We live in the age of disposability. Throwaway Tupperware, throwaway cups, throwaway cameras. Hell, we even have throwaway cellphones. We have loyalty to absolutely nothing (except maybe to those Energie jeans that make our butts look great). As consumers, we're bombarded with so many choices, our expectations are through the roof. Our daily lives are filled with the constant search for the next best thing. It's not surprising, then, that this behaviour translates into our dealings in what may be the hardest market of them all - love.
Our finely tuned ability to comparison shop, combined with the overwhelming urge to scrap what we have and start fresh, are constant factors in our dating lives today.
We just don't give anything a chance. And this might be the reason most of us are single and constantly complaining that we haven't found "the one."
Are we just too damn picky?
I've had friends dump guys because their hands were too small or their jeans were just a little too much "flood" for their liking. Or, god forbid, their shoes were Steve Madden and not DKNY, and on top of it, scuffed. Come on!
That's not to say that we can't have expectations or shouldn't follow our gut. I'm not suggesting we should ignore it if there isn't any chemistry. But perhaps our need to nitpick a guy, like an obsessive-compulsive examining a ripe melon, blinds us to the fact that there may indeed be somebody great across from us at Starbucks.
Perhaps we need to go back to what our mothers taught us about not judging a book by its cover. Again, if the guy has two heads and that isn't your thing, you needn't re-enact Disney's Beauty And The Beast. Still, when you're on a date, the conversation is going well and you're actually clicking, why focus on the fact that the guy tucked his sweater into his pants? (Still, I personally believe that tucking a sweater should be considered a criminal offence in the province of Ontario.)
Why are we so able to turn our backs on the possibility of experiencing great things when we're faced with the smallest possible flaw? Are we afraid of committing to someone? Why are we always on the prowl for reasons to jump ship? Do we believe "the grass is always greener" and that if what we have in front of us isn't 100 per cent perfect we must move on?
Whatever lies behind our bargain-bin dating habits, we've become creatures with stricter criteria for dating than those used to weed out contestants for the latest Mark Burnett reality TV show.
The fact is that nothing is ever 100 per cent in life, because we're all constantly changing. So if you're having coffee with a guy who shares your fascination with sea monkeys and his favourite movie is Troop Beverley Hills, but he also obviously enjoys acid wash jeans, it may be wise to actually go on another date with him.
After all, one can always offer to do the laundry and have a dreadful bleach-pouring accident, followed by a romantic shopping outing to the nearest H&M. Jeans can change; personality, chemistry and passion are usually constants. In order to fully reap the benefits of a relationship, we need to invest something we're often hesitant to give: our time.
So the next time you're out with a guy who makes you laugh, has the most amazing eyes and holds the door for you but is wearing white socks with last season's shoes, give him a chance. Get to know him. He may actually turn out to be the Prince Charming you've been looking for after all.