Friday, August 14, 2009

Missing out

One thing I see people all the time is decide arbitrary dating limitations on themselves.

"I could never," mister/mrs hypothetical declaims, "date someone who was not a gamer/atheist/christian/sports fan/ feminist/ conservative/ dancer", or of course

"I could never date someone who WAS a conservative/gamer/atheist/christian/dancer"

Now these examples are picked out of a hat, and are of varying importance to any particular person. If something about a person is truly going to cause you large enough woes that you do not believe you can ever conduct a relationship with them, then fair enough, but, in general, I believe people are more complex than that. We all probably have a list of traits we'd like an ideal partner to have, and there are probably a few people of the world who meet all these. But there are several issues here:

1.There are a lot of people who will meet almost all of the criteria you can think of, who you are excluding for one reason. This is sad, because you may well be very happy with these people.

2.You are probably AWFUL at working out your dating criteria.

If you make a list of things you would want in a partner, and stick to it, you are restricting yourself from finding people who might surprise you, who might match you in ways you had never expected, who might open your mind to possibilities you assumed you could never be interested in. People are fascinating, wonderful creatures, and judging them by one aspect of their personality is usually a bad idea.

My wife is neither a gamer, an atheist, nor a mathematician, three criteria I could naively set myself for a "perfect" partner. Yet we meet on many other, more important levels, and where we do differ, we are able to find unexpected common ground that we would not have noticed if we had not have looked. She can share parts of life with me I had no appreciation of before meeting her, and I can share certain parts of my life with her. And also bore her to tears by explaining mathematics, but that's another story...

My point in life is that things are rarely simple as a binary set of criteria you require someone to fulfil, and if you open yourself to more possibilities, you may well find yourself surprised.

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