In the Mad Men episode New Business, Don tells Diana that he isn’t making a rash decision by wanting to get serious with her, because he’s had many women since he and Megan decided to divorce. “I’m ready,” he says.
On a trip to California in 1965, Don tells Megan that he isn’t being impulsive by asking her to get married, because he’s been thinking about it all the time. (Thinking about it all the time on their trip—not thinking about it all the time that he’s known her.)
When you fall for someone, it makes sense to think to yourself, “This is serious. This is the real thing.” Because at that moment, you do have extremely strong feelings for that person. He or she is wonderful and magnetic, more than any other person you’ve seen or known. It doesn’t seem like a rushed decision or lack of thought process.
Don wants to be in love. Not just in love, but that fairy-tale ideal of love and marriage. Despite all the missteps, and the two marriages, I think he still believes he can find it. There is nothing wrong with thinking that, and no one can say if it’s impossible. But we know that, as Faye Miller said, he likes the beginnings of things. We also know it’s probably true that, as Betty said, loving Don is the worst way to get to him and one woman can only hold his attention for so long. So when I see Don falling for Diana, and thinking his search is over, I can’t help thinking, as Rachel Menken once said, “You haven’t thought this through.”
[Note: This was written by Mad Chick midway through season 7.2, and never published. Although we now know how things turned out with Diana, I think there’s still a good discussion to be had here about impulsiveness. — Deborah]