So remember that AMAZING post by Mr. Smarty Pants Dennis Hong, That “Amazing First Date We Went on Kind of Sucked For Me.
You don’t? Well go read it!
In short, he talked about the very real phenomena of being on a date, realizing you’re not really into the person but going through the motions and pretending to have a good time. And then the other person somehow gets the impression that it was a great date.
No judgements from me. I’ll admit to being on both sides of the equation, more than once. But certainly most often in the role of the faker.
I’d like to step back from this scenario for a minute and set up an entirely differently type of situation. I was in a meeting recently. A bunch of people around a board table. Most of us hadn’t met each other before. It was tense, there were issues to work out (silly work stuff, as I like to say). We were all unfailingly polite, and chummy. Maybe even charming.
Because that’s what people do. In our particular culture, in that situation, all of us knew that the socially acceptable behavior was to play nice and shmooze our way through. Sure, there might be some people who’d take a different tactic. Who’d be aggressive and blunt and pushy. But the rules call for nice.
Kind of like the rules of dating. We’re supposed to play nice and shmooze our way through. And many of us, whether we mean to or not, have started to treat dating like another job. We enter a date like we enter a meeting. Time to work. Play by the rules. Shmooze our way through.
It doesn’t really matter, in that context, whether we “like” our date. The job is to be a good dater. To make sure the other person enjoys themselves. To be liked.
Is this honest? Good for me or you as individuals? A smart way to conduct the mating ritual? What a lot of dumbass questions! It is what it is. It’s how we live now. Until things change. Or they don’t.
Tags: dater, fake, rules, The Rules