The majority of relationships begin with the most unromantic thing that two adults can do together: Having a one night stand.
I’ve never been big on romance in the traditional sense. I find the notion of a candlelit dinner or a romantic stroll on the beach to be trite and too structured. My idea of romance has always been along the lines of someone buying me a beer, letting me eat the last piece of pizza, or keeping their mouth shut during my favorite television show.
Contrary to normal consensus, my distaste for romance has little to do with my elevated levels of jadedness. Even when I was younger and much more naïve than I am now, someone buying me flowers or writing me a poem seemed awkward, forced, and cheesy. But now, at 33 and still single, people assume that I hate romance because I’ve been dating for 15 years and I’m simply exhausted. This mis-perception often pops up when discussing my views with less experienced friends, friends who still think that the odds of them meeting someone casually at a coffee shop aren’t actually less than the odds of them getting mauled by a pack of wild dogs.
The topic of romance is often discussed between myself and a particular friend of mine. He came out later in life than I did and has been dating but a blip in time compared to me. When he shows up at a dinner party starry-eyed after having swapped pleasantries with someone at the gym, I am the first one to knock him down a few pegs. I tend to balk at his fantasy of meeting that perfect guy, someone in his mid-30s with a decent job, with no overbearing psychological scars, and who holds a respectable record on the actual number of sexual partners that he’s had. To me, that’s like finding a hundred dollar bill in a swimming pool full of pennies. It could happen, but is it worth the work and patience?
The thing that I’m always trying to relate to my Pollyanna friend is that boyfriends don’t always come from a series of romantic dinners and bonding over things that you’re both passionate about. In my opinion, the majority of relationships begin with the most unromantic thing that two adults can do together: having a one night stand.
One night stands that lead to a meaningful relationship aren’t that uncommon. And things that may or may not occur during a one night stand can be either positives or negatives, things that you probably wouldn’t discover about someone until well into the 6th or 7th date. You’ve already seen them naked. And better yet, they’ve already seen you naked and were still interested! You can gauge how successful they are (if that’s important to you) based on their living arrangements. And if the one night stand occurs after several inhibition-loosening cocktails, by morning you’ll know whether or not you’re sexually compatible with each other. It’s easier to gauge total compatibility based on the level of awkwardness come daylight. If you’re both still at ease and talkative in the morning, move forward from there.
Pillow talk is the new first date. In this day and age, where you can get to New York from Thailand quicker than you can get someone’s phone number, why not skip the middle, less significant steps? It’s kind of like skipping the entire dance and just jumping to the part where you take a bow. Romance is all fine and good, but why does it have to come first? Take that car for a spin before you sink all of those romantic dinners and serenades into it. And hopefully, you’ll like it enough to buy it.