Friday, July 30, 2010

Dating in a Community, Part I - Sharing Information without Drama

In every part of my life, I have found that it is about people, connections and community. In my professional life, it has always been about networks, and in romance it is much the same.

Suzie says: When I meet a guy, I always wish that there was some way to know if he's a good guy or not. Everyone puts their best face forward. I can look at their Facebook and whatever, but that's usually just the good stuff unless the guy is a total psycho.

Suzie's experience is very common. Society has become very spread out. People work far from where they live. They no longer do business in their own downtown with their neighbors. This problem exists as much in business as in romance. There is just no way to know about the person you are encountering.

Even when you do know people in common, people are often hesitant to give an accurate picture of the person. They don't want to be seen as spreading rumors or causing drama.

This is, however, very polar thinking: the idea that a statement about a person is good or bad. It is possible to share this information in a way that is non-judgmental but which equips your friend with information to make an informed decision on how serious to get with someone.

Let us consider how one might speak of some of our Smart Love friends...

Dominick is an arrogant jerk, and that is just how his play parters like him. They want a man who is confident enough to walk through fire. So, if your friend met him and was thinking about getting involved with him, you might want to let her know about this. Here are three ways you might express this.

Nasty, drama-filled way: Dominick is an arrogant ass. I would stay away from him if I were you.

Even-handed way: Dominick is a great guy, but he is a bit arrogant. However, that kind of arrogant makes him a fantastic dom, and some of the women he's played with love his attitude.

Positive way: Dominick is awesome. Some people say he's arrogant, but really that's just dominant. He can control a scene like you would not believe.

It's not that you want to warn someone off of him. You just want to make sure that she knows what she is getting. If she hears that he is arrogant and is okay with that, it's great, but that is not something you want to be surprised by. In fact, whether she is okay with it or not, things might still turn out better for the information.

Casanova is very charming. He is honest, but he has a way of de-emphasizing aspects of himself that might be less desirable. There are plenty of women who would love to have a night of appreciation at the hands of the well practiced Casanova, but if they go into it expecting that attention to develop into a long term relationship, they will find themselves sorely disappointed, possibly even heartbroken.

Again, ways you might explain this:

Nasty, drama-filled way: That womanizing asshole? I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole!

Even-handed way: If you are looking for one night of great sex, Casanova is your man. Just don't expect him to remember your name in two weeks.

Positive way: If they gave PhDs for lovemaking, that man would be Doctor DeMarko! Sure, the chances of him seeing you twice is small, but, the way he does it, once is all you will need.

With many traits, there are people who would be perfectly happy to be with someone who exhibited them, as long as they know what they are getting into at the outset. You are doing to a favor to everyone involved as long as you are even-handed in your explanation. You are doing no favors to Casanova if you let him get together with a woman only to have her badmouth him all over town because she mistook his attentions for expressions of true love.

Tomorrow, we will look further at this topic, including looking at how being in a community can make starting relationships easier and less stressful and how community helps to stop domestic violence.


  1. actually... arrogance does not mean dominance, though it gives the illusion of confidence. usually, arrogance means that a so-called "dom" is not terribly good at paying attention to their partner's body language or nonverbal communication, or can't be bothered to look at a scene as something outside of what they are getting out of it.

    this is what you call "bad." it's also why occasionally some d/s relationships share ground with abusive relationships -- if the person in control is more focused on their own gain than their partner's safety, health, or wishes, then the line of healthy and safe becomes blurred.

    safe, sane, consentual. if you don't have all three, stop. and how can you be safe for someone else when you're arrogant enough to think you know best? the worst and most dangerous doms i've ever seen, and all the ones i've seen that have actually become abusive, were arrogant. the best are confident, but able to focus (as they are supposed to) on their partner.

  2. I quite agree. Perhaps I was not entirely clear. When I said "that kind of arrogant" I meant the kind of confidence that many people interpret as arrogance. Of course, arrogance is usually a by-product of insecurity and can, as you say, result in an unpleasant or even dangerous relationship.