We sometimes look for qualities in searching for the “right person” to have a “meaningful” relationship with. If all the person has is one or two minute qualities, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to find the rest of them all too agreeable, as I found out through a little experience…

Adventures in Short Term Relationships
After a few months of this so called casual dating, that is to say going out on a date with one person on one night and another person on another night, I have come to realize that I am extraordinarily picky when it comes to this whole dating thing. How picky can one person be? I mean, this is just dating – it’s not like I’m going to be marrying the people I’m going out with? Ah, but that’s where the problem lies. 

In my mind, no matter how insignificant or small the date may be, there is always the chance in my mind that things may go in a certain direction with the person that I am with, and then what? I don’t want to just be with someone because they want to be with me. I’ve found out that this is a terrible way of going about doing things, at least for me, because then I just find myself saying yes to any meshuganah that can find my telephone. 

You don’t want yourself saying yes to just anyone – you’re denying yourself any power of choice, and generally are treating yourself like you are so low that any indication of attraction from a person will get you on the train to happiness, at least for a day or two. You don’t realize that you’re on the this-person-is-not-right-for-me train until after you have already pulled out of the station and the emergency brake refuses to budge.

Don’t look for just one quality
Let’s say that you find blonde people to be particularly not that attractive, and you only find yourself attracted to people who have dark red hair, wear oval shaped glasses, and who wear sweater type vests on a regular basis. 

Does that mean that a person who fits all of these superficial qualities will necessarily be a good match for you? Not at all. I think that the description “superficial” before “qualities” should be somewhat of a hint of this. 

Okay, so the person looks like what you ideally might find yourself attracted to… now, at least. Next week you might realize that dark red hair is really a turn off, and you actually find purple hair in pig tails to be titillating. It doesn’t even have to necessarily be a minute physical characteristic that you find yourself obsessed with. For the longest time I thought that surely if someone I was interested in enjoyed the music of a certain Vermont rock quartet, it would necessarily mean that we would have a good relationship. Maybe you think that the only way you can get along with someone is if they are just as obsessed with Swedish cinema as you are. I’m afraid to say that this just isn’t enough.

Superficial physical qualities?
Nothing is wrong with superficial physical qualities per se – it just isn’t the best way to find yourself in a meaningful relationship. For example, I was interested in this one woman a month ago. She was short, petite, wore glasses, and loved New York City just as much as I did. I thought that surely something would work out of that. 

Did it? 

Alas, nothing worked out from that. 

We went to a museum but ended up rushing past the bulk of the exhibits without spending any time looking at anything. We ate dinner together, and she continually pointed out celebrities or people that looked like celebrities. At some point she mentioned that she wanted to marry someone that was rich, famous, or perhaps a combination of the two. It was right around then that I started to think that things were not going to work out – after all, I write. The field is not known to induce great wealth outside of an extremely tiny fraction of those involved in it. Sometimes that wealth even comes posthumously, and you can’t exactly marry a dead person. 

Further misadventures: I thought for sure that if I dated a nice Jewish woman, things would somehow work out. I’ve somehow never managed to find myself in serious relationships with women of my own faith, for some unfortunate reason. A little more than a week ago, after some flirting from both sides, I started dating a person who seemed to be quite nice. She was Jewish too, which I thought would surely help things along somehow. 

Just last night, it came to a screeching halt – I suggested that perhaps we would get along better as friends. It just wasn’t going to work out, or so I thought. Again, I wasn’t looking at the person as a whole – I just thought that hey, she’s Jewish, that’s what I’m looking for… bad idea.

Some advice from someone who knows not a bit about dating: Go not just for that thing you are fascinated with, be it a streak of white hair in a field of dark black, or six foot two lanky Romanian American Jewish types. Go on multiple dates, yes, with the very same person before determining that you want to get into a potentially serious relationship with them. Find out what interests them, what they care about, etc. Remember: it doesn’t count as a serious relationship if it lasts less than a week. Get to know a person before you start going out, and you’ll find yourself in fewer of those “non-counting” relationships. Maybe we can get the divorce rate down too, that way.