AspieAlly613

The confusing first/second/third date system.

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AspieAlly613

I'm trying to learn more about the typical dating system.  I want to think about which aspects of that system to incorporate into my own behavior.  I Googled "first vs. second vs. third date," and had a hard time making sense of what I found, largely because the material I found presumed assumptions that not only did I not presume to be universally accepted, but directly contradict my perception of dating.

 

"On your first date, you're still trying to decide whether or not to get to know each other."

How is this any different from just hanging out?

 

"Don'the get too comfortable on the second date."

If you are not comfortable with that person, why are you in a romantic partnership?

 

"Don't act like you're in a committed relationship on the third date."

Why not?  To my mind, there's "just hanging out" and there's "indefinite, but not necessarily lifelong or even long-term committed romantic partnership."  Anything in between is QPR, not dating.  

 

It's apparent that I approach romance differently from how most people do.  I would consider adopting aspects of the conventional approach, but first I'd need to understand the conventional approach and the logic behind it.

 

Any help?

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Bio 7

Sounds to me like you rush into romantic relationship before even knowing them.

 

Can’t really help though as I have no experience with dating, nor do I understand it.

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fiѕh

first date: it's different from hanging out because the intention is to figure out if you wanna start/keep seeing the person romantically. hanging out is just... hanging out. no expectations. 

 

second date: probably just a dumb way to say "don't feel too safe about seeing this person a third time". kind of like when you got the job interview, that first part went well, but you don't have the job yet. (I like to compare dates to job interviews cause I hate both equally and for the same reasons, tbh)

 

 

third date: keyword "committed". I mean... yeah, something romantic is going on when you're on your third date, but unless you've somehow discussed that part, I wouldn't assume it's committed

 

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Telecaster68

I'm fairly sure this whole 'three dates' thing is exclusive to the US dating scene. I've never heard or seen of it apart from on here and in Sex And The City. It's really not some universal human truth.

 

First dates can be pretty much hanging out, or they can be right up to 'pick you up in a limo and take you an expensive restaurant followed by a walk on a moonlit beach'.  The activity isn't as important as the intent: it's just seeing if you both think there might be the potential for a relationship because whatever contact you had pre-date made you both think there might be.

 

Second date... is a second date. You're not in a romantic partnership with them. You just liked them enough from the first date to see them again because of the potential.

 

Third date, is the third time you've met them, probably. Certainly the third time you've spent protracted one on one time with them. Of course you're not in a relationship. Would you say you'd found a long term close friend the third time you met them?

 

Dating is about finding out about the person, and gradually getting to know them, assuming you keep finding more stuff to like about them than dislike. It's going to be at least a few weeks before you know each other sufficiently to call it a relationship, even if it all looks fantastic right from the start.

 

All this is assuming you're an adult, not a teenager, of course.

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uhtred

I don't think there need to be any hard and fast rules.  The basic idea is that it takes a while to get to know someone, so rushing into deep emotional involvement acn get you hurt if you lean something about them that that makes you unable to stay with them. 

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AspieAlly613

Thanks for the replies.  I momentarily forgot that since most people AREN'T demiromantic, the dating system would naturally revolve around people who can develop romantic attraction very quickly.

 

3 hours ago, uhtred said:

I don't think there need to be any hard and fast rules.  The basic idea is that it takes a while to get to know someone, so rushing into deep emotional involvement acn get you hurt if you lean something about them that that makes you unable to stay with them.

Right, I wouldn't necessarily conform to existing rules/guidelines/expectations.  However, I should be aware of them to make sure I'm not sending inaccurate messages.

 

Also, I do have my own rules, which I'll mention here, but that I realize not everyone who is considering or has ever considered romantic partnership with me is aware of.

 

I would not consider primarily sexually motivated feelings of attraction to be romantic.  To my mind, a romantic partnership is a symmetrical one, and the only sexual feelings I've ever had have been one-sided.

 

To my mind, legitimate romance has to be about the person, not the thought of achieving a state of romance as a personal accomplishment.  Put another way, if everyone had somehow forgotten to mention to me that romance ever existed, I would still have to be able to conclude that my friendship with this other person would be better as a life-sharing partnership.  

 

I would want to avoid "overhyping" the other person in my mind, and would delay decisions on whether or not this friendship should change in a significant way until I could be reasonably certain that this wasn't a misleading factor.

 

With this in mind,

 

10 hours ago, Bio 7 said:

Sounds to me like you rush into romantic relationship before even knowing them.

Yeah, that was the sense I was getting, too.  I acknowledge that this might work for non-demiromantic people, but still don't have a full understanding of how.

 

10 hours ago, fiѕh said:

first date: it's different from hanging out because the intention is to figure out if you wanna start/keep seeing the person romantically. hanging out is just... hanging out. no expectations.

This is exactly the sort of overhyping that I'm worried about and trying to avoid.

 

 

10 hours ago, fiѕh said:

second date: probably just a dumb way to say "don't feel too safe about seeing this person a third time". kind of like when you got the job interview, that first part went well, but you don't have the job yet. (I like to compare dates to job interviews cause I hate both equally and for the same reasons, tbh)

 

 

third date: keyword "committed". I mean... yeah, something romantic is going on when you're on your third date, but unless you've somehow discussed that part, I wouldn't assume it's committed.

Makes sense once you accept the nature of the first date, but that's not how I would live my life.

 

4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm fairly sure this whole 'three dates' thing is exclusive to the US dating scene. I've never heard or seen of it apart from on here and in Sex And The City. It's really not some universal human truth.

 

First dates can be pretty much hanging out, or they can be right up to 'pick you up in a limo and take you an expensive restaurant followed by a walk on a moonlit beach'.  The activity isn't as important as the intent: it's just seeing if you both think there might be the potential for a relationship because whatever contact you had pre-date made you both think there might be.

 

Second date... is a second date. You're not in a romantic partnership with them. You just liked them enough from the first date to see them again because of the potential.

 

Third date, is the third time you've met them, probably. Certainly the third time you've spent protracted one on one time with them. Of course you're not in a relationship. Would you say you'd found a long term close friend the third time you met them?

 

Dating is about finding out about the person, and gradually getting to know them, assuming you keep finding more stuff to like about them than dislike. It's going to be at least a few weeks before you know each other sufficiently to call it a relationship, even if it all looks fantastic right from the start.

 

All this is assuming you're an adult, not a teenager, of course.

Since I am in the United States, I should be aware of American cultural expectations surrounding dating.  To my mind, dating CANNOT be about getting to know the other person.  That all has to happen before I mentally single her out from everyone else.  If I find myself mentally singling someone out in that way, I know to vet my own thoughts and emotions, asking myself "what has this person actually said/done to single herself out like that?  Am I sure that this is a real pattern and not my own sexual urges/desire to feel accomplished by achieving romance perturbing my decisions?"

 

It was only about 3 years ago that I learned that most people don't run those checks on their own emotions.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, AspieAlly613 said:

To my mind, dating CANNOT be about getting to know the other person.  That all has to happen before I mentally single her out from everyone else.  If I find myself mentally singling someone out in that way, I know to vet my own thoughts and emotions, asking myself "what has this person actually said/done to single herself out like that?  Am I sure that this is a real pattern and not my own sexual urges/desire to feel accomplished by achieving romance perturbing my decisions?"

 

It was only about 3 years ago that I learned that most people don't run those checks on their own emotions

I think most people are perfectly well aware sex is one of the desired outcomes from dating, and they have no problem with it. It's not about judging anyone's moral worth, it's about deciding if we enjoy spending time with them.

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Sally
15 minutes ago, AspieAlly613 said:

  To my mind, dating CANNOT be about getting to know the other person.  That all has to happen before I mentally single her out from everyone else. 

But sometimes dating does involve getting to know the other person.  There are situations where you can't do that before you "date".  Your rules may not always work very well in the real world, so it might be best if you could adjust them a little bit.  

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CBC

I'm a big fan of Doing Whatever The Hell You Want™. Get along really great and feel a connection and wanna fuck each other senseless on the first date? Cool, go for it. Not comfortable with kissing someone until you've known each other for several months? Okay. Don't want to declare yourself in an official relationship until you've been dating casually for a year? Fine.

 

Honestly I've never cared about the "rules" of much of anything. 

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uhtred

I also think "dating" is not a perfectly well defined action.  It can range from meeting a close friend for lunch where there is some possibility of romantic attraction, to a carefully planned dinner / activity with clear romantic trappings (flowers,  sunset cruises whatever). 

 

I think some people have a clear distinction of "date" in their mind, for others its sort of a continuum. 

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Skycaptain

From family members in stable relationships (as I can't speak from personal experience) they all knew their now partner before officially dating. 

 

There is a, hopefully hypocryphal, theory that three dates = a bunk up, but as to whether that is true IDK 

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AspieAlly613

I need to clarify something.  All of the statements I made with the "To my mind" modifier were intended to mean "Applying only to the sort of romance that I would be looking for."  I understand that the way I worded it did not necessarily imply that condition.  I also understand that the range of romance that I am looking for is very different from many if not most other people's ideal romances.

 

Also, judging from the comments, I realize that many commenters have correctly identified that one of my concerns is accidentally leading people on and learning what a prospective romantic partner's expectations would be, and what it would be unfair not to mention promptly.  I'm largely unconcerned about leading someone to expect sexual contact because I am a religious Jew and dress noticeably like a religious Jew.  (I would not have expected anyone else here to know that, obviously, though it's reasonable that someone could infer that from the number 613 in my username.)  I don't wear all black, but I do wear a yarmulke and tzitzit.  Most people would infer (correctly) that I would not have sex before getting married.  Some would know to ask whether I am comfortable making physical contact with women, (which I am), or if I am comfortable being alone with a woman in a situation where we could have sex with reasonable certainty that no one would witness it, (which I am.  I'm not comfortable personally having premarital sex, but I am comfortable with, for example, having a lone female house guest.  Some Rabbis prohibit this, but not the Rabbis that I follow.)

 

Unfortunately, this does not reduce the extent to which romance in the Jewish community seems to be based on sexual attraction and motivation.  

 

Thanks, everyone, for your advice thus far.

 

 

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AspieAlly613

I should add that while there are Jewish circles that are socially largely separate from the non-Jewish word, (they'll have regular jobs working alongside non-Jews, but mostly socialize with other Jews) I deliberately try to avoid those circles because I have learned that such insular behavior leads to racism.  For this reason, anyone I would consider dating would probably be expecting something very similar to the American dating system without premarital sex.  

 

I should also clarify what I mean by the term "sexually motivated" that I've been using throughout this thread.  I'm broadly using the term "sexually motivated" to mean "resulting from a biological mating instinct."  I realize that this can be confusing when compared with the distinctions between sexual, sensual, and aesthetic attractions.  At face value, the term "sexual attraction" means "a desire for sexual contact."  For me, this would mean "despite my religious objections, I still want to have sex with her," which has never happened.  It seems foolish to consider this a meaningful definition of sexual attraction in my case.

 

I'm also (and this is new information that I haven't disclosed in this thread,) uncomfortable with interactions that induce sexual arousal before romantic attraction is established out of concern that it would affect my judgement on whether or not romantic partnership is a good idea.  This makes many forms of sensual contact off-limits, and I would probably interpret sensual attraction as my subconscious' attempts to express sexual attraction in a less problematic way.

 

All of this means that I can't really distinguish between aesthetic, sensual, and sexual attraction within my own mind. 

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Lipbalm
On 10/24/2018 at 4:04 PM, uhtred said:

I don't think there need to be any hard and fast rules.  The basic idea is that it takes a while to get to know someone, so rushing into deep emotional involvement acn get you hurt if you lean something about them that that makes you unable to stay with them. 

exactly that!

It depends on how quickly you can BOTH make your minds up, there are no rules for all.

Sometimes for some people dates are spread out over a few months, other times just a few days.

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FictoCannibal.
On 10/24/2018 at 9:22 PM, AspieAlly613 said:

I'm trying to learn more about the typical dating system.  I want to think about which aspects of that system to incorporate into my own behavior.  I Googled "first vs. second vs. third date," and had a hard time making sense of what I found, largely because the material I found presumed assumptions that not only did I not presume to be universally accepted, but directly contradict my perception of dating.

 

"On your first date, you're still trying to decide whether or not to get to know each other."

How is this any different from just hanging out?

 

"Don'the get too comfortable on the second date."

If you are not comfortable with that person, why are you in a romantic partnership?

 

"Don't act like you're in a committed relationship on the third date."

Why not?  To my mind, there's "just hanging out" and there's "indefinite, but not necessarily lifelong or even long-term committed romantic partnership."  Anything in between is QPR, not dating.  

 

It's apparent that I approach romance differently from how most people do.  I would consider adopting aspects of the conventional approach, but first I'd need to understand the conventional approach and the logic behind it.

 

Any help?

I think the whole dating system is pretty crap, and I'm not even ace. I prefer to just make friends with people and if something romantic develops, then great. We'd already have an established friendship to build our relationship upon. No way I'd ever do dating though. I think it's just something that some people enjoy and some don't. :3

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FictoCannibal.
On 10/25/2018 at 9:00 AM, Sally said:

But sometimes dating does involve getting to know the other person.  There are situations where you can't do that before you "date".  Your rules may not always work very well in the real world, so it might be best if you could adjust them a little bit.  

@AspieAlly613's system works for me. I can only become romantically interested in someone I know already as a friend, I could never develop romantic feelings for someone I only started hanging out with (dating) to assess whether or not they'd make a good romantic partner. Forcing myself to date in the regular way just because 'that's how lots of other people do it' wouldn't serve me at all and would only cause me distress. I think that's more what AspieAlly613 was getting at as well, for them personally.

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Starlit Sky
On 10/24/2018 at 3:22 AM, AspieAlly613 said:

"On your first date, you're still trying to decide whether or not to get to know each other."

How is this any different from just hanging out?

Hanging out can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, whereas a date means romantic activity. For some people that could be talking about hopes and dreams. For some it could be cuddling and kissing. For others it could be taking long walks and just talking. But if a date ever feels like you're just "hanging out," it's not going to go far lol

 

On 10/24/2018 at 3:22 AM, AspieAlly613 said:

"Don'the get too comfortable on the second date."

If you are not comfortable with that person, why are you in a romantic partnership?

Going on dates DOES NOT MEAN you are in a romantic relationship. I really cannot stress this enough. When a couple (or more) get into a relationship, the timing of it can vary . . . for some they might be together before the first date ever happens. For others it could be five months down the road. My boyfriend and I had several dates (I think ten or eleven) before we were official.

 

On 10/24/2018 at 3:22 AM, AspieAlly613 said:

"Don't act like you're in a committed relationship on the third date."

Why not?

Because you're not necessarily in a committed relationship by date three :rolleyes:

 

On 10/24/2018 at 3:22 AM, AspieAlly613 said:

To my mind, there's "just hanging out" and there's "indefinite, but not necessarily lifelong or even long-term committed romantic partnership."  Anything in between is QPR, not dating.

To be clear here, you're saying that a person is either "hanging out" as friends, or they're in some sort of committed relationship, correct?

 

If that's the case, then . . . well, for starters, that's not what QPRs are like. QPRs can be just as intense as a romantic relationship, and at times much more so (and yes, I've been in both romantic relationships and a QPR). I'm not sure if that's what you meant, but the term "in between" kind of felt like it, so I wanted to make that clear from the get-go. . . .

 

Next, it's definitely true that one might hope to go on another date, and if said date goes well it might be expected, but that's a far, far, far different thing from commitment.

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Starlit Sky

(Well, it won't let me further edit. Poop.)

 

On 10/24/2018 at 2:42 PM, AspieAlly613 said:

Since I am in the United States, I should be aware of American cultural expectations surrounding dating. 

Trust me, you're fine. Once we all grow up the three dates don't matter so much anymore.

 

They're meant to be guidelinessuggestions--not hard and fast rules or some kind of heavy emphasis on culture.

 

The best possible advice I can give to you is to just ditch the idea of the first three dates and go for how the relationship feels. The "temperature" of the relationship will matter a lot more than what someone else thinks should happen on the second date.

 

On 10/24/2018 at 2:42 PM, AspieAlly613 said:

To my mind, dating CANNOT be about getting to know the other person.  That all has to happen before I mentally single her out from everyone else

Then think of dating as about getting to know the other person romantically. If that still doesn't work for you, then think of it as "wooing," "courting," or whatever other thing you want to think of. Think of it as testing the partnership to see if a romantic relationship could be a good idea. But please, for your own sake, no matter what you do, don't think of the relationship as already committed just because you go on a date. You will lead someone on, that way.

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