Friday, July 6, 2012

Twenty Somethings and "Dating"

So... I suck at blogging. I still think about writing a blog post every other day or so, but I spent most of my paycheck on beer and popsicles so I haven't been able to afford the coffee shop lately. I feel guilty using their internet without paying. So mostly I lay in a puddle on my couch in front of the fan, watching old tv re-runs, occasionally spritzing myself with a water bottle and cursing Tim Allen's voice that pops into my head every time I think about the heat index.

"106 degrees and 40% humid, but it feels like 120 in a swamp. That's Pure Michigan."

Now that I've filled my bitching-about-the-weather quota for the day, on to the real blog topic. It's something that I've been thinking about for a long time... years, really, so excuse me if it's a long one.


Dating has never been easy for me.

In college and my Gentlemen's Intermission (how I'm currently referring to my hiatus from Western) I have had my fair share of romantic mishaps. Some are more hilarious than others and I may get into them later. But this topic truly isn't about any one man or experience in particular, it's much more about the dating experience in general. Through my nearly twenty three years and my, uh, personal number of male companions, I have never been on a legitimate date.

Call me jaded, but I don't think that they exist anymore. At least not until you're well into a serious relationship and you have sweet little date nights out on the town. A fat load of good that does for a single person.

If you're single, in your twenties, and really think about it, you probably know what I'm talking about when I say that dating doesn't exist. It does but it doesn't. I wish it were as simple as it was before, where a guy asks to pick a girl up for dinner and a movie with both parties fully aware that it's a date. These days it's just so vague. 

"Are we just catching a movie together, or is this a date?"
"Does he actually want to hang out... or hang out?"

Why are we relying so much on subtext?

Everyone is so keen on seeming aloof and mysterious and cool. As if outwardly admitting that you may have feelings for another person, or even want to sleep with another person, would be the end of the world. It just makes it so that you're never 100% sure where you stand until someone's tongue is down the other's throat.

And the new school "dating" is always a variation of the same few scenarios: a group of friends that dwindles down to two, the old "let's watch a movie!" and end up cuddling and making out, the get drunk and hook up, or months of Facebook status likes and flirtatious comments that culminates in supremely awkward instant messaging and trying to decipher tone through text. It's enough to drive a person crazy.

I've asked a lot of friends on their opinions on how people should act when they like each other and they have all responded with things along the same line of thought:

"Wait a week to text, at least three days if you want to be aggressive"
"Say as little as humanly possibly in a text. Less than two lines."
"You want to seem mysterious because it will make you even hotter."

Almost all of my friends are men. Since high school I've just found them easier to get along with. They usually understand my sense of humor better, we like the same things, and above all they're usually more straight forward. If we piss each other off or need to say something we just say it. We talk about it for a little bit, I call him a dick, he calls me a bitch, we apologize a few minutes later, and then it passes. Whereas women tend to be the opposite, they say things behind your back and will let a situation fester for months rather than confront it directly.

My conundrum is, if my platonic male friends and I can be so straightforward with each other without freaking out about it, why is it not the same in a romantic setting? 

The way I figure it, as a girl there are three roles that I could play with a guy that's more than a friend. I'm either the girl you fuck, the girl you fuck with, or the girl you date. Most men might think that I'll find the first degrading, the second insulting, and the third is what I have my heart set on. This is not necessarily the case. 

What I really find upsetting is the hazy limbo in-between the three. 

Grow some balls, decide what I am, be straightforward, and make me aware. If I'm the girl you fuck, tell me and I'll decide if that's true or not. If I'm the girl you fuck with, then we'll be friends and I will enjoy our fun little flirtations but never take them seriously. If I'm the girl you date, then ask me out and we'll see how it goes.

I'm not some wilting flower that trembles at the thought of a purely physical relationship or a baby-crazed pre-menopausal woman who has her heart set on getting married and having a family right away. I'm twenty-fucking-three. I want to have fun, but I also demand respect. I have my ideals, but I have no expectations. 

Don't let the skirts and mascara fool you, I am a strong and intelligent person and I can handle whatever you might throw at me. As long as I know what I am, or have the potential to be, then I can grab it firmly by the reigns and take control of the situation and manage my own thoughts, feelings, and actions accordingly. Being left in the dark and playing mindfuck little games with each other just makes you out to be a pussy and a dick at the same time. 

A pussy because you're not man enough to be honest with me and/or yourself.
A dick because the confusion games are just another way of taking power away from the woman.

As a twenty-something girl, finding a twenty-something guy who is courageous enough to be honest with me, no matter what role I may play in his life, would be a breath of fresh air.

1 comment:

  1. I read an article about something similar to this. That dating is sort of evaporating amongst the youth in favor of just hooking up.

    It went on to say that women were putting themselves at a disadvantage by devaluing the cost of sex but that's neither here nor there.