So I was laying on my couch drinking an entire bottle of pinot grigio and incoherently babbling to my cat in an attempt to figure out what went wrong in my last dating foray when I had an idea. No, it wasn’t that I shouldn’t have had the whole bottle of wine, or even that I shouldn’t be talking to a cat, but this idea of Degrees of Dating. It’s not degrees as in education, but more degrees in terms of measurement—temperature and distance. Just to make it fun, I’ve come up with my own Six Degrees of Dating (not to be confused with Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, though I’m sure if I trace it back far enough I’ve probably dated him by association at some point).
1. 0 degrees (or 32 degrees if you are keeping it strictly Fahrenheit)--this is sort of a double duty degree—it could represent the freezing point of a relationship, where one or both of you decides to throw in the towel, hang it up, dump or be dumped, etc. It could also represent the lack of interest when one party is interested in the other but the feeling is not mutual. You decide. Either way, baby, it’s cold outside.
2. 65 degrees—I’m a fan of this degree for many reasons. I see it as the point to where you’re not really sure about the new person you’re dating and you’re trying to keep it a little cooler than usual before you haul off and get into the deep end. It could be that he/she has a reputation about town and you’re still doing your research, or it could be that they have a few things you need to inquire about before you decide to give it your all, like habits and what have you. 65 is the perfect temp to idle for a while and check out your situation, and it’s also a smart strategy so you don’t go from 0 to boiling too fast and end up blowing a gasket. You could also consider this the “time out” degree, as in, cool off, take a step back, and re-evaluate before you do or say something stupid.
3. 75 degrees—Most people are comfortable being outside when it is 75 degrees relative to the humidity, and this is the point in the relationship where you start to get comfortable with each other. You’re going out more, learning all the things you have in common, and meeting each other’s friends. You’ve decided that at 65 everything checked out so you want to turn up the heat a little. Just make sure you don’t stay at 75 forever in the beginning stages of a relationship, because that spells doom. You get too comfortable and you never raise your temperature, you’re going to be sitting around 5 years from now wondering why he/she hasn’t proposed. It’s like the 75% rule—you’re ¾ of the way there, but where’s the other 25%? Is it ever going to make a complete pie chart? Of course after your relationship is on solid, committed ground, 75 is pretty good. You don’t want to be too comfortable here either, so make sure you do something to bring it up to boiling every now and again, but you can spend a lot of time at 75 and be perfectly happy in the long run. You like 75% of what this person’s about, and the other 25% is tolerable.
4. 100 degrees (or 212 for you Fahrenheit-loving Red White and Blue Bleeding Americans)—This is the boiling point—the point where the stars have aligned, all is right with the world, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining. Your amour is perfect in every way, right down to the adorable way he/she drools all over your side of the pillow. You want to share the drool eternally! You want to be there to share every experience, tackle every obstacle, and smell every fart! Good for you! The only problem is, when you hit boiling, you can’t stay there forever. You can only boil for so long before you boil over or you run out of steam. So be careful. Cool it back down to 65 and take stock. It’s hard to do, but it’s going to save you some hassle and possibly keep you from spending the next third of your life going from 0 to boiling and back again. That’s hard on a radiator and it’s hard on a heart.
5. 180 degrees—Ah, the old 180. It’s a classic term used for a complete change in tack, as in “I thought we were getting along great, then he does a complete 180 and dumps me! As if!” Sometimes a 180 is a good thing, if someone’s really turned their life around, but a lot of times the 180 is used in a derogatory sense. I don’t have any words to explain how shitty a 180 can make you feel until you’ve lived it. Anybody is capable of it and you never know when it’s going to strike. But when it does, I bet I know the first words out of your mouth.
6. 360 degrees—I like to use this degree to describe two phenomena—When you are stuck in a vicious cycle of breaking up and making up, thus bringing you full circle in your relationship over and over and never getting out; and when you have come full circle and are ready to stop doing what you’re doing because you see what’s coming and it’s getting you nowhere fast. I like it better in the latter sense, but not everyone has the sense to pull a 360 that way. It’s unfortunate because it usually ends up leading to another 360 of the former sense and then they can’t see the forest for the trees.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got! Let me know what you think!