Tales From The Dating Scene: The 90-Day Shelf Life

What I am about to write might sound crass, or jaded. But it is the truth.

What you are about to read started several years ago when I began wondering why every relationship I decided to get into seemed to not be able to last longer than 90 days.

I think I have finally figured it out. It all comes down to shopping habits.

Think about how you shop. Whether you are shopping for food, or clothes, or towels, the process is usually the same. You pick up an item that interests you, you look at it, maybe view it from several angles, and then put it down. You scan down the shelf for other similar items. You pick up one or two. Put them down. Read a few labels, look at prices. You think about how that item will fit into your house and your life. Eventually, you come to a decision and buy it. Or put it down in the interest of something else.

This is the life of a commodity in the eyes of a consumer.

From within the dating scene, the men you meet and date  are the same, only a commodity. And you are only a commodity to them.

“Here’s something else to think about: calling when you say you’re going to is the very first brick in the house you are building of love and trust. If he can’t lay this one stupid brick down, you ain’t never gonna have a house baby, and it’s cold outside.” ~ Greg Behrendt, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. 

Similar to the shopping scene and process, you go online and view their images, you read their bios, you decide if they would be something you like, you weigh their qualities against those of other men, maybe you try them on by going on a date or two, and then you take the plunge…or not.

Straightforward. Simple. Man or woman, we are all doing it the same way.

With some items, like food, or even clothes, you get them home and maybe use them or put them away somewhere.

No matter what, every commodity has a shelf life. A shelf life is defined as a period of time during which the product is considered most usable. For food, this could mean that eventually the food will expire and have to be thrown away because it is no longer safely edible. For clothes, this could mean that after so many washings it will begin to look faded or even fall apart.

Same applies to relationships on the dating scene. They all have a shelf life.

“Never rearrange your life in order to meet Mr. Darcy half way. If he couldn’t see your worth at the moment you met then he won’t two years later.” ~ Shannon L. Adler

There are articles out there that suggest that the shelf life of a new relationship is biologically and scientifically proven. The shelf life of a new relationship in the dating scene is roughly 90 days.

The explanation for the 90-day shelf life on new relationships is compelling. Basically, it states that within the first 90 days of meeting someone that we are attracted to, our hormones and instincts make it virtually impossible for us to see the things about that person that we should be. We are wired to look past the personality quirks and the idiosyncrasies in order to facilitate procreation. We are wired to not focus on the red flags unless they are life-threatening. To read more, go to Your Tango.

So, yes, the honeymoon phase that we all go through is not a myth and is biologically based. Only after the hormones and instinctual nature have simmered down do our brains then have the capacity to analyze what we are up against.

“One of the best times for figuring out who you are & what you really want out of life? Right after a break-up.” ~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass. 

Recently, during a forensic analysis with a group of friends over my most recent failed relationship, I was told about the concept of a 90-day rule. My first reaction was that it had to do with not having sex in a relationship for 90 days. Personally, I don’t think sex has a lot to do with whether or not a relationship succeeds.

It was explained to me that the 90-day rule is more about just having fun and using the period of 90 days to determine whether or not you really want to continue with this person. That after 90 days, either one of you can decide that it’s not going to work or you can decide that hey this is kind of good and let’s keep going.

What a new fresh approach. You mean, I can look at these guys as a “thing”, a commodity? I don’t have to jump in and try to make it work at all costs? I can enjoy myself and look past their oddities, and in 90 days just say no to the continuing ordeal?

“You picked a lemon, throw it away. Lemonade is overrated. Freaks should remain at the circus, not in your apartment. You already have one asshole. You don’t need another. Make a space in your life for the glorious things you deserve. Have faith.” ~ Greg Behrendt

It was a completely different perspective. And, it is completely out of line with my whole process of shopping. When I shop, and then buy something, I tend not to return things quickly. I make them work. But, I am also highly selective and put a lot of time into the initial selection. I am not an impulse shopper by any means.

On the flipside, I now understand that the men I have dated are exactly that, impulse shoppers. And I was their commodity, along with all the other women whom they had previously used and then discarded.

I buy value and in small quantities, with the intent to nurture and grow it. They bought quantity with the intent of going out and buying something else the minute they became bored or dissatisfied. And, like returning it to the store because it doesn’t do what you thought it would, I became their commodity.

Interesting – the things we learn when we look under the rocks and into the dark crevices.

I am so excited for the next “relationship”. I have done the analysis, learned something new, and have a new toolset to play with next time.

Watch out guys – your time is up.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

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It’s Only a Jigsaw, Silly

Every so often, I wake up with something really profound screaming in my head.

Sometimes I forget to write it down, or think that, because it was SO profound, that I will surely remember is later.

Not!

jigsaw This morning, I woke up comparing jigsaw puzzles and relationships. As I researched it, I found that, even though profound, it is not unique. But here goes.

Relationships are like jigsaw puzzles:

  • Some puzzles are simpler than others; hence, they can be put together quicker and easier.
  • None of them are easy. But, the easier they are, the less satisfying they are.
  • There are many pieces that on their own are pretty and unique ~ but together they make a beautiful creation.
  • The smaller and more intricate the pieces are, the longer it takes to put the puzzle together; but, when that puzzle is complete, it is a work of art.
  • If a piece is missing or misshapen, the puzzle can still be completed. You may have to work harder to finish it.
  • When you get stuck (because you will at some point), it’s best to give it a rest.
  • Sometimes, you have to put it back in its box and up on the shelf because it just wasn’t the right puzzle for you.
  • Some people have the curiosity and endurance to complete them; some don’t.
  • If you get one that you don’t like or can’t figure out, you CAN find another one that suits you better.

In the end, jigsaw puzzles and relationships can be as challenging and as satisfying as you want them to be.

Like anything in life, the choice is yours.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.