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Dating: The Ultimate Adventure in Job Training

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Believe it or not, the life of the single Jewish person isn’t all nerve-wracking pain, disappointment, frustration, stress and heartache.  Okay, perhaps I’m being overly optimistic.  But there are a couple of positive things to be said about being single. No, really! For example, the world is filled with fascinating occupations and I’ve gained invaluable experience in most of them simply through dating. As a result, my resume is now thirty-four pages long. But I use a smaller font, so it seems more like seventeen.

Don’t misunderstand – I’m not simply referring to the knowledge gained by hearing about my various dates’ jobs.  That would also be a very important source of learning about a wide variety of occupations.  I say “would be” because these women generally don’t have my complete attention since, as they’re speaking, I find myself pondering one of three major thoughts:

1.  I wonder if she doesn’t want a second date with me as much as I don’t want a second date with her?

2.  Still, I wonder what she looks like naked.

3.  Of all the Three Stooges, Shemp never really got the respect he so richly deserved.

No, I’m talking about the actual, specific career skills I’ve learned simply through the skills one needs to successfully navigate the online dating waters.  Take my recent dating relationship with Sarah (a pseudonym I’ve chosen to protect Amy’s identity).  Though far from being a professional actor, I nonetheless used my finest thespian skills to convince Sarah that my favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon was, same as hers, to take part in the Occupy L.A. protest and make our feelings known about corporate greed.  What a coincidence, Sarah!  My, we simply have so much in common!  And you look so sexy holding that “Hey, Corporate America, Where’s My Bailout?” sign!

Next, I summoned my best abilities as an amateur psychologist to make Sarah understand that, due to her never having received the love she so desperately desired from her father, she was determined to find a father figure in her romantic relationships.  This became crystal clear to her when I reminded her of all our intimate times together, in which she would encourage me to shout out, “Who’s your daddy?”  She wanted to understand more about her father fixation, but unfortunately I let her know that our hour was up and we’d continue it at the next session.  I also reminded her that I hadn’t received her last two payments and that I’d really hate to have to turn this over to a collection agency.

I’d always considered being a magician to be a glamorous career and fortunately, during my relationship with Sarah, I gained loads of experience making single-guy things disappear.  Before Sarah’s first visit to my place, I made all photos, letters, gifts, and traces of other relationships vanish into thin air.  Clothes on the floor, gone.  Dirt and dust, gone.  DVDs and magazines, the titles of which we needn’t repeat here, gone.  My ear hair, nose hair, and assorted hair from additional body locations – gone.  Abracadabra!  Penn & Teller, eat your hearts out! The Great Markini has done it again! I’d be working ship cruises and Vegas casinos in no time.

Thanks to Sarah’s being high-maintenance, I received a plethora of opportunities to exercise my skills as an accountant, estimating which portion of my income I’d need to reserve for restaurants, gifts, trips, flowers, cultural events – you name it.  And she did.  I figured out how many deductions we could take if we were married, had kids, used a home office.  I even envisioned a romantic ending, in which we’d both plead guilty for involvement in a fraudulent offshore tax shelter scheme, be sentenced to community service, and there, Sarah would change into a caring, sensitive, low-maintenance person, tell me money doesn’t matter, and that only love shall be our bond.  As you see, I lead a vivid fantasy life.

The point is that the dating process offers invaluable opportunities to develop a plethora of practical, career-related experience – which will make you much more marketable for future jobs in today’s challenging economy.  On a personal level, the woman I end up with won’t just get a man; she’ll get a scientist, a security guard, a cook, a politician, a masseur, a mechanic, a social worker, an athlete, and much more.  Perhaps that’s why it’s taking me so long to find her – I want to make sure all of those guys love her as much as I do.

Mark Miller is a marketing specialist, current JDate member, Facebook fanatic and comedy writer who has performed stand-up comedy in nightclubs and on TV, written on numerous sit-com staffs, been a humor columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and is a current humor columnist for The Huffington Post. But he says he’d trade all his success away in a minute for immortality, inner peace and limitless wealth.
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4 Comments »

  • Rho says:

    You need a thick skin for this job. The job being finding the right person – to find the one that’s right for both parties. As an Rn who has dealt with probably thousands of people – you need to get good at screening out those who give you the creepies – don’t doubt yourself – creepies feelings are likely caused by real creepies. But there are a lot of good people here also looking for you. Some are polite, some are rude and don’t return theose calls after encouraging you to call. That is where your thick skin comes in – it musn’t give you self doubts. Everyone is deserving of kindness, truth, and at the very least, a polite response.
    Keep going forward and don’t count only on online dating to find the right person. If you like to hike, join one or more hiking clubs, if you like movies, find a film club -these things and more are out there. And in the meantime, you’ll have fun doing the things you like.
    Love your female friends if you’re a woman but don’t spend all your time with women. Volunteer where the men volunteer – hospitals, libraries, religious groups.
    Hope I’ve made some sense while i’m also contuing my own job – I’m on a mission now to find the right person but in the meantime, I’m going to have a darn good time.
    Rho

  • Batyah119048994 says:

    I am a human resources professional, and I cannot tell you how much I agree with this article! Dating is very much like prepping for an interview…When coaching people on how to land interviews/prepare for the job, or deal with the break-up crisis, I find myself using dating/relationship terminology; likewise I use interview/job readiness skills to help someone prep for a date…

    Pre-Date:
    The profile (resume)
    Phone call (initial phone screen)

    Post Date:
    Anxiety as to whether there will be additional dates (interviews)
    Will we be a couple? (Will he/she hire me?)
    I don’t want another date with him/her (Rejection letter time!)
    So many candidates for the job! (Too many dates/emails – ahh!)

    Termination/Separation:
    We need to break up (you’re fired!!!)
    If getting divorced, alimony (Unemployment, benefits, etc)

    In my personal life, I’ve felt exactly the same way when I got divorced as I did when I lost my job; I’ve also found myself anxious before dates and studying the profile, the way I would research a company; or feeling like I wasn’t going to find another boyfriend(another job). In any case, the work involved, skills learned, and process (from acceptance to coping with rejection)is exactly the same psychologically and emotionally – in the job search as it is in finding a mate.

    Mark’s article was refreshing, hilarious, and of course, honest.

  • Ilene Miller says:

    When reading this article I didn’t know whether to chuckle or cry. My experience has been so similar, almost scary. The guys play games. If they have the common courtesy to answer your email, then they tell you to call. When you do it goes to voicemail and they never call you back. If they initiate contact, after you answer they never communicate at all. I believe the concept of dating sites is a great thing, however the sites are not used as they are intended. It seems like a game to most; looking to “hook up” for the evening” instead of looking for a real, mature relationship based on truth, commitment and trust. If one is lucky enough to finally get a date within a reasonable amount of time from the intial contact they you find out that the person looks nothing like their photo or the age that they claim to be. Being a member on a dating site requires time and patience to not only search and read all the profiles but to write an introduction that will generate a response. It would nice not only in theory but in reality, if people were sincere in their actions. All I can do is continue to be persistant in trying to meet someone. Hopefully, that persistance will pay off.

  • Sarah says:

    Seriously? Aren’t “humor” columns supposed to be funny?

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