I get a lot of unsolicited advice about how to improve my dating game.
Unfortunately, most of it comes from people whose opinions I don’t really trust – and you can hardly blame me for saying that since their best tip always seems to be, “Just be yourself.” As though I – the person who once stopped a date mid-sentence to ask his opinion about a bookshelf that someone just hauled to the curb – is someone who has a problem with authenticity.
But that’s the sort of generic feedback I get: “Keep things positive!” and “Don’t mention exes!” The sufficiently vague, “Just be open to it,” and my personal favorite, “Don’t try too hard.”
All good advice, I suppose, though I can’t help but think it lacks specificity. Someone should try telling me, “You should never discuss mousetraps over dinner,” or “Don’t fall asleep at the movies again.” Perhaps, “Really concentrate as you approach the revolving door,” or the always applicable, “When in doubt, DON’T.” Now that’s advice I could use.
In any case, this very topic came up while I was out this past weekend with a man who’s just getting back into the dating scene. I realize I’m in no position to offer dating advice, but I gave him my best tip anyway:
I’m serious. That’s my motto and adopting it has been the best thing I ever did. Let’s see it action…
…Imagine you show up for what seems like a promising first date only find that the other person has a rabid dislike of the homeless and thinks race relations is an issue that we as a society discuss too frequently. If you’re following my advice – don’t give a fuck about him. Say your piece, hail a cab and then ignore his apology texts the next day. He’s not your problem to fix.
…When someone decides that he doesn’t want to continue dating you because you once mentioned a desire to live abroad – don’t give a fuck about explaining your hypothetical plans to him. He obviously can’t handle anyone capable of an independent thought and would much prefer someone who’s good at sitting still. Take it all in stride and when he’s looking for someone to accompany him to a wedding a few months later, tell him you’re in Peru.
…And when you get the sinking feeling that the cute barista you wrote about several weeks ago read your post and thus acted all sorts of strange the next time you visited his coffee shop – don’t give a fuck about being embarrassed. It’s not like he didn’t know you thought he was cute the second you hit yourself in the face with a straw anyway.
Seriously, it’s all very simple. Whenever you find yourself stressing out about dating, just don’t give a fuck. Don’t give a fuck if he doesn’t call back. Or if he stands you up. Or if he’s rude, or boring or crazy. Give no fucks.
Here’s the catch: there are some people worth caring about. But they’re few and far between. And the beauty of dating is that when you do happen upon a good one, they won’t be doing anything that you continuously need to shrug off. Only give a fuck about them. No one else.
After years and years of being single, that’s the best I got.
Well, with all due respect, I don’t give a fuck.
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