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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Why We Date

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Why We Date

Why do we date?  It’s an interesting question.  Have you ever thought about it.  If you do, you’ll probably hurt your brain, so instead, just read along.  When I was little (don’t make fun of me), I used to be amazed at the fact that my parents were at one time strangers.  Strangers!  Can you believe it?  But then, we’re a family.  They’re my parents.  How’d that happen?  So weird!

Eventually I learned that they met, liked each other, dated, my Dad proposed, they got married, and had kids, and we’re a family.  But they were once strangers.  So weird!

It honestly used to baffle me.


How people cannot know each other at all, but then not be able to live without each other.

Sort of amazing how that works, isn’t it?

But when I was young, then I got into all that thinking: “But what if my Mom didn’t meet my Dad, or my Dad didn’t meet my Mom?  Whose kid would I be?  Or would I be half of me?”  I was weird.

Anyway, back to why we date.  I guess it’s intrinsically in us.  We’re brought up the way, as were our parents and grandparents and generations before us, though, the methods of dating have definitely changed.

I mean, we have come along way from arranged marriages—well, not all of us.  But still, if you think about it, dating is weird.  In essence, your husband is a stranger!

Not really, I’m just ranting.  The dating part is how you get to know them.  You meet them, you talk, likes/dislikes, is there a future?  Where is my crystal ball?  But there are many different moments in dating when you have think about the future.  After all, is it just dating, or is it a means to an end, or rather a future?  Why do we date?

Some people date for fun.  They like the company, the companionship, a good time.  Right on.  They aren’t looking for a husband, they are looking for someone to go to the bar with, the club with, the movie with or out to dinner with.  Some people are looking for that future and get discouraged when the other is not.  When they go to dinner with him and he dribbles his sauce on his tie.  Oops!  I say, “Who cares?”  Someone else may say, “Who’s next?”

It’s also interesting that during dating we often think back to the men of dating past.  Not that we’re measuring them up, though some do, but have you ever wondered why one relationship ended, and then months later, wonder where it could have gone?  I’ll admit it, I have.  There were some men that I saw potential in, but mostly because I wanted it to work, however, I knew it couldn’t.  That’s where this stupid dating thing gets in the way.  People are so focused on what they think should happen, than what is actually happening right in front of them.

The best date I ever went on wasn’t strictly a “date.”  Gosh, that sounds like a prison sentence.  We were just getting to know each other more.  We were hanging out, let’s say that.  It wasn’t playing 20 questions, it was this new sort of thing called…oh…what is it?  Talking?  Yes, talking.  We were just talking, and it was great.  We went out to dinner, hung out and we talked.  And through that talking came out the things that would have during a 20-questions date rant.  But the conversation was so comfortable, that we didn’t need to pose the questions.  Besides, why should I be asking about what someone else’s older brother does for work when I really just care about the person in front of me?

So, why we date?  We date so we can get to know someone.  We date to see if we like them.  We date to meet people.  We date to perhaps build friendships, and maybe only that.  We date to have companions—people we can come to trust.  We date to find someone who we can build our lives with.  It may not be the first person we date, and we may not forget that first person we date.  But we’ll never forget that last person we date.


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

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