The Time Sink Also Known as Dating
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Love in the Third Degree.
The thing I really hate about dating? It’s such a time sink. I’m not talking about investing in a relationship where the rewards will hopefully be joy and growth, but just the pre-screening process of figuring out if you even want to spend a couple of hours over dinner and conversation.
I’ve said this before: dating could easily be a full-time job, or at least part-time. I’m dead serious when I say at least part-time, too. Ten hours a week is nothing and doesn’t even include the actual date. Twenty hours a week is just out of the question. I know I’ve spent too much time in negotiations at work this week because of the way I’m thinking of dating right now: it’s not the “direct costs” of dating time but the “indirect costs” –the burdened rate, if you will—of time put towards the actual date that aggravates me.
I admit I’ve been out with one or two men in the past few years who were absolutely effortless to talk to, for hours at a time. They’re the exception, though. I didn’t usually hear from them every day and if I did, it was short and friendly, just keeping in touch, not trying to put a leash on me. I liked that, but it was rare.
As Jillian said to me, there’s a difference between being withdrawn and being independent. Most people don’t understand the difference unless they live it.
I’m not against talking a couple of hours every night to someone new and interesting. Really, I’m not. But when the day after a nice 3-hour conversation and a plan for the weekend is followed up with a demand to know why you haven’t answered the phone yet tonight or why you’re not home yet or an attempted guilt trip because you don’t have time to spend 3 hours on the phone tonight, well, that’s just annoying. I’m too independent to put up with possessive men who are either hovering or underfoot. Add to that, the single guy with no kids or pets who makes suggestions that you drive a couple of hours to see him so you can spend time with him according to his schedule? I’m agreeable if we’re in a relationship but I am not a beck-and-call kind of girl.
They don’t normally display such traits when we first begin to size each other up in the romance department. Then, they’re confident, independent, intelligent, creative. It takes time to see behind their façade and to figure out exactly which psychosis I get to Google this month.
I don’t think my life is too full for a romantic relationship, but I’m too busy to deal with the screening process. Meanwhile, maybe I could move more of my “indirect costs” into “direct costs” and have my date this weekend paint my toenails for me.