1. When dating you are, for lack of a better phrase, "tasting flavors to find your favorite" (thanks, mom)...right? So you have a few dates (or maybe one is it's awful) and see if you like what you've found...the same when finding friends. If you don't like what you've found you don't call them back or just never call them to begin with and hope you don't bump into them at your favorite bar...with friends it's the same, except you hope not to see them at your regular grocery store or gym (for fear you might have to switch).
2. When dating you have a somewhat solid idea of what you're looking for...perhaps a list of qualities, i.e. good paying job, nice teeth, wants to have children someday. With finding friends you still have these ideal qualities, they just might be: similar job to you, nice teeth, has children that are close to yours in age. ( You get the idea.)
3. When dating and when finding friends, very rarely do you find your "perfect match" on the first date. I am having little luck here....I am dating a lot.
4. When dating there are specific places you look to meet someone, like a nice pub or the library, maybe at an art opening. Then there are places you'd rather not meet your future partner, like in jail. The same goes for finding friends. We look at the local park, the library...maybe a pub...certainly not jail.
5. Last but not least, when dating and looking for a life partner, chances are good you don't sleep with them on the first date...right? Maybe I am wrong and for those of you that did...more power to you, I was never brave enough to do that. When finding friends I'd hope we aren't sleeping with them on the first play date, but we are also not going to share our most private thoughts and stories with them either.
Whether dating or finding friends it is a winding road with bumps and turns and dark, scary sections and bright, sunny comfortable sections....I have a play date tomorrow with a new woman I met at a LLL meeting. I hope it goes well. I am in dire need of some companionship. It seems that my dark, scary section is longer these days. Just when I think I see that bright, sunny patch ahead the clouds come back. Dating sucks!