"With most endeavors, having a clearly identified goal is necessary, or at the very least, helpful in achieving that goal. But with dating..., can being "goal-oriented" hinder rather than help?"
Very rarely do I get the tingles for someone upon first meeting them. It usually requires a long, drawn-out process of getting to know them within a context where there is no romantic/sexual expectation. Hence, I don't like getting hit on. I don't like pushy. I will run if chased (or hurl myself out of a still moving taxi). This also explains my preference for being the aggressor. For me, repeated exposure to a particular someone within a NON romantic/sexual context is usually necessary for me to develop the tingles. And I have great respect for the tingles; I rarely ignore their call, and their call is absolutely required.
So goal oriented dating simply doesn't work for me. A few "dates" to get to know each other, under the expectation of a possible future relationship (of whatever kind), are not sufficient to provide me with nearly enough data points. I require vast data points before I can even begin to feel TRULY interested in a person. And the vast majority of men out there (unless I meet them in a context of work or friendship) simply do not have the patience to play out that game. Especially in NYC, where there's far easier prey out there.
But then I stumbled upon this article in the NYTimes. "Dating is dated. Hooking up is here to stay."
According to the Op-Ed Columnist, Charles Blow:
It turns out that everything is the opposite of what I remember. Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date.
Oh good grief. Unless I want to raise cats for the rest of my life, I think I might need to entirely change how I operate.