*Dating was that simple when we were younger! I wish someone would’ve taken preemptive measures and told me that it was much more difficult when you’re older. What seemed an exact science as a 9-year-old fourth grader, is a foreign as astrophysics to a 31-year-old bachelor with a liking to liberal arts, it’s just not that easy. Back then, all that mattered was if the girl was cute and she didn’t stink; now I’m worried if her family has a history of mental illness, wondering if her credit score is B.C. and taking the blame for all the blame of previous cats (Musiq Soulchild was right on!).

I’m starting to wonder if mutual attraction even plays a part these days, it all seems like life-changing decisions are being made before we’re introduced. She’s too skinny, he’s too short. She’s too independent, he lives with his mama. She doesn’t cook, he doesn’t make enough money. She has a kid, he has too many kids. She’s bitter and he doesn’t want to be a playa no more. Damn, I just want to know your name, maybe follow you on Twitter and get to know you over drinks and popcorn shrimp if that’s not too much to ask for?

But we’re playing for keeps nowadays. It seems that a good man or a good woman that fits our criteria is far and few between, so you have to lock in at hello. Even first dates aren’t the same anymore. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie or dinner and dancing? Women want to talk, yeah, women want to talk. How much talking can we do on the first date? I don’t need to know your views on politicsabortionthedeathpenaltyreligionhealthcarereformimmigrationandMichaelJackson before they bring out the cheddar bay biscuits. That’s politics, abortion, the death penalty, religion, health care reform, immigration and Michael Jackson. Yet, that’s the pressure on the first date now, I have to choose our wedding song by the time we figure out who’s paying the bill. But here I was thinking I was going to get to know you a taste, laugh a little and maybe get a kiss at the end of the night, not go on an interview.

Let me back up a bit, what exactly goes for a good first date these days? I asked that question on my survey last month and saw quite a few interesting responses. It really seems that women really want to talk and keep activity to a minimum. The most intriguing of the answers was the suggestion of breakfast or brunch. I actually dig that answer because meeting up at that time of day relieves a lot of the first date angst. You know, how do I look, I hope I don’t say anything stupid, should I invite him back to my place, am I gonna get some? Plus, it leaves room enough in the day to see just how spontaneous the two of you can be if you hit it off and decide to spend some extra time together. Or, if you’re just not the match you thought at that first meeting, plenty of time to break out and get on with the rest of your life.

Dating should be pressure-free, because the two of you should be comfortable around each other and not worrying about whether or not you’re going to have to submit a DNA sample so your criminal record can be ran.  The objective is to get to a relationship, which may happen after two or three dates or even six months, but the initial hurdles shouldn’t be so high that you just say F it! With that said, I need a date to see my man Lenny Lak Saturday night…

About the writer

“The Bachelor’s Archive” is Plainfield, NJ native Al-Lateef Farmer’s online diary that examines his previous romantic interactions as he attempts to close one chapter of his life and begins to write the next with happier endings in mind. Through these weekly looks in the mirror, he attempts to be as transparent as ever and answer the question he asks himself most, “Do I want to be a bachelor forever?”

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef, social commentary rooted in independent thought that tackles everything from politics to pop culture, Reality Television to relationships, and is unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal! Take a trip at http://worldaccording2teef.blogspot.com/