I have not done this in awhile.
Dating for convenience (‘DoC’ for short) is a prevalent concept in most developed countries, especially Asian countries. By DoC, I mean couples that date because they happen to attend the same school/ university or work at the same workplace.
Most cosmopolitan countries demand absolute obedience towards a specific aspect of their life, whether it be your studies or work. Every day, we spend 75% or even more of our time at school or work. Singapore is a very good example of such a workaholic culture. We do not social with outsiders or meet new people. Who has time for such things. We end up “hanging” out with the usual crowd and eventually we end up dating one of them. Convenience disguised as “nothing like dating your best friend”.
Of course, there are the strangers we have a short term fling with. Physical attraction is always a b%^*. But most of these flings end quickly as they lack the key ingredient people look for these days: convenience. When you spend 75% of your time at one place, which your partner has no involvement or idea about, you just do not have the energy to create sufficient quality time with your significant other. Who has time to be selfless these days. Even more so, most people after a 12-15 hour work /school day do not have the energy to play the attentive/caring partner. We are too busy finding a partner who is perfect for us.
DoC enables you to integrate your dating life with the time you spend at school or work. It is obviously unhealthy, but it is convenient. Think of this way: Instead of just having lunch with your work colleague, it is also lunch with your partner; work lunch/date. Awesome, right? Let’s be intimate by holding hands while b^&*ing about other office colleagues. Let’s sit together in the library and study for that difficult exam next week. I have so many friends who are in DoC relationships. I do not blame them for going down that road. It makes perfect logical and rational sense.
But why did I not opt for it?
The answer is simple: change. Convenience is built on the predictability of circumstances. Work and school comes with it the familiarity of routine. What happens when this routine is broken by change of circumstances such as you leaving your job or finishing school? This is how most long-term DoC relationships end. I know quite a few of my university friends who broke up when they started work because they were at different firms “hanging out” with different colleagues. Those work lunch/dates are over, or at least not frequent. The convenient integration of dating and work/school is gone. You spend less time together and suddenly both partners are forced to create quality time which directly comes out of their own free time. To make sacrifices and compromises; such horrible words nowadays. Compromise? That’s for people who settle for less. I deserve the best. No, I am entitled to the best. He/She is not perfect for me if I am compromising, right? The DoC relationship becomes troublesome. We know that difficulty puts most relationships to the test. In my humble opinion, DoC relationships are always bound to fail this test. Why? The fundamental pillar of this relationship i.e. the convenience is no longer there. Without it, people forget what they even saw in their “significant” other.