Reflection.

Number One Dating Rule: Don’t Follow Idiotic Dating Rules

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I find dating rules exceptionally dumb. I had forgotten about this until recently, when I met someone who I quite like and was faced with random, unsolicited judgments from all corners of my life about how to act and not act. I told a friend I would like her to meet him and she shot me a look that implied I was drinking incredibly warped Kool-Aid. Let it be known, my idea was totally off-hand and informal, a drink one night, perhaps, not some vision of an interrogation over dinner.

I was taken aback. Wouldn’t you want to know your friend’s opinion of someone you were starting to spend a lot of time with? It’s not exactly getting matching tattoos, but from her facial expression you might think that’s what I’d proposed.

Meanwhile, I have friends who have been dating people for months who I have yet to meet, namely because the other person feels uncomfortable, which in my book is much, much weirder. It turns me into a kind of poor man’s Sherlock Holmes, wondering what this mysterious male or female figure is hiding? How can you date someone and consider yourself well acquainted if you’ve never met each other’s other special someones? In terms of sense, that makes zero. Who someone surrounds themselves with is a great indication of their own character—I would never want to settle on someone for the longer term without knowing who else they valued.

I think it’s pretty easy to tell when a situation is super casual and when something has the potential to be more. Potential is the key word here, as it should clarify that you’re not exactly running to the wedding registry or phoning your parents. Yet people are so afraid to assert that they see that potential, as if simply acknowledging it transforms you into some sort of batshit, love-hungry human who falls too fast. We are constantly letting this fear of seeming too into anything turn us into these over-anxious, over-analytical humans.

Why can’t an introduction between a more-than-friend and a platonic friend be simply an introduction? Why does it have to be loaded with other implications? The reality is that, in my particular case at least, it’s pretty straightforward: I like you guys, and I’d like for you to meet. Nothing more, nothing less.

When the roles have been reversed and someone wants me to meet their friends, I find it flattering, but not exactly a sign that the guy is ready to lock shit down ‘til death do us part. So why is it that when girls make similar moves, they’re often written off as needy or desperate? It’s all, “How dare you let on that you have a thing for someone? That is not a tough cookie, independent woman move.”

Well, I’m sorry, but that is a ridiculous narrative that I’m sick of caving to. If I like you, I want you to meet my friends, and I can only hope the feeling is mutual. If it’s not, we probably have little to nothing in common and shouldn’t date anyways. In the words of one nineties-era Jennifer Lopez: IT’S NOT THAT SERIOUS.

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