Monday, July 17, 2006

Why Too Much Dating Is Bad

In a national trend, single people are seeking advice from professional dating “coaches.”

Some lonely hearts are willing to pay up to $100 an hour to get advice on how to “hone their seductive skills for the often vexing dating world,” according to a story in this newspaper.

Except for the price gouging, I see nothing wrong with the lovelorn seeking tips on how to attract the opposite sex. But here's something a dating “coach” probably won't tell you. Having too many dates is worse than having none. Sounds crazy, I know. Let me explain.

When I was in my early thirties, I realized I was lonely, having a scattered dating life.

So a friend and I, who was also lonely, decided to do something about it. We created the “Bucks County Singles Dining Club.”

The idea was to get local singles to meet once a month at a restaurant. If you met someone you liked, it was up to you to make a date. If not, all it cost you was the price of a dinner, and there was always next month.

We advertised and phone calls poured in.

We had fun and shared many great meals. At least one couple became engaged after meeting through our club.

We had about 10 singles at our first get-together at the King George Inn in Bristol. I got a date out of that one. So did my buddy.

Our ads listed our phone numbers. One day I received a call from an irate woman who said she had called my buddy for information.

“You know what he asked me?” she hissed. “He wanted to know how much I weighed!”

I apologized, but she wouldn't accept. I don't think she ever came out to our dinners.

We screened attendees, but oddballs slipped through. One woman insisted she meet both of us at the Waterfront Grill in Bristol, which we did. As we sipped drinks, she lifted her pant leg to reveal a snub nose .38 revolver in a leg harness.

Another woman, a dental hygienist, insisted my buddy accompany her to her dental office — after hours.

“She put me in the chair and examined my teeth,” he told me, “And then she ...”

Stop! I said.

“...flossed me.”

As the club grew, so did my number of dates. It got to where I was out most nights. This became a nightmare.

I got my dates' names wrong, could not remember what movies we had seen together, recalled dates with one that I had with another.

My brain frazzled.

The stress grew and the hassle made me short-tempered at work.

I actually began wishing for my peaceful, lonely-heart life back.

This ended when I met my wife, who was not a part of the dining club. It was nine months from our first date to our wedding day. Then suddenly we had three kids — Bing, Bang and Boom.

If you are lonely and seeking a sweetheart, here is some free advice gleaned from my experience as an accidental Romeo.

The best opening line is “Hi.”

A casual pizza and Coke date is just as much fun as the most meticulously planned outing to a pricey club/bar/restaurant.

You will know when the right one comes along.

Never ask a woman her weight.

Always floss.

J.D. Mullane,