Dating commandments #1: You sell low, you stay low

I recently discovered one of my most intelligent, charming, dynamic and dentally-focused friends was seeing  a man who refuses to brush his teeth.

I pointed out that not only did she brush and floss her teeth assiduously, she saw her dentist every three months and used tooth whitening products on a regular basis. As a result she has great teeth and an ass-kicking smile. He, on the other hand, has few teeth of poor quality,

“Why are you wasting your time with someone like that when it’s so patently obvious this goes against everything you believe in?”

“Oh, he’s fun, good in bed, we go to clubs together and it’s just twice a week – you know it’s just a temporary thing.

“So something which is in fact a deal breaker with you and would be spoken about with a man you loved, is being overlooked, for what exactly? Please don’t say sex.”


Smart women make foolish choices. The next day she made a good choice to return to her values and told him that she could not be intimate with someone who did not take dental hygiene seriously. “It’s worse than not washing your dick,” she’d apparently told him. I’m not sure about that. Anyway, let’s move on to the wider picture.


Online dating has burned the goalposts

Open-mindedness, flexibility and adaptability are necessary to start and to sustain a relationship. These are positive things.But then there’s compliance. Compliance is the worst kind of compromise in a personal sense. It’s throwing away your core values and selling yourself low. And a lot of people are doing it because dating has lost all parameters and become pretty much a casual, throwaway exercise. Online dating was supposed to be a fun and easy way to connect with lots more people, (which is the part we liked) but it’s also arguably contributed to an environment where sex is assumed to always be on the table until it’s called off, nobody calls anyone back and not showing up for a date is tolerated. Ok, so you could argue that now we can all meet loads of people, try them out and move on with a better idea of what we want. But we all know that doesn’t happen. Instead it’s click and flick. If you’re lucky you might get to click lick and flick, unless you’re the one that’s flicked – in which case you’re flucked.


So how low will you go?

With no goalposts and few formalities, the onus is on you to make your own. Those little things that matter to you like clean teeth, well they’re the things that end up being the big ones. By the way this isn’t about making lists with impossible criteria (he has to have a Ferrari, she needs to be a model), another legacy of online dating. It’s simply about being true to what matters to you. It might seem like after 135 exchanges online you have to settle for something and give it a try. I don’t have a problem with that but I think you have a problem if you’re dumping your core values to do that. Because you’ll end up hating yourself and worse, just losing yourself. You need to set your basic price and stay there. It’s much easier mentally and emotionally to go up when you hold your position. But once you dump the things that matter, and you do it a few times, you’ve got less resolve to stick to your price. As I learned in advertising, don’t compromise your basic brand.

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