Are You Dateable?

News flash: You totally are. Here are a few pointers so you never ask that question again.

The appeal of a relationship is many things. It’s someone to share dreams with, support you during low times, and share the simple things. You know that Maroon 5 song “Sunday Morning”? That relationship vibe. It’s a wonderful feeling. Whether you’re recently broken up or a long-term single, you may be asking why. And I don’t blame you!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man or a theydy or a themtleman. If you’re a person with a heart, yes, you are ready to date.

Now, before you devolve into the time-wasting nonsense some of my friends have committed in the past — chiefly, taking online quizzes like “How Dateable Are You Actually” or “What % Dateable Are You” and then having your eyes glaze over quiz after quiz after quiz (it’s astounding how many quizzes are out there) — stop. Dating isn’t a test, let alone one you could ever really study for or hope to get all the “right” answers to. Taking one quiz is fun, but if you find yourself taking too many of those things, it’s time for some real talk from yours truly.

Dating and "dateability" myths

Before you even say anything, let me tell you:

  1. If you think you’re undateable because of your appearances, remember that beauty is no replacement for a good sense of humor or true kindness. If they know what’s good for them, people will take an “ugly” (read: not conventionally pretty) and nice partner over a conventionally beautiful but mean partner any day.
  2. If you think you’re “damaged goods”, remember that everyone has been through some terrible relationships. If someone can’t hold the hurt parts of you, you shouldn’t be trusting them to hold the rest of you either.
  3. If you think it’s because you’re too much, think instead that whoever you’re pining over isn’t enough for everything you are.
  4. If you think it’s because you’re not extroverted enough, gosh, try a dating app. You may be more textroverted than you think.

Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man or a theydy or a themtleman. If you’re a person with a heart, yes, you are ready to date. So, without further ado, let’s answer the question:

Am I dateable?

I guess the main anxiety people have when they Google “am I dateable” is that people are equating unhealthy relationship habits with being undateable. Healthy relationships come with this magic of everything being easy; you doubt neither your nor your partner’s role in the relationship. But if you’re like me, you’ve probably had your share of unhealthy or even toxic relationships that have made you doubt yourself. It’s sad, but it’s true: no matter how you identify on the gender or sexual orientation spectrum, you are bound to meet people who, although ready and willing to date, are still going through some… Other stuff.

No matter your potential partner’s intentions, if they are ghosting you or sending mixed signals, it may be a sign that the best thing for your relationship is to let go of each other. If you meet someone who makes everything about them when something good happens and everything about you when something bad happens, steer clear; that person is not ready for you. If spending time with this person makes you feel emotionally drained or even angry, reconsider what kind of relationship you want with them.

No matter your potential partner’s intentions, if they are ghosting you or sending mixed signals, it may be a sign that the best thing for your relationship is to let go of each other.

Whatever happens, remember that these negative interpersonal experiences are indicative not of YOUR “undateability” but to the current relationship. You can’t really compare any one relationship to the next one. Remember those “dateability” quizzes you took when I wasn’t looking? They’re just trying to extrapolate on the most generic assumptions. And, as we all know, you can never really make assumptions about anything, let alone the behavior of the people closest to you.

What do I do?

Back when I was seventeen and at my nerdy high school philosophy summer camp, my friends and I were tasked by the instructors with figuring out how to best define what truly humane behavior was. While some of my friends went on to quote the philosophers we were studying and cite fancy terms, my friend Matthew stuck with a single sentence: Don’t be a jerk.

If you said yes to any of these questions or acknowledged the ways you could improve in these areas, you’re already dateable. Congratulations!

Although we all ended up agreeing someone else’s definition was better, “Don’t be a jerk” was the only adage of human goodness that anyone walked away remember. So, from my friend Matthew to you, Don’t be a jerk. It surprisingly covers a lot of ground in terms of having kind and strong relationships.

If you’re not a jerk (hint: most people aren’t), then you are already on your way to being totally dateable. Do you listen when other people speak? Do you ask for help when you need help? Are you willing to put in your share of effort in having a good relationship with each person in your life? If you said yes to any of these questions or acknowledged the ways you could improve in these areas, you’re already dateable. Congratulations. Now get yourself out there, either online or outdoors with your favorite face mask on.

Original publish date: January 7, 2021