I've come to accept that dating is pretty much a series of valuable lessons that range from the mildly amusing to the severely annoying.
I stopped putting a lot of stock in first dates, good morning text messages, and great conversations. I realize that every new connection will offer some (sometimes all) of these, and while they help make a guy great, that doesn't mean he's a great guy for me.
So I try not to prejudge, either in a good way or a bad way. For better or worse, I try to set no expectations, and just let things happen.
But there are some things that just get under my skin. Even though I know they don't necessarily make a guy bad, they bug me so much, I lose interest in learning about his good qualities.
Which is fine. We all have things we can deal with, and things we can't. My problem? It's different with every guy.
When one guy cancels last minute, I'm insulted and annoyed. Then another guy does the same, and I don't give it a second thought. When some guys want me to do all the texting and calling, I find it irritating. Then when others do the same, I find it polite and endearing.
Chalk it up to a vibe, or an instinct, or intuition, or whatever. Something tells me that one guy is worth a little irritation, while another is not.
All too often, I think women ignore these instincts. Early on we're taught to judge "nice" guys based on what they say and do. We learn to ignore our gut feelings in favor of a guys "good" behavior. No one bothers to teach us how to tell the difference between a sincerely nice guy, and those who know how to play the part.
Dating is where we learn that skill. Meeting goodness-knows-how-many men a week/month/year, you learn how to tell the truly nice guys from the smooth operators.