May 26, 2003

the human mating game

sea lions.jpg

i've always found the term "mating" unpleasant when referring to human relationships--it conjures up disturbing images in my head of sea lions on the discovery channel getting busy--so i prefer the term "dating".

i took a college class on dating. i learned some things i did not know. for example, men and women have several "filters" they put each other through in the dating process. the first (coincidentally, the one that eliminates the most potential dates) is attractiveness.

other filters, in the order in which they are generally applied, are:
-similar social background
-similar attitudes & values
-each being "in love" with the other
-readiness for a relationship/marriage

the most discriminating filter (even more reductive than attractiveness) is beyond anyone's control. it is propinquity (proximity or nearness). propinquity filters 99.9% of potential mates because you will never meet those people. unless you're bill clinton, who has met every woman in the world, and chose monica. or hillary. well...he couldn't decide. they're both so gorgeous and personable!

but as useful as they are, these filters are boring! and they didn't help me narrow the field enough. i have taken the liberty of applying some additional filters, such as the "listens to loud music" filter, the "skillful driver" filter, and the "thinks creatively" filter. but, finally, i decided on one end-all filter. it is the "similarity filter" also known as the "she's me--only female" filter.

i don't understand how anyone ever got the idea that people need to hook up with people who are different from them. some people, with a twinkle of drunk sincerity in their eyes, enthusiastically proclaim, "you need to marry someone different from you who will keep you on your toes!"

that's hogwash, and it sets you up for a big, messy disaster. we should simply be searching for similarities. i should be searching for a female me.

for another perspective, someone has e-published a statistical analysis of the lugubrious ratios in dating. i think his methodology is flawed, but it is, at least, comical.

Posted by travis at May 26, 2003 01:30 AM | TrackBack

Good Luck Travis...

I'd say more but I'm not sure who reads this and I'd hate to eat my own foot.

Posted by: Rachel at May 26, 2003 05:24 PM

This is certianly a bad idea. I feel sorry for any child who has two parents who are too much alike. There is so much advantage to be gained from having parents who think differently. For example, as a child you may been in a situation like this-
Child: "Mom, can I have some ice cream?"
Mother: "NO"
Child walks into the other room.
Child: "Dad, can I have some ice cream?"
Dad: "Sure."
Child begins eating ice cream. Mother enters kitchen.
Mother: "I thought told you that you couldn't have any icecream today."
Child: "But Dad said I could!"

How dull would childhood be for children who are denied this and other experiences because they have the misfortune of parents who think too much alike?

Posted by: Tiffany at May 26, 2003 11:43 PM

I just proofread an essay for my sister, Jenny. She goes through and analyzes inner beauty. Here are some of her conclusions:

"Inner beauty molds a person's outer beauty. Those who see the inner beauty can be blinded by outward appearances. A person becomes even more beautiful to those who have been affected by their light from inside. It is convenient that everyone does not judge exactly the same about beauty, for if they did and this is what made them love, every man would be in love with the same woman, and every woman would be in love with the same man. Beauty is an abstract idea. But how one defines this idea reflects back to their own inner beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, obligating men to judge accordingly for really it reflects the kind of person the beholder is. Thoreau put it nicely when he said, "The perception of beauty is a moral test."
("Beauty: A Definition Essay", Jenny Slauson).

Quite a bit of wisdom for 17 years, huh?

Anyway, I would say that two important questions must be asked:

1. Who am I?

2. Do I like myself?

Posted by: Carolyn at June 1, 2003 08:00 AM