Monday, April 28, 2008

Tips for Single People (Who Don't Want To Be Single)

I have been single a few times in my life; but, it wasn't until the last time I was single in the late-1990s that I began to notice my decision-making process when looking to meet someone.

I suffer some of the standard hurdles, prejudices and preferences when looking for a mate: a classic beauty or a Hollywood beauty is going to catch my eye before someone with less comely, more homely, or simply 'interesting' looks. A well-dressed, well-groomed person is going to catch my eye before a more slovenly or less-hygienic person. A man of color is going to catch my eye before a woman of color; and a woman of Northern European heritage is going to catch my eye quicker than a man of similar heritage. These are my prejudices and preferences.

I have pretty broad taste in people, and what I find attractive in people. Women, men, tall, short, dark, light; I have a pretty open-mind, irrespective of the above-mentioned preferences that come into play.

When it comes down to brass tacks, of course, it's never really the looks that make me interested in a person -- it's the whole package.

In the late 1990s, when I was dating around again, I noticed two dynamics that I created into theories that I believe hold water in a test. At that time in my life I was dating women; but I realize now (a decade later) that these notions are valid across the lines of sex, gender, and/or sexual-preference.

Dynamic/Notion/Theory #1: Single men looking for a partner are less likely to approach a woman if she is wearing rings.

Yes, of course I know that not every ring signifies partnership with another; but partnership with another is very often signified by the wearing of a ring. I know this because I wear a wedding band on the ring finger of my left hand and everyone knows that means I am married.

The only women who would hit on me today are women who sleep with married men (which is a joke I told a group of buddies while smoking cigars at my wedding reception, only to discover that my new mother-in-law was standing behind me -- not funny).

But, I digress.

I know that people purchase rings themselves and that rings are often gifts from family members, especially estate pieces that have been handed-down through the generations. Rings are jewelry, and jewelry has been part of the human costume for millenia. People wear rings.

While prowling social events, bars, cafes, libraries and museums looking to meet women in the late 1990s, I saved myself a lot of time by simply ignoring every woman wearing rings. Why? Because I couldn't be bothered trying to determine if the ring was on the right hand or the left hand, if the ring was on the ring finger of whichever hand, if the ring on the ring finger of the left hand was a wedding band, an engagement ring, a friendship ring, or the such. I just couldn't be bothered. It's a waste of time trying to glean all of this information just to determine if I should bother saying 'Hello' or not!

Sure, it is totally acceptable for women to wear whatever jewelry they want; but if you are interested in meeting single men for potential partnership you should lose the rings. Wear them again after you find a partner!

Dynamic/Notion/Theory #2: People who keep pets, especially dogs, are not available for a committed relationship.

Dogs are a huge commitment, and the dogs never grow-up and start taking care of themselves. Dogs are completely dependent on the humans with whom they live, and are inflexible about attention and bowel-movements. People with dogs have made a commitment that is of the same magnitude as parenting.

Children can learn to bond with extended family, neighbors, and professional care-givers, and will eventually get to an age where they prefer to care for themselves. Dogs can learn similar bonding, too; but, my experience is that single people who live with dogs rarely have people in their lives with whom they share the rearing and care of their pets.

Women with dogs (like women with children) have to put the relationship with their dependents before their relationship with a suitor. This is not bad, and I am not making a moral judgment. The truth is that women with dogs are not available for a committed relationship because they already have a committed relationship with Fido.

So, my tip to my single readers who would like to find a partner: put the rings in a safe-deposit box, and get rid of your pets.

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