What if?

I get asked a lot of what if questions in the comments, especially about how many dates, meeting someone, etc. So here’s how I see the possible outcomes.

1. I don’t make it to 50.
This would be disappointing, but also very validating, because isn’t my main premise the severe lack of men who will date women like me? In some ways if I do find fifty, then um, clearly there’s something wrong with me when there are guys but I’m still single.

2. I do make it to 50.
Yay! Milestone achieved! Much learned about myself and men and how this thing works at the moment.

3. I meet someone I want to exclusively date before 50 is up.
How is this not a win situation? Definitely the least likely scenario, but still. I imagine it is highly complicated by the context of the project, but I’m hoping that if this guy exists, he’s going to be able to look me in the eye and say hey, take a break and let’s try this.

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42 thoughts on “What if?

  1. Here’s hoping for you pulling off both options 2 (because that’s awesome for us readers) and 3 (because it’s awesome for you).

    I’d also say that one sign of a keeper (or at least potential keeper) for option 3 would be a guy who, rather than looking you in the eye and saying, “Hey, take a break and let’s try this,” is one who looks you in the eye and goes, “You’re awesome and I’d love to spend more time with you, but I think your project is cool and I don’t want you quitting it for me, so I’ll just make sure to be around whenever you’re done with it, now or a year down the line.”

    Yes, yes, I know–I have weird ideas.

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    • aw that’s so sweet! and also completely worth of a katherine heigl movie. and not real life heh. but i much appreicate your aspiration

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      • Hah! The Katherine Heigl line cracked me up. I wouldn’t give up on real life, however. It has too damn many possibilities.

        Admittedly, my reality is a little different from many peoples. I’m the guy doing an open relationship who will be all excited about his girlfriend going on a date with someone else and will be bugging her to make a move on a potential partner when she isn’t. So my standards are a little different and I’m all about the non-possessive approach.

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    • Shilsen, I like the idea of open relationships in theory, but rarely have seen them work out in practice–it always seems to skirt the skeevy side. It did for the couples I know of, anyway. :-/

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      • I think it depends very much on the people involved. Plus lots of non-open relationships don’t work out either. I’m pretty sure that the cultural/social context matters too, since the acceptability of a type of relationship to the people around you does, unfortunately, affect its chances. I’d say an open relationship has a much better chance of working in the USA (and depending on where you are in the USA too) than in India, for example.

        There’s also the issue of what a relationship working out means. People tend to see a relationship which ends as a failure, but I think it’s fine if two (or more) people are happy together for a certain period of time and then part when they aren’t. That doesn’t mean the relationship was fundamentally unsuccessful. It was successful for a time. And that should be fine.

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      • Goddammit this is what I get for sleeping. Hehe. Everyone has made my points for me! But I have to say full one thousand or even 1900% payday loans agreement with you here especially re success

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    • Yes to all the points you mentioned, obviously–social context, acceptability, etc. But here’s the problem I’ve observed in the open relationships I’ve witnessed. In my mind, an open relationship should be one where both partners (esp. if they are living together) should know about the other’s relationships. “Openness,” after all, is the primary, defining criterion. But I’ve mostly seen ones where the partners sleep around but never discuss these other dalliances–So you know that your partner is sleeping/being with others, but you don’t know any details. These usually list to the skeevy side.

      For instance, a fellow student in my US dept once propositioned me. I said, “well, what about X, your girlfriend?” (I knew her–she was also a fellow student) He said, “Oh don’t worry, we’re in an open relationship.” He wasn’t lying, either, so I asked whether she’d also know about us, to which he objected instantly: “No, we don’t discuss who we sleep with. It just makes things awkward.” I declined his offer, because as I saw it, they might have had an agreement to not discuss others they were involved with, but I had no such agreement with her to lie to her face every time I met her. I’m not okay with lying and hypocrisy.

      I’m aware this anecdote isn’t an argument against open relationships. I’m only offering it as one example of the kinds of grey areas that seem to pop up in such instances if you aren’t being fully honest with your partner(s). Like I said, I agree in principle with the idea of them, but I’m not sure if relationships can survive complete disclosure to this extent. True polyamory is so rare. I do hope it exists, though :)

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      • No ya I disagree here. I really think you have to see what works for every person. Some people want to know. Some don’t want to tell. Etc. Personally of course I’m on the side of must know everything Hehe

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      • Oh, if I ever were to find myself in an open relationship, I’d totes be on the side of “tell *all* the things!” Heh.

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      • I’m a fan of the all honest approach, even though I’m fine with others not taking that route. My default choice is to tell all the things everywhere, other than stuff my partner(s) don’t want me to share. Pity my poor students! (And friends, and colleagues, and family!)

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      • ok you two! SHOO!!! you’re making me late for work!!! =D
        but yeah im a teller tooo though if im told not to i’m good at it. i can occasionally not tell my best friend even! imagine gasp! hee

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    • As for what constitutes a “successful” relationship, you definitely have a broader (and a more generous) definition than most :-) One that end in regrets and recriminations isn’t successful, in my book.

      So yeah, not just the fact of it having ended, but also WHY it ended is important I think. Amicable endings are fabulous, but unfortunately, less common. Wish it was the other way around.

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  2. @Shilsen:
    I agree on both your points: yes as a society we are a bit conservative in our outlook & actions; & that its better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.
    It reminds me of this video I saw couple of days back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta_f-u3jn3E
    At the same time, I also believe we are changing & we should not totally dismiss it. For our current generation (20-35 age group) getting married is not the yard-stick any more on which our whole lives depend. We are taking our sweet time to decide on our partners. I have seen a lot of parents who are also supportive in this aspect & are ready to accept those choices. With the steady increase in number of divorces in India, people dont want to jump into something which they will repent later.
    All this is leading to a lot of live-in relationships & open relationships where both the girl & boy, want to make sure they have seen & experienced all before they commit to each other. This is very prevalent in cities with a larger youth population such as Bangalore or Pune. Maybe not as much in Delhi because most people still stay with their parents here :P

    @50delhidates: I am ready to volunteer as well for your experiment, if you are short of getting to that 50 number, drop me a mail.

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    • well many women say that so apparently i appeal to women. hee. but i’m saying it without any of the weight people are putting on it. date women like me = dates women who come with my pluses and minuses, as everyone comes with pluses and minuses. i wouldn’t date a certain kind of guy and certain kids of guys wouldn’t date a woman like me, nd vice versa

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  3. how do you not feel some kinda expectations from the heartthrobs? we feel so much and build expectations around them.. i guess with time you overcome that? what’s your secret to it?

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    • same as any first date i guess? it helps that i’ve dealt with a lot of rejection in my life hehehe. there are no guarantees anyway so if you like someone you have to be prepared to deal with rejection anyway

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      • true that… but seeing ya get back up from lot of rejections is noteworthy.. you know you could inspire many to go on a 50 date spree :P

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      • better for us all i think =) it’s really eyeopening in many ways
        and everyone might just start being a little kinder.

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