Dating as networking

We typically date with a goal: to find someone with mutual attraction. Some of us also want love and a long-term, committed relationship. Some want marriage. Some want just a fling.

After dating a number of people and we don’t have the outcome we want, it can be frustrating. However, if we shift our perspective, we can avoid that frustration — at least most of it. After going out with 114 men and not finding “the one” I’ve learned a positive point of view is healthier than a negative one. It would be easy to say that there are no good men out there. Instead, I see that there are lots of good men, and even the ones who aren’t a romantic fit have other positive attributes.

For example, I had coffee with #114 recently. He was tall, fit and nice looking, especially compared to other 60 year olds I’ve seen. We had a lively 90-minute conversation where he shared stories of working in the early days of a widely loved international company. I was delighted at his stories about his interactions with the founder. While the coffee didn’t result in an invitation for a second date, he did give me some great stories.

Interactions with other men have resulted in professional friendships, and others have become treasured pals. Still others have morphed into pals where we are open to responding to each other’s questions about relationships, home repair, or favorite hiking trails, as well as other input and advice depending on the other’s expertise.

When my friends asked how the aforementioned coffee date went, I shared how I enjoyed hearing his stories. One friend exclaimed, “You meet the most interesting people” to which I agreed. I wouldn’t have met any of these interesting guys without our both seeking our next love.

So if you get frustrated at not finding your love match, see if you can instead shift your goal to meeting interesting people. The more interesting people you meet, the more chance one of them will turn out to be your next sweetie.


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3 responses to “Dating as networking”

  1. Almita Avatar

    I agree that the emphasis should be on “meeting people,” regardless of the outcome. When I meet someone I am open to how that relationship will develop. Maybe there will be a romantic interest, maybe a friendship will develop, perhaps we don’t get along at all. In other words, there could be a range of outcomes. However, it seems the men I meet have a more black or white view of the possible outcomes, that is, romantic relationship or nothing. For example, I went out with one man three times. We had a number of common interests. When he stopped calling me, I called him and explicitly told him, “Even if you don’t think we have a romantic connection, I would still like to be friends and do things together.” He said, “Sure,” and I never heard from him again. I’ve had other men sever our relationship because they weren’t “feeling it.” But is it necessary to totally cut that person out of your life just because you don’t want to have a romantic relationship with them? I don’t think so. We can all use more friends.

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar


    I’m with you! I have several men I dated who became friends after we decided we weren’t really cut out to be romantic partners. However, others who weren’t interested in keeping contact. So I’m at peace with whatever works for them.

  3. Lisa Avatar

    I think some people are ok with remaining friends and others are explicitly looking for a romantic connection. It just depends on what the person wants at that point in their life. I don’t think either way is right or wrong. I have a few good friends that I first met on dating sites, but there are also men I remained friends with who eventually “dumped” our friendship when they eventually met someone to date. At this point in my life, I would rather foster friendships with people who might be a little more reliable down the road, although there is no crystal ball for anyone. If I do internet dating again, it will primarily be to look for that special connection, but if someone seems like he would be a reliable friend, I am open to that too.

    I agree that it can be a challenge to figure out what people are thinking. All we can do is carry on with cheer. Over the years, I think I have developed a pretty good radar for detecting depressed mid-life crisis suffering men posing as healthy happy people. Too bad I can’t sell it!