In the past, I’ve had a semi-hidden hatred of meeting new men, talking to them/striking up a rapport and agreeing to go out with them for an unknown amount of time. I mean – WHO is this man? How do I know I won’t end up on a milk carton? Dramatic I know but – if you’ve seen For Colored Girls you’d know why I treat Stranger Dangers the way I do.
Traditionally I’ve just preferred to date men I’ve known for years. Why? A background is established and you have friends in common (usually). Friends to vouch are a 1 up on anyone else around in my book. It gives a sense of security to have 5 years of watching them slut around/ get serious with girls (either/or/both depending on the year). You get a preview of them in social settings, with friends and how they treat women, family and strangers. You get a familiarity with their temperament as well. I’ve always felt it was a good ground to start dating on – A lot of guesswork is taken out of trying to ‘read someone’s signals’ if you already know the code.
All that being said –this practice of dating acquaintances has shown its good and bad sides. The upsides are there, but the downside is – the practice itself is severely limiting. People running in the same circles have the habit of being eerily reminiscent of each other- and to be honest – at its worst it can be like dating the same person on repeat. =/
Recently I’ve opened myself up to even agreeing to go out with the ‘new people’. Very scary to a person like me, please believe. But at its core, the point of dating is to see what you are drawn to, what and who works for you – and who doesn’t. Not saying I’ve been accepting invitations from anyone I’ve come across; I feel Im now less likely to give flat out No’s than before- which was pretty much my custom, even if I sensed chemistry.
So as far as new experiences go- To my surprise- It’s actually been a positive. Getting to know new people is … well… New. There are ups, downs, lefts, rights, U-TURNS and DEAD ENDS (O_O)but I’d have to say – building a bridge over the fear of the unknown has been kind of exhilarating, a little freeing and completely different from my pre-25 dating experience.
I could ramble about the pluses and minuses of the new guys – but I think it’s all up to personal compatibility and willingness to explore the new. Calling it how you see it isn’t as easy as it appears when you don’t know what you’re seeing exactly –although I’ve crossed the threshold of a quarter of a century- I feel I am still a novice. Don’t look for dating advice from me ANYTIME in the future- I can only give accounts of my experiences at this point lol. (I wouldn’t take advice from anyone my age anyway- Blind leading the Blind #Nshit!)
The most important lesson I’ve had is this: Dating someone you haven’t figured out = the thrill of the unknown. I liken it to watching a new movie versus watching a movie you’ve seen umpteen times. It takes time to learn that new may perhaps mean you don’t like it, but sometimes you walk out of that theater feeling very pleasantly surprised. And after years of dating yourself into a circle with the usual suspects, surprises are a like a breath of rarified air.