Staying in the game on July 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Is it a good idea to date people who you don’t really like just to keep yourself socially involved and “out there”? My truest love so far broke my heart about six months ago, but I try to date most guys who ask me out even though I don’t feel particularly interested in them. I’m afraid if I stop dating I will feel worse. On the other hand, sometimes it’s really difficult to muster even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for any of the guys I meet. None of them lives up to the legacy of Mr. Right. What do you suggest?
See “Flirtation Continuum,” below.
It is a good idea:
– to date just to keep yourself socially involved and out there.
– to accept at least one invitation, no matter what — you never know.
– NOT to fall — as you have not — for the next guy (or series thereof) who comes along, just because he’s there.
It is not a good idea:
– to keep someone you don’t like On Call for the singular purpose of keeping yourself Out There.
– to actively compare Mr. Date or Two to Mr. Right. Though it is a natural, human impulse. And, to the degree that you honestly learn from relationship R-1 what you do and don’t want out of relationship R, it can eventually become a somewhat informative enterprise. But right now? Uh-uh.
So: Go out when you feel like it, stay in when you don’t. Dating helps, but it is not The Answer. To anything but the question, “What is a mixed bag of experiences that offers a mixed bag of feelings?”