Marital, Family or Individual Therapist serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana

The Dating Game has Changed Quite a Bit in 30 Years
Written By: Mark Smith

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As I shared in my previous columns the marriage counselor is himself recently divorced. When I share this news with people at times they chuckle and ask how in the world that could have happened. Marriage counselors are supposed to be immune from the frailties of the human condition that at times lead to a parting of ways in a marriage. At any rate I am not ashamed of my condition. Things happen for a reason and I have grown a great deal as Iíve tried to wrestle with my particular demons, even on the pages of this weekly column.

Are there any other divorced people out there? So how is the whole dating thing going for you? I would like to share a few of my experiences with being back in the dating game for the first time since the late seventies. I hope to provide some encouragement and hopefully a few laughs as well.

I confess that I am a big believer in on-line dating. When you add the power of the Internet to any process the potentials are unlimited. If I had to rely on meeting women in my normal every day life I would be home just about every Friday and Saturday night. Several things have surprised me about the on-line dating processÖ#1 how easy it is to get dates, #2 how truly smart almost all of the women are, #3 how difficult it is to find the right match and #4 how disposable the relationships are, and #5 how few good kisser are out there.

My first date was going quite well. I was nervous as hell beforehand and I almost didnít go. But once the date was underway I had a great time. We walked hand in hand through Broadripple late into the night sampling exotic dark beers. When I introduced my date to my Beagle pup Paulie they feel in love instantly. When I suggested that Mr. Paulie be escorted out of the room my date insisted that he stay. Uh, I donít want to talk about this anymore. Now when a date arrives at my home Mr. Paulie is immediately banished to his crate.

These women have been smart! Each date has been like a therapy session. They grill me to tears with questions about my situation and usually by the time the salads are being delivered they have proclaimed me emotionally unavailable and not ready for a serious relationship. They all applaud my honesty and openness. They many times have expressed an interest in adopting me. They all pledge to be my friend. But most of them decide that hot photos and clever wit aside, the marriage counselor needs further work on himself before he will be ready for that magical experience of a genuine serious relationship. I should maybe take a year off with no dating and the perhaps a few years later I might be ready. It is all about being in the right and healthy place yourself I am told.

I joined NutriSystem in my efforts to slim down for dating. It worked. I lost 22 pounds and every day I was peppered with praise about how good and skinny I looked. I hired a professional photographer to take some shots that would hopefully make even me look sexy. This photographer worked miracles. There were shots with my dog, my guitar and my motorcycle that made me look young and cool. I figured it was a numbers game but after 30+ dates in about 3 months I am burned out. I canít eat another dinner at a nice restaurant. I have gained half of the weight I lost eating such things as Lobster Carbanara and Paella. I am all small talked out. I need a break.

The wise women of the dating world have taught me that I need to be happy within myself. I need to busy myself with the things that I love doingÖplaying basketball (which I gave up due to being tired due to dating so much), playing my guitar, riding my motorcycle, writing, going out with friends and being with my kiddos. I know that I am living in balance and healthy if I get my bills written on time, my laundry done and my staff paid. Balance is certainly an illusive concept to live.

I have found that you can never tell who is going to be a good kisser. Surprisingly, some of the best looking women left me cold in the kissing department. Some of the least attractive women rocked my cheeks and gums! It was completely unpredictable. Chemistry is a mystery, that is for sure.

I guess my main thoughts heading into my break from dating are theseÖ#1 there are so many possibilities out there and no one should settle for someone who is not right for them, #2 the process takes time and emotional openness and #3 donít make a job out of it. Have some fun just living in the present. It is amazing that men and women are able to find each other and end up married.

If you are single and not dating much I strongly recommend that you sign up for on-line dating. It will easily put you in touch with many delightful eligible singles that you will have a lot in common with. Happy dating! See you next week.

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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