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Dating Update: On the Third Day We Rested
Friday, 2005 August 19 - 12:00 am
Or, another page from the Dating Handbook.

If the WHB had been available tonight, there's a good chance we'd have gone out together again, because I'm easy like that. But she wasn't available, so I spent a quiet night at home.

Actually, in a way it's a good thing we weren't able to see each other tonight. Let me explain that. It's not that I don't want to spend more time with her, because I definitely do. I'm just concerned about "dating flameout", the phenomenon that happens when the first few days and weeks are an EXPLOSION of good times. If you spend every spare minute with someone for weeks, then it seems like a let-down when that initial giddiness fades. What follows is a difficult phase of readjustment as you both try to get used to the more subdued pace. Many relationships don't survive that phase. This phenomenon has happened to me on more than one occasion, so now I'm trying to be more careful to do things the right way.

On that same theme, I have a couple of other rules I'm trying to follow: (A) no drama, and (B) no sabotage. Let me explain those too.

"No drama" means that I can't let my brain invent a crisis that doesn't exist. She doesn't email or call for a couple of days? Meh. She's probably just busy. Some guy calls her on her cell phone while we're out on a date? I'm sure it's just a friend. "No drama" means no jealousy, no accusations, no deadlines, no ultimatums. I think most of the stress of dating comes from that kind of invented drama.

"No sabotage" is a trickier one. What tends to happen, early in a relationship, is that I get anxieties about my own peculiarities and faults. "What if she doesn't like my taste in music? What if she hates the fact that I'm a pack rat? What if she's embarrassed that I suck at golf?" And while anxieties like that are normal, it becomes destructive if I decide to sabotage the relationship before these revelations surface and are able to hurt me. There's a nasty little voice in my head that says, "Surely she's going to dump me once she finds out about that pooping incident. I might as well just end it now." I have to be able to ignore that voice. I can't control what she does or doesn't like, or how she reacts to things that she discovers about me. All I can control is the way I feel about her.

This blog, I think, is going to be terribly helpful to me. It lets me step back and look at this relationship from a somewhat more detached perspective, as if I were my own therapist. Hopefully I'm giving myself some good advice.
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Posted by Ken in: datinglife

Comments

Comment #1 from Phil (Guest)
2005 Aug 21 - 11:06 pm : #
So long as drama avoidance doesn't turn into sabotage-via-neglect (or sabotage-via-sublimation-of-feelings), all is well. Right? Or did I just say too much ;-)

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