Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fast or Slow? How "Fast" Should Our Dating Progress Go?

Ah, the never-ending dilemma, when do you kiss him/her?  How soon is too soon to canoodle?

Recently, having let Rex out of his dog house for the first time in longer than I'll document here, I've run into the two extremes.

There was one lovely lady who, first after our coffee date, then again a couple of weeks later when I 'gave her what she appeared to be asking for' (a two week-long wait) before emailing her again, reiterated that she was interested, but want to "go slow".   Ahhhh....  Um, , er, OK, "slow".  I'm assuming she has some kind of internal clock or algorithm she uses to determine what "slow" means to her, precisely, but she  hasn't re-initiated contact to explain it to me, so I'm assuming that past several weeks of no contact are still not long enough to constitute "slow"!

I'm being partly facetious, of course.  I get that she's a traditionalist who believes both that the man is meant to do all the pursuing AND that two people will develop a more solid and trusting relationship if they take things one SLOW step at a time.  Sadly, I've come to realize I'm not a slow kind of guy.  I won't pursue "Ms. Let's Take It Slow" -- and it's more than likely she wouldn't like the "fast" guy she'd come to know if I did (she also won't have even a single drink if she's driving, which is admirable, but facing a series of stone-cold sober dates while waiting for "slow" to be over...).  (Note: she later suggested we 'be friends' but did not want to set up any further meetings.  Tough to 'be friends' if you never meet!  ;-)

Does this mean I'm jeopardizing my chances with a lot of great women who won't kiss on a first date? Maybe, but then I suspect they are not the kind of passionate and spontaneous types I'm drawn to.

Alternatively, am I risking getting shut down by equally terrific women because they:
  • Didn't like the way I make out, hence more 'quality time' spent in advance might have made them more open-minded (or willing to teach me what they like)?
  • Have second thoughts about a guy who moves too fast and decide they don't like me in the morning?
  • Risk ME deciding they were too 'easy' and never want to see them again?
No, no and no.  Or, more specifically, 'maybe, but I don't think so', 'never' and 'definitely not with me'.

Frankly, girls, regarding the latter point, I'm just not that shallow.  Maybe there are tons of guys who are (hence my point about it in one of my 'dating tips' posts ), but I'm not one of them.  How we 'make out' (I like the Aussie slang for it that 'K' uses, "pash") is as important to determining if we're compatible as anything else is (some would say more so), but in the end it is just one more element in the mix.

Recently I went from the level of Date 1 (or is a 'coffee date' actually level zero?) to Date 3.5 in a single evening.  Did that lessen that lady's chances with me, or mine with her?  Not at all.

While I already suspected that she and I weren't all that compatible on an intellectual/creative level (what can I say, I find big brains and creative talent very sexy  ;-), I did find out we were well-matched in terms of body type and other proclivities.  Did a rapid escalation of intimacy reduce her chances for another date?  Not at all, we continued to 'match proclivities' regularly for some weeks, but in my mind and heart the two things work quite separately: we check out and analyze personality and intellect on one level and the sexual, sensual things on another.

Yes, we hope and pray we'll find them all in one package, but often times we just can't get it all (see "What You Want Most in a Man, You Need Least!").  In simple terms, we're hoping for a match of three key things:
  1. Intellect
  2. Personality
  3. Passion
I was lucky enough to find two,  intellect and passion, in a girl I still refer to as "The One" decades later, but she had the personality of an immature, self-centered, empathy-free 'Brunhilda'.  I've found intellect and personality in one long-term relationship, passion and personality in another.  Have I ever found it all? I think so, but our timing was off (she not finished with a relationship while I was single, I was newly married to "passion and personality" once she was free).  She's now raising a family of strapping sons in Kentucky. Sigh...

But fast or slow?  I'll take fast every time and almost every single woman whose hopes and dreams I've ever read about will say exactly the same thing (read K's 'perfect 1st date' in which she actually made me feel jealous of the guy!  Ha!  Well done, K.  ...sadly she's taken down that blog.).  What most women expect from the ideal first date comes down to "nearly-impossible-to-control physical attraction".  They hope and dream of that first date kiss, NOT second, third or fourth date kiss.

And let's face it, ladies, we're adults, not starry-eyed teens or twenty-somethings.  We can have a lovely roll in the hay and wake up respecting each other without it affecting our judgement of the other person.  The potential partner slipping out from between your sheets to visit the lavatory, regardless of how good or bad we found them to be in bed, is still likely going to prove to be too arrogant, or too goofy, or too edgy, odd, dumb, selfish or clingy for us to want to have an actual relationship with, or maybe not!

My point is that, with many people, holding back on kissing, or sex, in the short-term is not going to change the mid-term outcome, and it's the only way to furnish the ultimate answer to the chemistry question.  Of course how you judge who is or isn't a 'safe type' of person is all about your instincts and good judgement skills.


  1. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for referring on my post re 'perfect first date', it was in fact entirely fictional, though it did read as though it actually happened. It is my ideal of the perfect first date, though of course first dates never do end up like that, a close version would indeed be perfect. I see chemistry / attraction as important in securing the second / third date etc, and a kiss is merely a TBC, to be continued at a later date. I agree, kissing is but one element in the scheme of things, but an important one. I don't see the point of holding back if it feels natural to proceed. Playing the waiting game, means you run the risk of finding out that person is not sexually compatible after all, at which point you've vested so much time and energy in figuring them out only to be sorely disappointed. Lust is that intangible and unexplainable thing that ties everything else together. So what if that person is smart/creative/compatible but if you don't want them sexually, it's of little value. The reverse is also true, so I guess ultimately you need the right balance of everything in one person. That, I'm afraid is HARD to find.

    Anyway, that's my two cents.


  2. Hard to find indeed, K. And thanks for you highly valued 'two cents'! Un abrazo.



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