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Dating files: Should we re-write the rules of introductions?

Last year I listened to the podcast Dirty John (I highly recommend if you’re into true crime). It is basically a true story of an abusive male and his attacks on one women and her family. Since the podcast became so popular, many women came forward and shared their experiences with this same man in a more recent live podcast.

Whist listening so intently to the true stories, something was mentioned that made me stop. It was basically along the lines of when looking to buy a car we research. We read up on reviews, get a mechanical check and for the most part enter into an agreement where we truly understand what the car will provide for us. We go through a very similar process when buying a house too. We check the foundations and get others to walk through and inspect to see if you’re missing any obvious flaws.

But, when picking a partner, which is arguably the greatest financial and life decision, we go with our gut. If you start dating someone that you have known previously then I guess you don’t have to stress. However, sure there might be an Instagram to research when we set up a date with a complete stranger, but what does that tell us? We only introduce our new partners to our friends and families once we have decided that you have already made a commitment to them. The introduction to the friends and family is seen as such a big step that we leave it until we are generally pretty sure about the person. For the most part, our minds are made up.

Now, think about this. If you were to buy a house or a car and then show it to your friends once the purchase was paid and settled, would they have anything bad to say? Of course not. If they do, you have pretty shitty friends for not being positive and supporting you. So why once you have made a decision to a partner do we expect for our friends and family to speak up so easily?

I heard something on The Mama Mia podcast network the other day. It was along the lines of the new trend is that in modern day dating you only let someone know your last name when you’re ready to take the next step. By releasing your anonymity, you’re allowing your date the opportunity to run a full social media stalk on you. As we well know, our socials only show the highlights. What do they tell us? The person you’re having dinner with likes poached eggs, has been to Sydney and went to a dress up party in a pilot costume. That’s about it, right? Personality is limited and filtered on these platforms and the ability for someone to hide a heinous side to them remains simple.

It is at this point that I’m thinking that perhaps we need to re-wire our thinking. With Valentines Day upon us, and whilst I’ve been thinking about lovey dovey content, this far more depressing outlook on dating has been crossing my mind. With all these materials to connect and hear people’s stories, I have been coming across so many horrific dating and relationship memoirs. I’m always one to interpret a situation into how can we make sure that the negative doesn’t occur again, and I really think that this is perhaps an obvious one.

Sure a one night stand might be different. But, if you’re going to date with the ideal goal to find a partner; should we be being smarter? I’m no expert on the issue and I have no idea how many predators or plain assholes are out there. But, why not introduce some friends very early on before we have our hearts set on a bloke? Invite them somewhere out for drinks where you know your friends are already going to be.

In the same way that as females we are hardwired to remain on high alert when, for example, we are jumping in a taxi, should we not shift our thinking this way to dating?

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