Monday, January 21, 2013

Date 2 Date...And Let The Cream Rise To The Top!

Happy New Year!
Almost eighteen years ago a charming young man told me, “I date one woman at a time.  If you’d like to date others let me know, we can be movie buddies….”  Thrilled with the idea that this man I was smitten by, on the fourth day after reconnecting from some fifteen years prior, I jumped at the chance for us to solely focus on each other.  I dialed any and every one I was remotely dating and banned them from, calling and/or attempting to connect with me.  “I’ve met someone and I want to give the relationship a chance, I can’t date him and you too…” I explained. 

I wore that stance like a badge of honor.  After all there was someone interested in me as much as I him, and he was courageous enough to declare his devotion to me at such an early stage in our relationship. 

Giddily, for the next two years we walked around hopelessly devoted to one another.  Both of us swatted  advances from others regardless of any attraction, chemistry or curiosity.  By the third year of our courtship, we were married and well on our way to a happy forever after.  Now when I tell this account of my relationship, most women coo at the thought or beam green.  While I continue to pursue my happily ever after with this man—I can’t imagine myself with anyone else—given the same circumstances eighteen years ago and knowing what I know now, I’d do things slightly differently.  I would offer my newly empowered 30something, different advice.  I’d say, “Self….Date to Date, don’t date to marry and let the cream rise to the top!”

I’m sure self would ask, “what do you mean?”  I would explain.  Be flattered by that young man’s proposition to only date one person at a time but don’t cut yourself short of the possibilities, not yet.  When one dates to date, one gives oneself the opportunity to learn and explore themselves, other people and their true compatibility.  Instead of fitting qualities into a pigeon hole, attributes, beliefs and behaviors will emerge from your [potential] mate.  One gets to analyze and determine if that quality really fits for the individual.  When one dates to marry, the truly compatible characteristics of a mate are buried.   Just because someone will make a great mother, father, husband or wife doesn’t mean that person will satisfactorily fulfill that role for you. 
When one dates to date, you give yourself freedom to discover actions and reactions from both yourself and your partner.  You give yourself permission to figure out what you like and what your true deal breakers are and who really fits for you.  Dating to date breeds honesty and confidence—the single most attractive quality in a person according to several dating polls.  When you date to date you neutralize desperation.  When you date to date, those who desire you, will pursue you and deserve you as well as vice versa.  The right one will emerge and rise to the occasion.  When you date to date you give yourself the freedom, beauty and duty of choice.

Let’s be clear, I am not advocating polygamy, deceit or betrayal.  When it is time to be in a monogamous relationship, be honest and go for it.  Hopefully the two of you have vetted each other well enough to feel solid about taking that next step and turning to the next page at the same time.

Now my husband made his choice—and I would have it no other way, I am one of the blessed ones—he also cleverly eliminated the competition long before the gun fired.  I say to you young woman in 2013, don’t be so quick to eliminate the competition.  Be open, honest, confident and discerning.  Date to date, don’t date to marry and let the cream rise to the top.

Do you think it's better to date for specific qualities honing into people for specific reasons or better to date seeking discovery? Share your thoughts about dating to date vs. dating to marry....

This is Toni Staton Harris checkin’ up and checkin’ in on dating in the new millennium.


  1. I'm probably not your target demographic for this post but I could not agree with it more!! Love yourself and your independence. Be social and what you want will happen. If it doesn't. So what?

  2. Hey Toni one should date to date and not find out later that you truly are not compatible or you have different interest etc. Yes let the cream rise to the time instead of settling...Happy New Year Girlie and Continued Blessing!!!!!!

  3. Hi Toni. First let me say I got a Linkedin request from you and needed to know who you were before accepting or rejecting - so, I Googled you and found your blog. WOW! Dating to date/marry. Someone posted earlier that they were probably not your target demographic and I know I'm twenty years past that group however, I would like to comment. It is certainly just my opinion, but while what you surmise is true, my thoughts are a bit different. First, I don't think you should date anyone you would not consider marriagable.Yes, you should date to date, but you should also consider if the person you are dating possesses the qualities you want in a husband - if he does not and you are considering making him over, I say move on because he is who he is. I guess I like “date to discover”. You know, vet the person carefully. I said vet not test. Check out his temperament, values, goals, etc. and see if he is a do or a don’t. I could go on but I won’t. Ultimately I agree with you but again, I’m a bit past your target audience age range. And at this age I date to date, but I keep the dating to marry upper most in my mind.