Thursday, October 20, 2011
Kindness and Modern Dating
One thing that seems fairly lacking amongst us modern daters is basic kindness towards each other. A single mistake can be used to dismiss you from consideration. A small flaw or weakness can easily become a sign that you are, probably, an unworthy screw up. Many of us are addicted to a certain kind of perfection, and won't "settle" for anyone who seems to fall short.
At the same time, you might also not be willing to accept yourself as you are. It may be you who is rejecting you first, thinking your not good enough for whomever it is you are writing to online, or meeting at some event or in some public place.
Both of these issues are tied together by a thread of unkindness. We don't want to fully embrace who we are, and so we walk around feeling unworthy. And/or we don't want to fully embrace who someone else is that we're considering dating, so we choose to dismiss them for something that is most likely insignificant in the long run.
I'm kind of convinced that people struggle with kindness because they've been burned a lot. Or they worry that they'll become doormats, and let someone enter their lives and do whatever they please.
The thing is, that's not what kindness is about. However, I do think people that are kind tend to also have their guard down more, and are more open to what life is bringing them.
Here is a small list of expressions of kindness applied to online dating situations.
1. Writing someone back who clearly took the time to read your profile and ask you questions. Even writing back to say "Thank you. I don't think we'd be a good match. Best of luck to you."
2. Coming up with a meeting place for the first date that is inexpensive, comfortable, and centrally located for both people.
3. Engaging friendly conversation with someone. Even if you decide you're not interested in seeing the person again, you're not mentally preparing to leave 5 minutes into the date.
4. Hold the door open. Clear the table if your at a self-service kind of place.
5. Really listen to what the other person is saying.
6. Share about yourself in a respectful manner, which means straddling the line between being open and dumping your "stuff" on the other.
7. Pay attention so that you actually can make a decision about someone based on something real, instead of something imagined or a knee-jerk reaction.
Those are a few examples from my own experience. How about you? What would you add to the list? What do you think about kindness and modern dating in general?