Yesterday I started reading a book called The Science of Single. You may wonder why I’d read a dating book, considering the fact that I’m married.
Here’s why: The author’s project is incredibly similar to mine, save for two small details. 1) Her search takes place in Washington D.C., and 2) She’s looking for boyfriends rather than best friends.
The Science of Single author, also named Rachel, “committed a year of her dating life to trying every mainstream (and not-so-mainstream) method of meeting potential mates, from single’s events and dating coaches, to speed dating and online personals.” She spent a year romantic-dating, I spent a year friend-dating.
Rachel Machacek feels about dating exactly as I feel about searching for friends. She discusses how hard it can be to meet someone “naturally” but also that if you do the work and put yourself out there, dates aren’t that tough to find. First dates, that is. Connecting with someone who you want to see again, and maybe again and again, is a different story.
The premise of The Science of Single got me wondering: Which is harder for women—finding a spouse or finding a BFF? And who is easier to meet and date? Potential suitors or potential friends?
Now, I recognize that I lucked out in the romance department. Meeting your husband in college is totally the easy way out of the dating scene. But my personal experience aside, I’d still argue that if you are new to a city, romantic-dates would be easier to find then girl dates.
There is a protocol, a vocabulary, and a playbook for dating. Generally, people know the etiquette of meeting someone and going on a date. Singles aren’t embarrassed, from what I can tell, to be on the market for romantic dates. Also, there are a million services/websites/mixers geared toward daters. According to Machacek, dating is a $1.8 billion business, “and there are thousands of resources everywhere for the people who are looking to date.”
Looking for friends as an adult hasn’t reached the social acceptance that romantic dating has. To discuss my BFF search, I have to borrow lingo from the singles scene. There are some services—speed-friending, friendship matchmakers—but they are few and far between and only a couple of years old. From my own experience (and that of some readers who’ve been kind enough to share), starting a search for friends is embarrassing. I thought about my local friend dilemma for two-and-a-half-years before I decided to ignore the humiliation and mention it in public. Now I know that I had nothing to be embarrassed about, but I had to work up the nerve to discuss it on this blog in order to figure that out. And I’d venture to guess that the monetary value of the friending business is way lower than $1.8 billion, though I don’t think anyone has ever studied it.
This is not to say that dating is easy. I know that it’s not. But if you are starting at square one in both the romantic and friend dating arena, I still say you might have a harder time finding a best friend than a boyfriend… (I’d add to that argument that the best friend is the more vital relationship).
What do you think? Do you agree? Or is my head just clouded by all friends, all the time?