#1 of Bias in Dating: “I will never date a _______ again”
Ever been called a Cougar? Sugar Daddy? He’s only three years younger — what’s the big deal?
He finished it. His reason? I forgot to mention I’m seeing someone. I later found out “seeing someone” = teenage-sweethearts-of-seven-years-and-we-lost-our-virginity-together. Probably dodged a sexually inexperienced dick-bullet. Assuming this was the first affair, of course.
“I am never dating a younger guy again” A naive 23 year-old Me told herself.
These younger dudes just didn’t cut it when it came to maturity. Every time I met a business degree drop-out Bartender who kept a big black dildo in a Glenfiddich box for ‘banter’, I validated my belief—yes, this person actually existed.
I allowed this one baby lothario to dictate how I dated. Disregarding anyone too young to remember the macarena, I believed I could avoid heartbreak.
I was falling for outcome bias. I was making judgements based on past decisions where I already knew the consequence. I was failing at dating because I was letting my past determine my future. I know now that many young bucks could have treated me like a Queen.
Five years, countless dates and one relationship later, I was single once again. For the first time in my twenties, I wasn’t looking.
“He asked me to play badminton. Is this a date?”
“I’m afraid it is a date”
“I don’t think I’m ready”
“Just go and play badminton, babe”
He was younger. But I wasn’t looking for love so I had no expectations. I went in with an open mind and a golf club. Badminton was fully booked.
His youth was why we worked.
We would soak ourselves in overpriced bath bombs and hip hop. We would attempt to break dance to The Gap Band in formal wear. We would book spontaneous holidays to the Netherlands without a single thought for our overdrafts.
It ended too soon but we were happy for a short while.
Outcome bias is the faithful friend that tells you not to make the same mistakes twice. But what if you disregard someone good for you, whether it’s for a brief moment or forever? If I had planned my future from the first date, there may not have been a second.
Our problem lies in our need to know where a relationship will go before we’ve had chance to experience it. We’re quick to stop ourselves if we think we might re-visit past hurt with a new lover. But I assure you, there is no way I will ever meet a guy again who disguises a sex toy he definitely used alone as a refined whisky. That shit does not happen twice—remember this when you worry about history repeating itself.
People are complex. Variables exist. Heartbreak is inevitable.
You can try to control your fate but you might miss out on someone who makes your heart melt and your privates flutter. Next time you consider ruling out someone because they have poor cinema etiquette, their chest is too hairy or they have an unhealthy obsession with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, remember it might just be the reason you fall in love with them.
#1 of Bias in Dating