The Connector
The Connector
Jay Bowman, Photo editor

The frustration most people express when it comes to dating isn’t the part about getting dates, it’s sustaining it after it becomes a regular thing.

That is quite a dilemma, but it is not an insurmountable one. If you’re reading this and you’re single then it means that 100 percent of your relationships have ended. None of them have worked out. If they had, you wouldn’t be single, now would you? I know what you’re thinking, “Jay, isn’t this supposed to help me? I feel worse than before!” Relax. Breathe. Patience, grasshopper; hear me out. You should be happy about this epiphany. You have never been closer to enlightenment than you are right now. Once you embrace the fact that you are only good at breaking up then you can transcend your dilemmas because the solution to the dating problem is breaking up.  Or, as I like to call it, Anti-Dating. Take heart, you can do this.

A little perspective is in order. Say you meet someone wonderful and you go out regularly with them. You both think the world of each other and things go great for an interminable period of time. Weeks. Months even. Eventually though, you reach a point at which you think your special someone changed. Perhaps she doesn’t get dolled up for you like she used to or he stopped taking you to those fun places from when you first met. She’s no longer interested in a detailed description of your Level 57 Dark Elf Battlemage. His eyes glaze over and he nods off when you start to tell him about your day. The person you fell for seems to have vanished and left you to file a complaint with one of those customer service representatives who doesn’t seem to care about anything. Namely you.

Then comes the break up. Suddenly, you find out (hopefully not during a loud outburst in front of some of your friends from the Mages’ Guild) that she never cared at all about the special armor you found in a weapons cache in an overlooked dungeon of the latest DLC. Out of nowhere, you hear what he truly thinks of your BFFs (and it ain’t positive) and the rest of that crew with whom you hang out. You both learn the truth of what the other thinks of all aspects of your life. After months of each of you being on your best behavior (read: fake), in a laughable twist of irony the break-up actually brings you closer together. You never gain insight into someone as you do when breaking up with them.

With anti-dating you get to skip all of that. No need to be on your best behavior, sending an ambassador (a great looking, good smelling version of you) to lobby on your behalf until the other person is too emotionally invested to think rationally. No, skip that stuff. Start breaking up on day one. Be candid with the object of your affection. Tell her what you think of her friends and don’t dress it up. Don’t feign interest in his hobbies. Don’t hold back and don’t be fake.

I know what you’re thinking: “But, Jay! If I do that he/she won’t like me!” Good. That’s the whole point. If that person would rather not be in the same room as the “real you” then it’s best to find out up front. Just as that person deserves to be with someone palatable, you deserve to be with someone whose friends you like and whose pastimes you appreciate. Being on your best behavior is counter-productive since anyone will love for your good qualities. The question is if they can stomach your bad ones. Besides, you’ve shown that you’re not good at maintaining the facade, so don’t even try. Just begin breaking up with them in the beginning (and think of all that spirited make-up sex some of you will have).

So the next time you meet someone interesting, don’t invite that person to coffee. Look them right in the eye and say, “Listen, I can’t date you. But I can totally break up with you. Let’s do this.” Should you two begin seeing each other only to have the relationship go down in flames, instead of being sad you can finally chalk one up in the “win” column because you did precisely what you set out to do.  On the other hand, if it turns out that despite your best efforts you just can’t break up with that person, then you’ve found a keeper.

You can thank me later.


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