We used to live in a world where not only did parents not have to warn their kids about strangers, relationships between children and mysterious adults were actually encouraged. Parents would often suggest their sons and daughters do odd jobs around strangers’ houses, take their money and sweets, get into their vans. Ahhh, good times. But those days are gone. Kids today—at home and at school—are repeatedly pounded like fists with the message that stranger equals danger.
Sadly, our world has become so effed up that I believe the Stranger Danger mantra is beneficial advice for grown women as well. Particularly when it comes to the dating scene, too many ladies are “hooking up” with strangers to disastrous results. I could you cite you thousands of horrible, blood curdling stories of broken hearts, lives and engagements, but I am not in the business of scaring people. Instead, just think on this: remember that last jerk you dated? Who was he before you met him? Answer: a stranger.
So if you can’t date strangers, whom am I suggesting you date? Well, firstly, I must remind you that we are living in the 21st century where love and marriage are teetering on the edge of extinction. The truth is: you needn’t date anyone. Flirt, dally with, shag, all fine, I don’t care. But if you are still chasing that boyfriend-girlfriend-happy-ever-after dream, I would suggest you get with the program.
But alas, I know that not all women are as enlightened as I and the continued popularity of padded bras, dating websites and issues of Cosmopolitan magazine indicates that ladies are still actively looking for love in all the wrong places. Cease and desist forthwith. If you’re going to date, date someone you already know.
Make a list of the people you know. Exclude anyone who is related to you by blood. Cross out any exes. Erase anyone you work with—it might seem tempting at a drunken Christmas party, but office romances rarely end well. Also, get rid of anyone with whom you have a doctor-patient relationship. When the relationship goes sour (which it eventually will), you’re going to have get a new GP and if you think finding a permanent partner is difficult, good luck finding two decent doctors in one lifetime.
It’s likely there is one group of candidates left on your list: your friends’ partners. Do I shock you? Well, hear me out. I am certainly not suggesting that you participate in an illicit affair. As you know, I believe trust and honesty are points of paramount significance between friends. Your assumption that I would suggest such a betrayal is appalling to me.
Instead, gather all your coupled friends around the table and propose a deal. If you explain that you need some attention, some affection, perhaps even a bit of rumpy pumpy, I can guarantee that at least one of your friends is sick to death of those very things and would gladly offer up her partner to you in exchange for something she needs: a break. Between the two of you, you’ll be able to devise a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Now this solution will only be temporary, of course, but all those blind dates, online chats and singles nights at bars won’t be leading to anything permanent either. You know that. This strategy has many advantages: your friend has already told her partner all of your worst qualities so you needn’t try to hard to be someone else. Naturally, you already know the good, bad and ugly of the partner so you know in advance which areas to avoid (finances, work stress) and which to accentuate (athletic skills, nipples). You’ve also got a built-in break up strategy—the phrase “we can’t do this to her anymore” will end it quite quickly. Plus you’ll be helping your friend out. Everybody’s a winner.
Wise and wonderful women around the world know that when it comes to finding love, strangers are just too risky. Recycling isn’t just for rubbish: a secondhand romance may be just what you need.