Tuesday, March 14

Warning Labels

They appear on prescription drugs, shouldn’t people come with warning labels as well? Especially when it comes to dating, no one wants to be a cautionary tale--the fear of physical harm is enough to justify signs that scream in neon lights-- “Convicted Criminal Ahead!!!” or “Beware! This guy has Syphilis!!!” But isn’t it just as important to provide indicators for potential emotional damage? We'd all fare better in the dating game if we're given notices like the following: “Boring Person, May Cause Drowsiness” or “Player: This Man is Best Taken for Casual Flings Only.” Recently, I could have used one that read like this: “Emotional Baggage Ahead. Proceed with Extreme Caution. Screwing with your Mind WILL OCCUR.”

The advent of Google, Friendster, and Myspace makes information gathering on a potential suitor not just a mouse-click away, but almost a de facto requirement for the world-weary dater (some may call this stalking, but that’s neither here nor there). Despite all this, isn’t it still the unknown and the undiscovered that pushes even the most hardened cynic of us to continue to put ourselves out there and risk the chance of heartbreak? Doesn’t getting all the information up front ruin the whole “mystery” that makes dating both fun and frustrating?

Well, I’m beginning to wonder if mystery is over-rated. I’ve been in various states of single and not-so-singleness over the past seven years, and every time I think I’ve acquired enough dating experience to not repeat past mistakes, I always get proven wrong. It’s as if years of falling for the wrong guys or screwing over the nice ones have made me less able to trust my own instinct. And frankly, I’m tired. I’m exhausted from the romantic beat-downs, the reduced expectations, and the inevitable disappointments. So I’m asking for help, guidance from a higher source. One that will warn me on Day 1 if a guy is commitment-phobic or a potential cheater or will be bad in bed. And if the same is demanded in return, well then let me just lay it all out there: Warning! I’m loud and have an obnoxious laugh and I’m relentlessly cynical and can’t go an hour without sarcasm. I’m scared of settling and getting hurt and being alone but I am willing to give anyone a try as long he’s honest. There. That’s MY warning. Pursue at your own risk.

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