Dating for Dummies: My Take on Things

“Dating makes everybody feel like a dummy..” according to Dating For Dummies. The following is a book review (well, introduction review since Google Books wouldn’t let me read past that) based on three lines I strongly agree or disagree with.

First of all, dating does not make everyone feel like a dummy. Those who worry about looking like a dummy on a date are those who lack confidence and therefore do act dumb. I guess it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. On the other hand, those who are confident enough to hold a conversation with a member of the opposite sex typically don’t look like dummies. Therefore, I disagree with the very first line of the book trying to reassure people that it’s fine and normal to feel like a dummy. That’s not fine and normal. Gather some confidence, stop feeling like a dummy, and you won’t look like one.

Sidenote: After that paragraph/rant I feel slightly like the drill sergeant in Geico’s therapy session commercial (which I daringly will admit I find funny).

Despite the awful opening line, excellent advice is found later, which explains, “The purpose of dating is simple: getting to know someone and letting them get to know you so that you can decide if you’re interested in spending any more time together. Nothing more, nothing less. Put aside the notion that you’re looking for a mate or a one-night stand or someone to please your mom.” I have to agree with this. You know how you can never find your keys when you’re looking for them? The same goes for people. It’s a lot harder to find something you’re looking for than something you’re not looking for. If you have too rigid an idea of your “type”, you will have an extremely tough time finding someone who perfectly fills that mold, and in the process might miss out on getting to know some really awesome people.

Likewise, thinking you know exactly what type of relationship (or lack thereof) you’re looking for might cause you to miss out on something slightly different but just as great. I’m not sure if girls typically make it known what they’re looking for right off the bat, but many guys certainly do. I have a handful of friends who were asked to meet the parents within like two weeks, and just as many who have been told “I’m not looking for anything serious” within the first few texts. This completely makes things awkward and ruins the possibility of unexpectedly finding something/someone fantastic. To illustrate, I met a seemingly great guy at a bar a few months ago. We exchanged numbers, texted constantly, and he asked me to go out the following week. Then a few days beforehand I got a text in Civ Pro that said, “Hey cutie! How’s your morning? I just wanted to let you know I’m only looking for a friend with benefits.” Whoa. I replied, “Aww, you thought I really liked you? Haha you’re funny. Now leave me alone.” Letting girls know exactly what he’s looking for like that is sure to close off the possibility of getting to know someone great (like myself). He also kills the possibility of ending up with a different situation, like maybe just casually dating, and enjoying it way more than he would have expected. Moreover, even if he finds a girl looking for the same thing he is, she’ll still probably feel weird about him making it so clear. If only one party develops feelings and wants something to come of the situation but the other doesn’t, then that’s the time end it. Until that point, just see where things go!

Moving on, the introduction also explains “And then there’s romance, truly the plague of the 21st century. Romance has made expectations completely unrealistic.” Whether or not you hate Valentine’s Day or love it, romance in general really is not the plague. It’s also really not good advice to to liken romance to the plague in a book titled Dating for Dummies. These readers are people who want some kind of romance and want help on how to find it, not have the author burst their bubble with such untrue lines. Nor is the statement even a fair one to make. As the most common phrase in law school goes, “it depends”. If you meet someone who you feel has unrealistic expectations, then move along and meet someone who doesn’t. Everyone has their own idea of the right amount of romance, and everyone has their own ways of showing it. It depends on the person.

The moral of the story is, Dating for Dummies is mediocre. Instead of this book, keep reading my dating articles :)

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