If you read my post on Deal Breakers, then you know I have a long list of qualities that immediately disqualify someone from dating me. (Some might also call them excuses.) But if you thought my list was long, obscure, and picky, then you should meet my friends. My friends have ridiculous expectations for the next person I get serious with. When you’ve been single for as long as I have been and made as many dating mistakes as I have, your friends get a little bit (by which I mean a lottle bit) overprotective. At this point, they are metaphorically sitting on my couch polishing the rifle they don’t own, while staring down my date when she picks me up and muttering, “Have him home by 10—and if you hurt him, we’ll hurt you!”
When I dare mention that I have a date or went on a date my friends immediately begin with questions.
- “Where did you meet?”
- “What does she do?”
- “Do I know her?”
- “Do you have mutual friends?”
- “What is she like?”
- “Does she like your puns?”
- “Are you going to see her again?”
- “Where are you taking her/Where did you go on your first date?”
- “When is the 2nd date?”
- “Where does she live?”
- “What is she looking for?”
- “What does she look like?”
- “Why did her last relationship end?”
- “Does she like dogs? Has Hazel met her? Does Hazel like her?”
- “When do we get to meet her?”
- “Does she like Star Wars?”
- “Does she know you have a dating blog?”
- “Do you like her?”
- “What do you like about her?”
- “What’s her mother’s maiden name?”
- “Does she believe in ghosts?”
- “Who did she vote for?”
And it is at this point that I realize why I’m single—it’s my friends! My friends are totally blocking my dating success with their intense questioning. (okay—maybe that’s not all true) But I do realize that I would fail if this was a pop quiz. I usually turn bright red and get very sweaty, to which my friends then start teasing me about, “You’re turning red! You must really like her!” Orrrrr, you are stressing me out!
I once made the great mistake of inviting a date (who I happened to really like) to join me at a work related event. When I invited her I was thinking it would be a good excuse to see her on a busy weekend in which I would likely not see her otherwise. What I didn’t consider is that there would be a lot (A LOT) of people that I knew and a lot of friends and acquaintances in attendance who are not accustomed to seeing me with any sort of date. This would surely mean a lot of curiosity on their part and also no chance at sliding the presence of a date past them. Prior to the night I warned my date that I would likely be a terrible excuse for a date and busy helping to run the event. I checked and re-checked that she was okay with this. (Not so secretly, I thought this was a good test. If she could survive this event, she might be able to deal with the other woman in my life, my job.)
My friends swarmed her and shortly after I had to leave her to attend to something. I looked back realizing I had left her in shark infested waters without a protective barrier. As I glanced back once more before turning the corner I swear I saw the lights fade to black except for one bright lamp targeted at my date. And was that a cigarette being lit by my now fedora and suspender clad friends? Oh my, they were interrogating her! Throughout the night when I was trying to do my job and schmooze people would ask about my date, where was she, how did we meet, how long had we been dating, could they meet her, etc. My date and I were becoming a popular exhibit–more popular than the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum (Fun Fact: my dating life has basically been just as extinct as the dinosaurs).
Post interrogation, at a later time when I am alone with my friends, they give me their breakdown. Included are the pros and cons they uncovered during their investigative work. They ask me follow up questions to help fuel or ease their concerns. I have to be careful how I answer because during this part of their detailed assessment they can sense any hesitation—“Why did you hesitate? Are you having reservations? Listen to your instincts!” If I am too excited they get excited too; “I’ve never seen you this giddy! You must really like her! I’m so happy for you and ______.” Then I feel a weird pressure to not mess it up because then they’ll scold me for running from my feelings.
I know it’s with good intent and I appreciate that my friends want the best for me. It also is apparent that my friends do not trust me left to my own devices to find a partner. Which, I can’t really blame them for considering my past attempts. At this point, my dating screening process might be more thorough than the application process for the FBI or CIA. Pretty soon my friends will be requiring references, a cover letter, and a background check for all could-be-dates before I can even go on a first date. If interested, please apply here.
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