Maybe I should clarify what I mean by 'dating':
"It's really hard to tell if someone is "the one" until you spend a lot of time with them, and until then, I would not commit to exclusivity."
This I agree with. I just don't buy into the notion that spending time alone with a man enables me to get to know him better than spending time with him in a more normal group setting. IMHO dating itself is a level of exclusivity that I reserve for my fiance or husband. I prefer to spend a lot of time with a lot of different men as a natural part of real life. That IMHO is a good way to get to really know what the men are like.
I DO meet lots of men already in my life, men who are interested in me, so I don't really see the need to employ artificial or somewhat desperate tactics such as I see others using to try to meet somebody. I guess I just never saw the point of that - it seems so artificial IMHO. I prefer to just meet people through my normal lifestyle and activities.
And I don't see any point in spending one-on-one time with a man if I don't desire anything long-term with him. There are plenty of opportunites to get to know somebody in group settings and through normal activities. In fact because 'dating' in the typical sense is so artificial, IMHO it probably prevents getting to really know the other person better. I prefer to see how men behave in their real life than their faky dating behavior. You can get to know somebody's friends, family, coworkers, etc. a lot better when you spend time with them around those people instead of on a one-on-one date with them. I want to see what they're really like, the way they normally behave around people who know them well.
I don't want to spend romantic, dating-type time alone with a variety of men... only with my husband or a man I'm engaged to. If a man doesn't like me when he sees me in my real life, around my family and friends, enough to want to marry me, then I'm not interested in him anyway.
I did go on a few dates before I was married and IMHO it's highly overrated and made me feel sort of uncomfortable. Again, this is probably partly because dating behavior is often not natural behavior - you're only seeing your date in a brief and artificially positive way.
IMHO dating is part of the reason why there are so many divorces. It sets up unrealistic expectations that can't possibly be maintained once the honeymoon is over. I have no desire to sample the flirting and seduction techniques of a wide variety of males LOL. I'm actually not even interested in men who want to date a wide variety of women. What would interest me is a man who is busy being himself: growing, learning, giving, volunteering, working, and who has not spent a lot of time dating women he had no intention of building a committed future with.
It's not that I am opposed to romance, dating, honeymooning once a committment is made. I guess the list of things I reserve for my future husband is just longer than others'?
BTW, I realize this may sound foreign to many who have accepted the dating leads to going steady, which leads to engagement, which leads to marriage... assumption. I understrand that many people simply assume their is no other way to meet somebody and get to knwo them well enough to marry them. But among my friends and acquaintances this concept of getting to know people in normal group seetings, and then courting versus dating, is not some strange, misunderstood concept. Many people I know completely understand it is not only possible but preferable to avoid the whole dating before engagement scene.
I'm not saying this to offend anyone else or to try to impose my beliefs on others. It's just what I choose for myself.
BTW, I've had no problem meeting and getting to know plenty of men in group settings. I've even gotten to know several of them well enough for them to express a desire to get married. I didn't have to spend time alone with them for that to happen LOL.
Last edited by meremortal; 01/02/08 08:51 PM.