The Slow Dating Manifesto

Coffee Date“Hey, Sally. Did you see today’s Groupon for speed dating? Jess and I are going. Why don’t you come too?” My co-worker has a wicked gleam in her eye. I’m not sure whether she’s serious or not.

She’s serious.

“Come on, it’ll be fun! We’ll go for a drink first, then go speed dating, and then have a drink together after and compare notes.”

She’s serious. But she’s laughing too. “This could be a good laugh,” she says. “‘So what did you think about number eight? Do you think that was his real hair?’ It’ll be fun!”

But I don’t see anything funny about it. In fact the very thought of speed dating makes me feel queasy. I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting at a table and having a series of men circulate past, giving me the five minute version of themselves. The whole idea of speed dating wigs me out. It’s ironic really, considering how many first dates I’ve gone on in the last five years.

I’ll admit that I’m torn. On the one hand, my negative reaction to speed dating is visceral.

On the other hand, it would make for a great blog post.

But I can’t do it. Not even for the laugh.

I’m trying to figure out what it is about the concept of speed dating that makes me feel nauseous. And I realize that it’s because I was engaged in my own version of speed dating in the spring. I’ve done the calculations. “A is for Adam” to “S is for Stefan” equals nineteen first dates. Nineteen dates in four months. The Alphabet Dating Game might have seemed like a good blog concept, but it was a terrible idea for my love life.

A restaurant placard, Santorini, Greece

A restaurant placard, Santorini, Greece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And so I’m embracing a new approach. I’ve always liked the idea of the slow food movement, and so I’m going to impose upon myself a similar approach to dating.

I hereby swear to abide by the terms and conditions of the Slow Dating Manifesto:

1. I will only date local men. No long distance, no matter how appealing.

2. I will not panic and open up my profile when I’m only communicating with one or two men. I do not need to have a number of men in the wings just in case. Repeat after me: I do not need a warming tray. I do not need a warming tray.

3. I will stay open in the dating process and will be honest and forthright in my interactions.

4. I will not dump a man after one date for trivial reasons. I will remain open-minded.

5. I will avoid placing expectations or pressure on an emerging relationship. Stay in the moment!

I’m excited about this new approach. I think it’s healthy. I think it’s sane. I think it’s a way for me get to know people the way I got to know Dan during the summer.

And besides, I need to slow down. I only have seven letters left in the alphabet.

Related posts

A is for Adam

Material Girls: The Ethics of Internet Dating

The End of the Alphabet


About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
This entry was posted in The Alphabet of Dating, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to The Slow Dating Manifesto

  1. becca3416 says:

    I am officially adopting your manifesto. Just got out of a long distance. Never again!

  2. Marianne says:

    Sounds healthy and sane to me – especially number 1. 🙂

  3. notsosmitten says:

    I need a warming tray!! 🙂

    • Ha ha! I must give credit where credit is due. The warming tray concept comes from my friend’s husband, who always liked to cultivate a collection of “maybe girls” in case the one he was dating didn’t work out. Until he met my friend, of course 🙂

  4. I think you’re onto something big adopting the Slow Food movement…so much better than a drive through, in every sense. I love your friend’s enthusiasm!

  5. The Landy says:

    “Stay in the moment”…I like that, as one of our mantras at home is you can only live in the moment you’re in!

  6. Brigitte says:

    Sally, you’re approaching this with a sense of humor and opening yourself up to what is going to be and what’s in store. That’s always a good thing. Is that a pic of you? You certainly look happy and very pretty. Your soulmate will be thrilled (if that’s what you want) when he shows up.

    • Thank you, Brigitte. It is me, on a recent trip to Vancouver with a girlfriend. We stopped for lattes in a run down Italian coffee place. It took them ages to make the coffees, but they were delicious. Slow food, slow cappuccinos, slow dating…. It’s all good.

  7. I too like that photo of you very much. Dating is tough no matter what, but putting additional pressure on yourself is never good. Your dating philosophy sounds good to me, although selfishly I wish you’d try speed dating so I could read your post about it. That sort of stuff is comedy gold.

  8. I’m with you. The concept of speed dating makes me ill. There should be a Go Slow Slogan 🙂

  9. Paul Kinder says:

    I love reading your posts, they always bring a smile to my face. Slow dating, a novel idea. Do you accept missions? How about joining a Tango / Dance group! This comment will self destruct in 10 seconds……(cue mission impossible music)…

    • Oh… how did you know that I have a secret dream to learn to Tango? This is a very tempting offer… 🙂

      • Paul Kinder says:

        Its the only hobby I know of that you get to spend the whole evening in close embrace with women. That you can embrace as many women as you can manage in one night, and you don’t have to text them afterwards to tell them what a wonderful evening you had. Plus there were two very well matched marriages in our group this year, and I’m sure a few discrete affairs 🙂

      • All night embracing women and not a single text the next day. No wonder so many men join up!(Actually, the women probably join for the same reason!) A woman I really admire, who lives an incredibly creative and fulfilling life, dances Tango. I’ve been wanting to tag along with her for ages.Perhaps I will.

  10. Great post! I married young (21) and have only been on a handful of dates – ever. Speed dating? Yeah – I share your dislike of the idea. How do you get to know someone that way? If I had moved on after the first date with the man I married we’d have never gotten together. lol Slowing down seems like a good idea. Some people take a bit more effort to get to know – don’t think that’s a bad thing.

    • Deliberately Delicious says:

      No, I’m learning (slowly…) that I need patience. Some things can’t be forced. Thank you so much for dropping by!

  11. jazzminey says:

    I love your positive attitude towards dating. I never really dated much. I met my husband at a group called Parents Without Partners back in 1977. I’m going over to read your alphabet dating posts. I appreciate your light-hearted approach to what is a stressful situation.

  12. You’re very ethical. I like that approach and I’d like to borrow from it. So do you ‘close’ your profile while you’re talking to people? I don’t. Is one supposed to? I find answering communications from people I’m not remotely interested in, the most difficult, in terms of doing the right thing. And, I’ve never speed dated but I might like to. You’re my ‘aspirational’ or is that ‘inspirational’ dater.

    • Thanks, Rose. I’m not sure you want a woman who has gone on so many first dates as your “inspirational” dater 🙂 I hope you will go speed dating and write about it; I suspect it would make for a very entertaining blog post! I keep my profile closed most of the time, because like you, I don’t know how to respond to people who are clearly unsuitable. Every now and again, I’ll open my profile for a day or two, just in case the man of my dreams is also operating with a closed profile, but usually what that gets me is a selection of guys who I know I wouldn’t date and a handful of men who seem promising. Unfortunately, then I’m juggling the promising ones, which turns me into the sort of dater who can too easily throw away a catch without giving him time. The hardest things about having a closed profile (for me at least) are the lack of attention and the possibility of being the one who is seen as completely unsuitable. It’s a risk to make first contact with someone.

  13. Debra Kristi says:

    I love this. I think we should adopt the slow food movement to so many things in life. Too often we rush through tings far too quickly. In the process we miss what is right in front of us. Speed dating, couldn’t do it. I took dance lessons once. Tango. Ha! All the guys were gross and would grip my hand far too hard. Their palms – ekk. Need I go on? My girlfriend and I didn’t finish the class. We decided we needed to come with our men in tow if we were ever going to try something like that again. .

    • I think you’re right, Debra. It would be good for me to slow down and exercise more patience and caution; neither is something I’m good at! As for your cautionary tale about the tango, thank you! Again, it’s a good reminder 🙂

  14. Okay—I have some rookie questions.

    1. Why date just local men? — I mean, I understand that it might not go anywhere. But, for example, had I wanted to see you in New Orleans, why would you not consider it?

    2. Why is warming tray bad? I have been advising women to diversify so they don’t get tunnel vision for one man, especially if he has the typical male fear of commitment.

    3,4, 5. Agree completely. Not having an open mind seems to be common. It is frustrating from the male side. Although there are times when you need to cut your losses. Especially if they have false advertised and you figure out they are not who they claimed to be on the first date.

    You are on the letter T! So I need to try to be smart and learn from your experiences!

    • Thank you for these thoughtful comments. I’m afraid I’m a little battle-weary in the dating world.

      1. I had a brief and beautiful long-distance fling the summer after my marriage ended and it was absolutely, exactly what I needed. (See Ruby Slipper Reflections, way back at the beginning of my blog). But distance is so painful, and for a girl who so easily falls in love, it’s a very bad idea. However, I met a lovely guy from California while I was in New Orleans, and might have entertained the thought for him. So I’m okay with breaking rules…

      2. I agree that it’s good not to get tunnel vision. But on the opposite side, it becomes really easy to not give someone a chance, because there is always the promise of the next person. So balance is necessary.

      3. Staying open is huge.

      I’m actually past the letter T – I just haven’t written about them yet 🙂 (And the Alphabet dating game is just based on this round of dating… I went out on 18 dates before meeting the last man in my life, with whom I was involved for three years.) I’m thinking I might not be your ideal role model 🙂

  15. Pingback: Dating the Alphabet: Lessons Learned | Deliberately Delicious

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