What Shape Are You In? Date Smart! Chapter 2.1

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 1:00
Posted in category Date Smart
<div class=\"postavatar\">What Shape Are You In? Date Smart! Chapter 2.1</div>

Post written by Rick Doyle and Dave Coleman (See Relationships page for author information)


What Shape Are You In?

Date Smart! Chapter 2.1


Dating began back with the tablets. You know, the ones Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. From that point on, the rules for relationships were clearly defined and left little room for misinterpretation. Some biblical truths include:

Honor thy father and thy mother.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Thou shall not kill.

Thou shall not commit adultery.

Thou shall not give false testimony.

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.

Be fruitful and multiply.

Essentially, the big picture was to get hooked up. Dating became the method of choice after matchmakers lost popularity. From the time of the crusades, when relationships were arranged for property settlement purposes; through the time of slavery, where relationships were bought and sold; to the present, where relationships are facilitated by newspapers, magazines, dating services, and Internet sites that dictate we find our soul mate – today we date because society insists that we must.  This post will examine some of rhe obvious reasons and not so obvious reason why we pick and how we pick certain people to date.

Let’s put rules aside and look at pure chemistry. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution emphasizes our basic animal need for procreation. Is there a difference between being in love and being in lust? Yes, but the bottom line is that we wouldn’t be here if our hairy little ancestors hadn’t let it all hang out. Some evolutionists theorize that by nature, we wouldn’t know how to procreate if not for animals. Man is the only animal that needs to be taught how to have intercourse. In the twentieth century, we’ve taken our search for intimate relationships to the extreme. The statistics speak for themselves, as overwhelming numbers of people are placing single’s ads, joining match-making Internet sites, tuning in to talk radio programs aimed at the desperate and dateless, experimenting with voice mail, exploring video dating and attending countless single’s outings.

No matter what our personal preference or approach is, the truth remains consistent. As human beings, we’re inherently lonely, crave affection, and want others to validate us through shared common experiences. Yes, we date because we have to, but we also date because we want to. Have you been searching for that special someone, for your “perfect” match or “soul mate,” or for someone to have a good time with? Can’t find them? Can’t keep them? Do you wonder why? The answer may be found by looking at whom you pick to date and the visible reason you do or don’t pick certain people to date.


Obvious and Not So Obvious Reasons Why You Date


Why do you date? The most obvious answer is, “because I’m attracted to someone.” The actual answer, however, is not always as simple, positive, or healthy as you might expect. The following is a list of motives that may consciously and sub-consciously drive you to date:

1. You date because you have a goal or hidden agenda: You see a larger picture beyond dating – to find a long-term relationship and get married; to have someone with whom to share your bills and responsibilities; to establish a sense of permanency in your life and get “off the market.”

2.  You date as a form of trophy hunting: You search for the “hot babe” or “gorgeous hunk” that will look great on your arm and inflate your ego. You date for money, security, power, position and sex. You date for the quick fix.

3. You date out of boredom: You concede that even dating the wrong person beats being home alone . . . again.

4. You date to announce that you’re ready to break the bonds of your biological ties and create a family of your own: You attempt to show the world that you’re desirable, available, and mature enough to handle a relationship of your own. You announce this by attending debutante galas, going to college, moving out, getting a place of “our” own, and becoming as self-sufficient and self-reliant as possible.

5. You date to resolve issues, both past and present: You use dating to get revenge, such as entertaining a friend’s former partner to get even with them for a past hurt, or to be spiteful, such as getting engaged to someone you know your family despises. You may even date someone who you think might be able to “fix” you.

6. You date to bait and switch: You realize that one relationship is on the rocks so you begin dating a second person to insure having someone to be with during your transition. This strategy enables you to avoid grief, closure and completion. It’s a tactical avoidance of negative feelings and fuels the disposable relationship mentality.

7. You date to gain the limelight through osmosis: You choose to ride someone else’s coattails. “If I was dating them, my popularity and reputation would skyrocket.” You set your sights on unrealistic partners for a relationship and then fantasize that they’re within your grasp, even if you have no means of realizing your desired outcome.

8. You date out of fear: You accept dates that your friends arrange for you because they worry that you’ve been alone for too long. Your parents set you up because they’re anxious to become grandparents, or they’re concerned about your having someone to take care of you when they’re gone. “Have I got someone for you.” Your dates maybe visible manifestations of an issue that others will find a reason to hook you up with, their pick for you!

9. You date to test drive and compare: You compare your dates to others as a standard of compatibility. “I’m looking for someone just like my father, but nothing like my ex.” “You remind me so much of my mother.” “You’re so different from anyone else I’ve ever dated.”

10. You date to exclude: You unrealistically and severely limit your dating to only those who meet your exact criteria for: religion, looks, education, height, weight, professional position, social standing, skin color, age, sexual preference, children and/or financial standing.

11. You date out of convenience: You find someone who has similar work hours, lives close by, or is far enough away to minimize concern about commitment or the need to modify your lifestyle.  

12. You date for personal enjoyment: You look for someone who’ll make you feel special, pamper you, be attentive to your needs, and help you forget about or resolve your shortcomings.

13. You might even date to find a good, cheap therapist and a date in one: You take advantage of someone who’ll listen faithfully, judge seldom and expect little in return. 

Now that you have a better idea of why you date, let’s look at some of the reasons behind whom you choose to date. You may see your decision-making process as an exercise in weighing various options, which have presented themselves. For example, you might choose to date someone because of an introduction by a friend or family member, an attraction to a co-worker or an employer showing personal interest, a positive response from an advertising medium on dating, serendipity, a former love interest reinitiates contact, or you meet someone at a social event or gathering. Inevitably, your desire to date and the options that have presented themselves leave you in a position of choosing between what you’re looking for, what’s available to you, and what you’re willing to accept.  In a nutshell, you’re developing your “minimum standards.”


Motives Behind Who You Choose to Date


The driving force behind your decision to say “Yes” to one person over another will have a motive that you believe best benefits you. Whether the reason or issue is obvious or not to you your need to address certain underlying problems might really be making the pick instead of a healthy decision or just plain fun. Here are some of the ones that influence why you choose one person over another.

1.  You may choose someone who’s a likely candidate to help you work out unresolved issues from childhood. These are the ones which remain from incomplete relationships you had with your parents or significant care givers.

2.  You may choose someone who’s perfect for unloading the emotional baggage of unresolved issues from past failed relationships in order to stop your pattern of poor picking.

3. You may choose someone who’s currently your only possibility. You say “Yes” because dating someone, even if they’re less than your ideal selection, is better than dating no one. Loneliness in the only factor in this decision.

4. You may choose a person for what they can do for you externally: money, power, sex, position, prestige, revenge, reputation, etc.

5. You may choose someone out of pure, physical chemistry. They may be attractive, youthful, or “seasoned,” and viewed by others as a showpiece or trophy. Everybody desires them and you have them. So you disregard tendencies that would normally be a turn off.

6. You may choose someone due to his or her persistence. Boredom may support your decision to give in. Societal pressures from family, friends or colleagues might encourage you to accept an offer that you’re not really wild about. 

7. You may choose someone based solely upon your own ethnic, cultural, financial, or religious practices and beliefs.

8. You choose a person who is exactly the opposite of someone you recently failed with. You might also go to the extreme of finding someone who is exactly like you in an attempt to match your likes and dislikes and avoid the opposites attract cliché.

While these are some of the more common motives for selecting dates, we’re sorry to say that none are healthy. When driven by a desire for companionship, we frequently lack the patience and objectivity necessary to select a partner for the right reasons. 

Selecting a person to date is a process, not an event. If you understand the process you use to select a partner, you can more easily employ it so that it’s based upon healthier motives and better picking. We intend to provide you with numerous tools that will help you thoroughly examine the choices you make, why you make them, and the consequences that accompany them. Understanding why you date, and choose one person over another, will help you get involved at a more reasonable pace and give you a chance to get to know a person better. Why subject yourself to the unpleasantness that can accompany bad picking if you can learn what you need to know before your lives become too enmeshed?


Just a note that this post Date Smart! Chapter 2.1 has our first exercise for next week in Date Smart! Chapter 2.2.  These posts work together so to ensure that the exercise make sense, please read Chapter 2.1 before you do the exercise.


Please come back each week as we will post the next piece of each chapter broken down into posts that you can comment on, ask questions or share your thoughts. We will eventually update and post the whole book
Date Smart!

*Special thanks for co-writing this article goes to Dave Coleman AKA The Dating Doctor. Dave and I wrote Date Smart! back in Jan. 2000. The publication rights have now reverted over to us equally and, with Dave’s permission, I have edited the book and modernized some of the ideas we originally wrote. The book, Date Smart! is still available through some stores and you can contact Random House to request the book be reprinted. With enough demand they might just contact Dave and I to republish and possibly write another one. We are basically giving you the book to read in posts and encourage you to visit both Dave’s website www.datingdoctor.com and of course all parts of our website www.topicisland.com. Neither the posts nor the book are in any way to be republished or sold or used without our express specific written permission and all posts are copyrighted and protected (ISBN-10: 0761521739,ISBN-13: 978-0761521730). Dave and I have written a number of articles together as well and so this serves as the byline. A huge thank you to Dave for sharing both our efforts and time to write what we hope are insightful, intriguing and informative articles that we share the creative collaboration and credit for working on over a number of years. 

You can contact Rick by posting or by emailing:

askrickhead [at] topicisland [dot] com or read posts at Ask Rickhead

You can write Dave at: http://www.datingdoctor.com/contact.html

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One Response to “What Shape Are You In? Date Smart! Chapter 2.1”

  1. Army91 says:

    July 18th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

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