Recently, I listened to a radio program where things got really heated. The topic was Dating Down. Sounds negative, right? And similar to dating out of your league. I’ve never been crazy about the verbiage, because it smacks of one partner being inferior, or lacking in some way.
Naturally, the phone lines blew up. The broadcaster went on to explain that by dating down he meant dating someone “less accomplished”; someone lacking the curiosity gene, or simply not sharing the other’s interests.
The broadcaster gave examples of professional men and women dating people far less accomplished than they are.
Do not confuse accomplished with successful. An example might be the woman whose career makes it mandatory she attend social events. Should she end up dating someone socially awkward, and not good at small talk, or just lacking in good manners, that’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Ditto the man who enjoys cultural events hooking up with a partner who considers theater or ballet a waste of time. Just imagine if that person would rather go bowling or play pool, this could turn out to be a match made in hell. Rarely does this mismatch develop into something serious, unless both make a concerted effort to meet halfway.
Two years ago, I wrote an article urging readers to keep an open mind when dating. I talked about remaining flexible when choosing a partner, and not limiting yourself to a ”type.” When I say type, I mean a particular outward appearance that turns you on.
Shared values are important, and while interests might differ, there needs to be a willingness for both parties to step out of their comfort zone, and experiment or try something new. Some might call it compromise.
It pays to do your homework and not just get taken in by a pretty face. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having one’s date accompany you to a business function, only to discover they are socially inept.
Someone unable to navigate the social landscape is a partner who can have an adverse effect on your career. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your mate isn’t a reflection of you. He or she can be a liability or an asset if your goal is to climb the corporate ladder.
A sports addict hooking up with someone less sports minded could support the others interest by attending the occasional tailgate party. A non-reader could benefit by picking up a newspaper or two, or by doing some online reading. Keeping up with current affairs would help with the small talk and social awkwardness. An informed person is by far more interesting.
It’s your responsibility to vet what your love interest is bringing to the table, not blame them for irreconcilable differences when the match goes sour.
Is this person curious about life? Are they adventurous and willing to explore? Is there curiosity about life lying behind that pretty or handsome face?
There are couples who on the surface appear to have little in common, yet something keeps them together. My guess is it’s their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and experiment. By trying something new, you might even generate a brain cell or two. And isn’t it everyone’s dream to be a more desirable partner?
Then what are you waiting for? Get out there and try something new.