by Samantha Hulkower
As we've covered so far, dating can be a little trying. It may seem like the people you are going out with don't have the same objective in dating that you do (that is finding an awesome person to spend the rest of your life with). There are a few types of people that date with ulterior motives.
The first group I didn't even know existed until last week when I read an article in the New York Times on how women were planning their weddings without even having a boyfriend. How can you plan something that is about becoming a union without the input of your other half? The part of me that doesn't like talking about things before they happen for fear of jinxing them (who I think is an old Sefardi superstition ) is incredulous that people would even plan such a thing without even having a boyfriend. While these women are definitely dating with the goal to get married, it seems that they might be missing the point of building a life together, and not just looking for the last piece to complete the puzzle.
Other motives are less self-centered, but still not ideal; such as people who go on dates just to have something to do. In graduate school, many of my girl friends would go on dates with guys they weren't that interested in, just to be able to go out to eat in a restaurant (something they couldn't otherwise afford to do as a poor graduate student). I might think going on a date in a hotel lobby is kind of stuffy, but at least neither party has to worry about being exploited for a hamburger.
On the other side of the coin, guys have, we'll call it a proclivity, to go out with ladies that they aren't particularly interested in dating long-term. More than a few of my guy friends have admitted to me over the years that they were going out with ladies that they weren't particularly interested in, but thought they could at least have some fun with in the meantime.
The previous three motivations can lead to anything from a fun time and no second date, to an awkward couple of hours, or at worst sour grapes and broken hearts.
Most people though, they don't really have selfish ulterior motives - they are just open to meeting people other than what they expected. I call it the, 'You Never Know Factor'. As in, "Sure this guy really doesn't seem to have anything that I'm looking for in a partner, but he's nice enough, and well...You Never Know...."
A friend of mine recently got engaged after one of these experiences. She went out with a guy from online that she wasn't so excited about, but wanted to give him a chance. The date was lackluster, but she thought it was at least a fun couple of hours. A few days later, she got a call from someone else - the guy she went out with thought his roommate might be a better fit. And what do you know - a few months later they're engaged.
So, at the end of the day, while it might seem exhausting to have to go out with one more person who might be mentally photo-shopping your head into her already choreographed wedding dance, or another guy trying to get you back to his apartment before he learned your last name, You Never Know if that next first date might be your last.