Many of us date with a particular set of criteria in mind, and, rightly so. We don't want to waste our time, his time, or the baby sitter's time (we know we can't really afford that). So we make our list, (he can be bald, but not with a shiny head), we check and re-check our standards with our girlfriends, "I mean, if he's been out of work for seven months but he's LOOKING, it's not his fault, right, I mean, it's a bad economy ... does living with his mother count as dysfunctional since he lost his job? Even if he's forty?"
We prepare ourselves for a less-than-scintillating conversation but maybe a really warm person, or, the opposite, an intellectual swashbuckler with the emotional I.Q. of a small lizard, and we do our hair, grab our credit cards (oh, please, ) our car keys, check that the baby sitter is awake and the kids are not, and walk out in our click-clacking high heels, ready for the interview. Date. Did I say interview?
The problem is, with all the standards, criteria, what-is-and-what-is-not acceptable rushing through our brains like a cold winter storm, we often forget to let go and let goddess. This can make dating seem more like interview after interview, with yourself in the position of recruiter rather than potential love interest. Yet no one is to blame! Once you pass your first few failed relationships there is a certain formulaic approach to dating; you're no longer making eyes at your true love across a crowded geometry class, feeling the pull of his gaze on the lunch line. Nor are you avoiding that water cooler flirting at your third job out of college, wondering how cute he'd look with your scrambled eggs in his fork the morning after. No, no, now you are older, wiser, through with spontaneous emotion and subsequent combustion. You use the word "partner" more and more as if you are part of some kind of practice; the firm of you, yourself, and your responsibilities. Does he want in? Good, let's check the resume.
While self protection is every woman's source of power and intelligence, it can also make for a terrible romance. We can't just throw caution to the wind and jump on the back of some dentist's motorcycle ...