The mainstream CW on dating is that you should date a lot of (or at least several) people prior to marrying so you can sample what’s out there, “learn,” and “grow.” There seems to be some sort of social law stating that you will not marry your high school sweetheart (should you be lucky enough to have one), followed by muddling through
the carousel dating around during your 20s until sometime between 28 and 32 you settle down with The One. During this dating around time, you will “learn about yourself” and “learn about what you want.” The One will also during this time have been learning the same things, thus ensuring that he (or she) is truly The One.
This all sounds fine and dandy, but in practice, is this really what happens? Doesn’t everyone know girls who date jerk after jerk after jerk, all the while lamenting that they keep ending up dating jerks? Doesn’t everyone know guys whose girlfriends are all clones of each other? (For famous examples, look at Rod Stewart and all of his wives. Or Bruce Willis’s current wife, who looks like a younger version of Demi Moore. Or Leonardo DiCaprio’s string of blonde models. Or, to cite a female celebrity, Kate Hudson’s penchant for procreating only with rock stars.)
I really don’t think that people actually learn much of anything through serial dating, because if attraction is uncontrollable, then people are always going to be attracted to the same kind of thing. And that means that the person will keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Few people surprise their friends every time they start dating someone new. The only time that surprises tend to happen is when the person has had their fun and/or was scarred by the previous breakup and is now truly serious about finding a life partner. Cue manosphere screeching about carousels and leftovers – not that plenty of women haven’t had the experience of their ex turning around after the breakup and marrying the woman’s opposite mere months later.
A better strategy seems to be to sit down and think hard and shrewdly about what you want and what you absolutely need, and then target only people who fulfill that profile. But in a world where women follow the tingle and men (at least most beta men) accept scraps, such tactics seem unlikely to catch on on a wider scale….