To Date or Not to Date

It was a friendly debate. Should you go out on a date with someone if there is no initial spark of attraction?

On the one hand, if you’re not attracted to someone, why spend the time getting to know him or her if you’re sure it’s not going to become more than a friendship?

On the other hand, how do you know if someone has an attractive personality if you don’t take the time to find out? Or, another side of this argument may be, why not date just for fun?

As a person who has been out of the dating game for over a decade, my views may be a little old fashioned. And wishy washy. After all, my answer would be, “it depends.”

First of all, it depends whether you are male or female. A male’s initial attraction to someone is probably 95 percent physical. It may be the color of her hair, her smile, her eyes, and oh, yes, definitely her body. Although it will be shaped by his culture, what he finds attractive in the opposite sex will be highly individualized.

On behalf of the many women who do not reflect American society’s ideal of the airbrushed supermodel, I think men should at least talk to and get to know someone before they decide if she is dateable material. This both eliminates the whitewashed tombs- pretty on the outside and deadly on the inside- and gives others the chance to let their true beauty shine through.

Women, however, tend to take in the whole picture. While observing his hair, face, and body, they are noting the level of respect in his eyes and his voice. They are processing his anecdotes to determine if he’s self-centered or soft-hearted. They are also monitoring their own feelings and deciding whether he gives her that indescribable feeling of “like.”

Therefore, I think women are better equipped to decide upon an initial meeting if someone would be a compatible date. Although physical attraction cannot be left out of the equation when choosing whom you should date, it definitely should not be the sole deciding factor. You can never judge a book by its cover.

I do not think dating should be purely recreational either. When you ask someone out, or agree to go out on a date with him or her, it should represent an agreement of “I like you enough to see if our relationship could be more than a friendship.” Again, it may be old-fashioned, but dating should be a way to find out if the other person is potential marriageable material. When that’s not the case and expectations aren’t clear, someone is bound to be hurt. Why date someone you can’t see yourself with down the road?

So, I have to take a middle of the road response to the debate. You should date someone you are attracted to, but be slow to write someone off as a potential “more-than-a-friend.” As always, honesty, especially with yourself, is always the best policy.

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