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On Re-Evaluating Dating and Relationships

My sweetie rain_herself has just posted what I think is an awesome essay on the nature of dating and the implications of a conventional model of dating in an unconventional relationship world. Here's a teaser:

In our generally monogamous culture, standard dating is viewed as a series of auditions. If you pass the first, then you get a second date. If you pass that one, you get a third date (and possibly sex, if we really want to go with the cliched model). Eventually you pass enough auditions to have a relationship, and if that goes well, you get married and win the game. Most of the poly people I know, myself included, started out being inundated with the standard model, and eventually became poly later. We learned to let go of the idea that there is One Magical Person for everyone, and the purpose of dating is to find them. But the feelings of being evaluated and passing or failing and internalizing what that means seemed to hang around.

Go read the rest. It's good stuff.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 21st, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
It's fantastic. Unfortunately I can't comment without registering, and I have far too many sites I have to keep track of now. Tell her it's awesome :)
Feb. 21st, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It's on LJ too, but my LJ is friends-locked, so I had him link to the public blog. ;) Someday I need to figure out a compromise that works for me in that arena!

Edit: hey, I can fix it so you don't have to register! That works. :)

Edited at 2009-02-21 04:48 pm (UTC)
Feb. 21st, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
Thankyou for the link and may I second make_your_move, please tell her its awesome!
Feb. 21st, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) I fixed the comment thing.
Feb. 21st, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
I third the motion.
As I read it, I heard echoes of what I tell myself about trying to make new friends at this advanced age - people's lives are full, and if they can't rearrange their life enough to find room and energy to add me into the mix, it's not a reflection on my worthiness.
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
I'll go read the whole post once I've gotten some stuff done around the house (getting to that...really!) But I did want to say that even as a poly person, I still see dating as "auditions" in a sense. If the first date goes well, there will be a second. Things like having sex or having a relationship do depend on how well the initial dates go. The only difference is that I can audition for multiple roles, and that the end goal isn't marriage.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
That's kinda how I see it too. There isn't a "leading man" role, and there isn't a "til death do we part" role. In fact, there aren't any prescripted roles at all. But it is an audition process to see *how* someone fits in my life. And I don't see that as being a bad thing, nor do I see any role cast as other than Leading Man as a "failure", that's simply the role he's best suited for and vice versa.

Since I also see things like auditions and job interviews as being a two-way audition, it's not about someone else failing to live up to my expectations alone, it's how we mutually fit into each other's lives and he's auditioning me as much as I'm auditioning him. But, in order to make it to the first "audition" or date, he has to view the process the same way I do too - which is as you've said, checking each other out, see if it goes well enough for a second date, then onto whatever role fits best.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
There isn't a "leading man" role

That cracked me up. :-)

I also see things like auditions and job interviews as being a two-way audition

Yes, exactly. I am "auditioning" someone on a date, but I fully expect that they are doing the same with me.
Jan. 23rd, 2011 09:50 am (UTC)
the link, she borken!
Please can you rescue the essay from linklivion? Even the search engine only finds this page.
May. 28th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: the link, she borken!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )