approach to this one. First, I called for a free reading on a local radio program. I asked the generic question “Will I meet anyone soon?” (the things I go through for you guys!). I was told that he (the psychic) saw me flirting (moi?!) and he saw me dancing but that there was only one thing going on, and if that wasn’t what I was looking for, I should beware. He also saw the name Tom.
Well, let’s face it, I didn’t need a psychic to tell me that a guy in a bar might only want one thing. So, next I hit the horoscope route. Guess what! My career is going to take off and I can look for a romantic commitment real soon.
The moral to this story? After hours of painstaking research, I am as clueless as ever. I am convinced that dating and romance are supposed to be confusing and impossible so that when we start to lose that hormonal urge to procreate, we won’t mind so much.
Heather Luce’s column originally ran in the May 5th edition of The Lantern, the student newspaper at Ohio State University.