7 Dec

DIATUS (dye-ey-tuhs) noun: Also known as a “dating-hiatus.”  A temporary break from one’s dating or love life.

   Recently I have come to the conclusion that the dating system is flawed.  At least for those who swim in the post-grad pool. 

   Here’s how it used to work: You have classes with someone,  run in the same circles, or have some other organic social connection that provides ample interaction and the ability to get to know and befriend that person first; and out of that pre-established compatibility develops romance.

   More often than not, the people we end up dating and having the best relationships with were already acquaintances of ours, if not good friends.  While in school, one is constantly interacting and forming bonds with his or her peers.  Thus laying fertile grounds for one of those bonds or friendships to give way to romance if there is also physical attraction. 

   That’s always how it was.  Friends first, and dating came second.  And as we all know, physical attraction isn’t rocket science (it’s either there or it’s not).  Therefore if you already have the foundation of foundation and compatibility, building upwards toward a romantic relationship is a piece of cake.  All the difficult structural work has been done for you.

   Now, the above being true is what leads me to my current dilemma.  Post-grad…as in real life.  No longer are we afforded the luxury of the insta-social network of peers that we once had.  Aside from the random “meet cute” you might see in a movie starring Jennifer Lopez or a John Hughes film, you generally only meet new people one of three ways: At Work, At a Bar, or Through a Friend.

At Work: Meeting someone at work has its pros and cons.  Par for the course dating someone you work with is generally frowned upon.  And if it ends badly, can really make for a difficult situation.  The positives are that you get to know someone outside of the context of dating and thus get the benefits of that natural flow from friend to love-interest.

At a Bar: This one is problematic for many reasons.  First, people tend to put on their “game faces” or a general front since they know they are not likely to see you again.  This lack of accountability leads to excessively forward and superficial behavior; not conducive to getting to know someone. *Second, when dealing with perfect strangers, a date invite is forcing the romance based relationship without having established even the basics of compatibility.* 

Through a Friend: This is definitely the best way to go.  You can get the “scoop” on the person ahead of time, they come with references, and hopefully you and your friend can arrange a few casual interactions (like a party or group outing) so that you can get to know the person before stepping into the dating arena with them.  If not however, you run into the same problem as above.

   I starred the above because this right here is what I’m taking issue with: The inverse chronological progression from physical attraction to only later evaluating amity.  It makes no sense to proceed in that order, but it is sadly our only means of getting to know someone when routine interaction is lacking.

   In conclusion, we have now come full circle.  I am officially on a diatus.  No more dates.  Just hangin out, keeping things casual, and seeing where that takes me.  I don’t want to deal with anymore awkward first dates full of people being all nervous, drinking too much to compensate, followed by the meaningless hook-up and nowhere to go from there.  That’s just a bad system, and I am withdrawing from it. Going to hang out and get to know people on a just friends basis and from there decide if there is potential for it to be more.  I’ll keep you posted on how my little experiment goes.

3 Responses to “Diatus”

  1. stacey February 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    I totally thought I made up this word, but when it didn’t come up as a misspelling, I Googled it and came across this post. I LOVE THIS POST. You are so right. The dating system is completely flawed, it’s a mess, and I love that you’ve already explained it so eloquently. *fistpump*

    • J.D. St. Michaels February 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      Right back atcha Stacey. Glad to be of service. I’m always makin up words and phrases so stay tuned!

  2. J.D. St. Michaels December 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    So far, I’ve learned that the concept of turning back the clock and going back to just-friends is fairly impossible for some people to grasp.

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