This is a post about a four letter word. I don’t know why, but the concept of dating has almost ceased to exist in our generation even though we now have a million and two different ways to find love. If that is even our goal anymore. We swipe right to fuck. We slide into DMs to fuck. We meet up and have a great time over dinner… to fuck. But when actual emotions and commitment become involved, holy shit. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve personally been told “I’m just not looking for a relationship right now,” I wouldn’t have to decide between a cheap bottle of wine and gas money for the next two weeks. We took the dating game and made it harder to play than Jumanji.
Just one question though…. Why?
Is it because we as a generation are afraid of the future? Afraid of commitment? Or are we just lacking the basic values that we need to get this right?
A few weeks ago I decided to take a day to take myself out on a coffee date. I got dressed up, my makeup and hair were on point and I wore a really nice but really comfortable pair of shoes. I took myself out to one of my favorite coffee shops just to get some quiet time in to read and write and just enjoy my own damn company. So I sat at one of the outdoor tables with my iced Americano and opened my book. Not even a full ten minutes later some random man decides to occupy one of the empty chairs at my table – of course the one directly beside me.
“You look lonely,” he said as he creepily leaned toward me. I wasn’t. “What’s such a beautiful and sexy young lady doing out here alone?” I gestured toward my book in hopes that he’d catch the hint and my RBF would tell him to fuck off. But of course not. He stayed planted in that seat for a solid twenty minutes just to keep telling me that I’m beautiful and sexy and that he wanted to take me out. I gave him absolutely no feedback. I looked up from my book maybe three times during the whole one-sided conversation. It may make me sound cold and I’m pretty sure I can hear a few guys yelling somewhere in the distance… something about why they don’t bother to try anymore, but I had my reasons:
- I’m taken.
- Being called beautiful really doesn’t pique my interest.
I admit that I’m a person who grew up kinda ugly but got more attractive with age. I cut my hair, cleared my skin, and got a better fashion sense. People rarely gave me a second glance in high school and then WHAM. All eyes turned to me at once at around seventeen. I never liked the attention at all to begin with, but I was even more unhappy with the particular type of attention I was getting. Those people knew basically nothing about me and they never wanted to. They just wanted me in their beds. Some were successful – most weren’t. Most of the successful ones only got the chance because I was particularly drunk or bored, sometimes a combination of both. Except for one guy, but he’ll come up again later.
The type of attention I was getting almost made me completely call it quits when it came to dating. I saw myself moving forward in life alone. Moving to New York to become a Big Time journalist and living in a loft – just me and maybe like a hundred cats. I was perfectly fine with that outcome and that option still hasn’t completely left the table. That’s the first piece of very important information that I think some may have completely forgotten.
It’s okay to be single.
“Easy for you to say. You have a boyfriend while I’m over here dying of soul crushing loneliness.”
Okay, true. I get the pleasure to very sensually reach across the table and stick my index finger in my boyfriend’s nose (it’s not gross, it’s affection… unless I find gold in the mine). But so what? I haven’t always had him and it’s not guaranteed that I always will.
Dating is a game of chance. There’s a fifty percent chance that we’ll stay together, get married, and adopt two hundred cats.There is also a fifty percent chance that we’ll get sick of each other and call it quits. I’ll get my loft in New York and a hundred cats. What do I lose? The ability to pick his nose… and a hundred cats. So in total, not very much.
Don’t get me wrong, I care about him. He means a lot to me and it’s a pleasure to be with him. If he dumped me right now I would probably cry, have a few anxiety attacks and waste the next month’s worth of free time in bed eating py and drinking a lot while binge watching Netflix. But will I die? No. I’d eventually get up, shower, and remember that I’m an independent and intelligent woman who loves herself more than anyone else but my mom ever could. Then I would proceed to better myself, further my education, and make enough money for my loft and hundred cats. IF someone else happens to stumble into my life, cool. They’d better be ready to deal with anxiety and depressive episodes cause boy, I’m full of ‘em. But am I going to doll myself up and sit at a bar looking sad until somebody walks up and bus me a drink, then shove them into a garbage bag and hold them hostage in my loft until Stockholm Syndrome kicks in? No. One, that’s illegal. Two, that’s not what I want.
Which brings me to my next point: know what you want and what effect having it will have on your life. Just knowing that you want to be with someone isn’t enough, because that’s how you end up in a mess (I mean, do you want fuckboys? Cause that’s how you get fuckboys…) I’ve seen people go through so much unnecessary drama and heartache because they either didn’t know what they truly wanted or they settled for what seemed to be okay.
Know what you want and don’t settle for anything less because you deserve all of the happiness in the world. I used to tell my family that I wouldn’t date anyone until the Universe showed them to me in a really extravagant way. I’m talking clouds parting and cherubs singing and a random fuckin’ unicorn kind of extravagant. Obviously that isn’t literally what happened when I met my bae to be (did I just call him that? gross…) In reality I thought he was really annoying. But then one day the Universe tapped me on the shoulder and went “You know that person you weren’t looking for? The fun one with energy, ambitions, and the ability to introduce you to new things in life? Well…there ya go!” And I was like “What? HIM?! You’re joking, right?”
A thing to know about the Universe… it has a sense of humor without actually having a sense of humor. Like one of those people who say hilarious things but when you look at them they’re being dead serious. And that’s why you really need to know what you want, because if you say “I just want a relationship! It doesn’t matter who with!” Then here comes the Universe with the musty skater boy who makes rape jokes and is uncomfortably close to his mother. And if that doesn’t teach you what you want then you’ll keep getting what you probably don’t as the Universe keeps dropping shit off like an outdoor cat bringing dead birds into the house.
The truth is, everything you want is out there. The companion, the money, the car, the house, the cats; all of it is out there waiting for you. You just have to know what you want and be prepared to put in work to be ready for it. Or be ready to have a shit ton of dead birds on your porch… your choice.