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Dating is not a numbers game

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  November 19, 2013 10:30 AM

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Before I tried online dating, a friend of a friend tried to convince me to give it a go by claiming it'd allow me to have a date with a different guy every night of the week, pointing to the sheer volume of men signed up in the Greater Boston area as proof that the Internet is some candy store in which women can window shop. When I pointed out that someone could do that without the help of or its equivalent, she scoffed at me and asked how, and where they'd meet the guys to begin with. (If you missed it, I already answered the question here.)

The real question, though, is why? Why would someone want to go out with a different person every night of the week? Frankly, it's exhausting—I know, because I've done it before, back when I was a wee person in my early 20s—and it skirts the other, more important questions of "What" and "Who"? As in: what are you looking for? Something serious, something casual? Who do you want to meet? Who makes you feel happy?

A relationship, whether it's romantic or platonic, is not a numbers game. You don't "win" by going out with the most people, or having the largest quantity of Facebook "friends." Sure, if you're hoping to eventually land a boyfriend or find a new yoga buddy, you'll need to put yourself out there, and often, because not everything works out in the end, unfortunately, but that's how it's always been. (I've also heard the argument that a person—cough, I—should create some sort of self-imposed challenge/prison by accepting every single offer to go on a date for the next 30 days, regardless of who asks. To which I have two answers: uh, no.) Accepting dates from men (or women) you're not even remotely interested in for the sake of filling up your social calendar is a waste of time—yours and theirs.

What does matter, as you might have guessed, is quality. Do you have fun with your potential mate? Does he (or she) make you laugh? Can you be yourself around them? One of the byproducts of being a bit older and, perhaps, wiser, is that I've learned to seek value in my connections. Whirlwind romances are great, but what's left at the end of the day? If it's just hot air, I'll pass, thanks. Likewise, I can count on one hand (and maybe a few fingers on the other) the number of people I consider to be my closest confidantes—just don't call us "besties," please.

Readers, what do you think? Do you prefer to date (and friend) up a storm? Or do you enjoy keeping selective company? If it's the latter, has anyone accused you of being too picky? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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