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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Numbers Game

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Dating and the Numbers Game

Has anyone else ever seen the movie “Lucky Seven” that starred Kimberly Williams and Patrick Dempsey?  She has this belief, passed down from her mother, that it will be the seventh man she has a relationship with that she will marry.  Only then will she be ready, and he will be the right one.  She will see…”fireworks.”

This is all going as planned until she meets #6, Patrick Dempsey.  Though she’s falling a little for him, she thinks that she can’t because she’s destined to be with #7.  It would ruin the plan.  Well, I won’t spoil the end of the movie for you, but it just goes to show how sometimes believing in a dating theory, whether made up by society, ourselves, or passed down by family, can interfere with our dating.  Especially when we turn it into a numbers game.


You should wait a certain # of days before you call him back.

It should be on the __th date that you get intimate.

Only after you have dated for __ amount of time should you introduce him to friends, and then later, family.

Don’t date him more than three dates if he is not marriage material.

You must be married by age __.

Fill in the blanks for whatever rules you have, and let’s face it, everyone plays the numbers game when dating, and really, isn’t it a little tiring?  If you put so much stress on being married by a certain age, then it takes the fun out of the dating.  You are just looking for a means to an end, where it should be about meeting interesting and fun people—not about “counting” them out early because you don’t see it going anywhere.  Have you really given it enough time?

Many say timing is everything, but I say—throw out your watches!  Well, at least, put them aside.  If you’re interested in that coworker and he’s new, so you want to give him just enough time to settle and “check him out” before you get to know him or make your move, you might miss out.  Sally from Accounting might jump on that opportunity, and before you know it, you get the invitation to their wedding.  Okay, maybe not that extreme, but the point is, waiting around will get you nowhere.  In this situation, seeing a new coworker that you’re interested in can be a great opportunity.  Ask him out to lunch one day and fill him in on things.  Just remember how long your lunch break is.  Time is important there.

What about the whole, how many dates before you know it’s going nowhere?  Is it three?  Many people say three.  I’ve dated guys where I knew within five minutes, and ta-da!  I was right.  With other guys, I knew it for a while, but mistakenly hung on to the idea of being someone, even though I knew it was wrong, and after a couple months, cut if off, even though I could have way before.  Trust your instincts on this one.  If you’re not feeling it after three, but want to give it a chance, then do it.  Don’t cut someone loose because there’s a lingering number over his head that is slowly counting down.

People used to get married at 18.  Then early 20’s.  25.  30.  Now 40 or…whenever.  Why does there have to be a guideline for that?  Who can predict when you’re going to meet that other person who is right for you?  Don’t let age factor into anything.  Besides, 40 is the new 20 or something…isn’t it?  I joked with my sister, because she got married 8 days before she turned 27, so I told her she only set the date then because she wanted to be 26 when she got married.  Of course they had been together for a while, so it wasn’t really an issue, and she laughed it off (because, after all, he is 6 months younger), but if I know my sister, and I actually do know her, there might have been a little relief there.  Women! :-)

Not to be all geeky, but one of my favorite quotes is by poet T.S. Eliot and goes:
“In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” 

Now think about that.  How important is time to you in the scheme of dating?  Spending so much time scheduling things just might sabotage it and more importantly, take the fun out of it.  Stop counting.  Start dating.  Stop worrying.  Start having fun.  And then, you will see all the possibilities.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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