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The Pros and Cons of Dating

There's no compelling reason not to start dating again

So you just started dating, or you're about to post a profile for the second — or umpteenth — time. You haven't yet met your soul mate yet, but you still think dating is fun. Sometimes, that is. At other times the venture seems so mind-boggling you want to hang up your dating pumps for good.

Woman shrugs her shoulders, Dating pros and cons

To date or not to date? — Justin Horrocks/Getty Images

I went through all that — for decades, in fact, a period during which I met men I liked and men I didn't. A few might be keepers, I thought; others (many others!) were clearly just plain wrong for me. Along the way, I started compiling the pros and cons of dating. I hope you'll have fun reading my yeas and nays below — and that you'll conclude, as I eventually did, there's no compelling reason not to start dating again.

 

Pro
You can try out behavior you can't get away with at work, in the grocery store or hanging out with friends.

Con
So can your date.

Pro
Dating lets you wear clothes a tad spiffier than those sweat pants you do the laundry in.

Con
You achieve something concrete by staying home to do the laundry. And your clothes stay cleaner when you're not out spilling cheap table wine on them.

Pro
You can make your married friends jealous.

Con
Inciting that jealousy may require some creative lying about your dates.

Pro
You will have a hand to hold on walks and during the scary parts of movies.

Con
Clammy hands! And what if your date is neither a walker, a moviegoer nor a hand-holder? That second scenario is fine; most new movies aren't worth seeing, even with the discount. As for scenarios 1 and 3, though, I would worry: Walking and holding hands are my idea of heaven.

Pro
You have someone new to invite to family gatherings.

Con
Your relatives
have someone new to criticize.

Pro
Your grown children will stop bugging you to "get out there and find someone."

Con
Your grown children will start bugging you about something else — most likely something that involves your faulty parenting from ages ago.

Pro
You'll have someone other than your buddies to laugh with late at night.

Con
A late night can be hellish when your date has no sense of humor.

Pro
You confirm your attractiveness to the opposite sex.

Con
You confirm your suspicions of the opposite sex.

Pro
Dating beats staying home.

Con
Theoretically.

Pro
You get to experience new places, activities and foods you never would have discovered on your own.

Con
There is no con to this!

Pro
You learn what you like in other people — and what you might like to change in yourself.

Con
Observing how strangers respond to you can be, uh, eye-opening.

Pro
If you find that "special someone," you'll never have to date again.

Con
New life partners come with baggage — but that's a story for another time!

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