Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Dating Shame

As I was saying...Please excuse this interruption of my travel tales and mishaps, Blogger is currently being an ASS and is not letting me upload my photos at the moment (and what was it with that hideous toolbar at the top?) So I’ll leave my photogenic ramblings for a later date and instead blog about something that Indy touched on recently.

In Indy’s post, he talked about the different types of dating. I found myself having a hard time relating to it because I’m not too experienced in the dating game myself and it really just got me thinking:

Is it just me, or does dating seem like a major pain in the ass these days?

Every other blog I stumble upon, honest people in the dating world dish about the difficulties in finding a good mate (or a good fuck). Whether it’s where to meet men, or how to pick up women, or which dating website to join, or am I being too picky and so on, it just seems to me that dating has taken on a horrible life of it’s own. It no longer seems fun and frivolous but a difficult and disappointing ordeal.

I may not be the best person to make these observations since I am happily coupled up. But that does not mean I am still not the person I was who was single for three years.

During my singlehood I was not dating. I had no interest in it whatsoever. Of course, that isn’t to say I didn’t lust/crush after certain guys, that I didn’t ask my friends to set me up with any eligible bachelors (which never happened since no one ever seems to know any eligible bachelors) and that I didn’t occasionally bitch/whine/mope/cry about being single.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t the thought of sharing my life with someone or getting some action that made me want to end my single days. The only real reason I bitched about not getting any men was because I found it was horribly insulting that no men were going after me. Deep down it wasn’t a matter of company or love but of pure ego. I wanted men interested in me and that was pretty much the extent of my “coupled desires.”

So for three years, I turned a blind eye to dates. It seemed like a big waste of time to be honest. I think I may have gone on one of two of them, only to find out that they were nice enough guys but just not “enough” for me. Was I being too picky? Perhaps. But they were my standards and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than what my heart told me. It wasn’t a matter of “oh this guys not tall enough” or “he doesn’t like Mystery Science Theatre 3000,” but more about a lack of connection. I knew girls who would just stay with guys because the guys were interested in them, or thought it would look good, or were just too afraid to be alone. But I was too damn independent to be one of those girls. So instead I told myself “It will happen when it happens.”

That didn’t mean that my three years in singledom (and a hell of a dry spell) were easy. They weren’t and there were days when I would cry over and over again “What the hell is wrong with me? Why don’t I have a boyfriend? Why don’t guys like me?” To which my self-pity was answered by my mother or Kiwi with the good old “It’ll happen when you stop looking.”

“But I’m not looking!” I would cry out, even though deep down, beneath the independence and frivolity, I was looking. Not enough to date, not enough to get involved, but looking in the sense of hope that one day the right guy would just come along. I just didn’t know it.

On the whole though, as I decided to give dating the brush-off, I focused my life on the things I wanted to do. Instead of dealing with men and dating and all the freakin’ baggage that came with it, I wrote scripts, traveled the world, made friends, read books, went to school. I spent my energies on myself and did my best to keep myself in line.

And then one day while vacationing in Palm Springs, after a depressing week of being sick and depressed (and it was my 24th birthday too), I got out of my bed and felt a rush of something. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel write, I wanted to see the world, I wanted to have adventures and fill my head with as much knowledge as possible. I knew that I was lucky to be single to be in the prime of my life and that if I wasn’t single I couldn’t possibly do half the things I wanted to if I was coupled up (at least not with my then jaded view of dating).

It was at the moment that I stopped looking.

A few weeks later I met my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a year next month and let me tell you, it was more than worth the wait.

Now I know that there are a lot of people out there who love dating for their own reasons (if not for the fact that it can be fun and it can’t hurt to meet new people). And I’m not saying my attitude towards it is a very popular one. After all, patience isn’t something people have in this day and age where we all hardwired for instant gratification.

But I do think, to those people who are sick of the dating scene, sick of being rejected/having to do the rejecting, sick of being let down and just plain tired of it all, that maybe it can’t hurt to just wait it out.

That’s not to say that if a cute guy gives you his number that you shouldn’t call. By all means, call and go on a date and suss that out. But as for stressing over where to meet people and fretting over not being in a relationship, how about you just enjoy who you are as a single person with a lot to offer and just let things come to you. It might seem a little idealistic and naïve to most, but taking a little time to focus on yourself and what you have instead of what you don’t have and how to get it, can’t hurt.

Good things come to those who wait, right? Posted by Picasa


almost famous kiwi said...

oh good, it's working now. ok, so am I ever gonna hear from you????? I've emailed and called and bla bla bla but you're never there, and I never get emails back, I figured that this is the only way to get in contact with you. Call me or email me or something because as far as I know you were kidnapped by french agents and never returned from Paris and now a secret corporation is blogging for you under the disguise of being you so that they can get information from us.....they know.....they were there on the beach in wellington....THEY KNOW!!!!!!!

almost famous kiwi said...

oh, and by the way don't you remember the desperate attempts at trying to get you together with Jono? Oh yes, my whole family was trying. But I'm sorry it's too late that ship has sailed, he's dating a Doctor now.....oh did i tell you about what's been going on with him? c'est tres tres interessant! Call me!

Kass said...

Its true, sometimes you just have to ride the storm out.

Although, there are some people that will never find a S.O. For whatever reason, I don't intend on delving into (I don't want to offend anybody lol)

Wanderlusting said...

Kiwi - now you've got my attention!

Kass - my, that's a fatalistic view! Well not for yourself...or me...or most people...but for those poor saps who will never find someone to be with.

You do mean serial killers, right? Because you can divulge us...I don't think too many of them read my blog.

Kass said...

Well, I may have been referring to the inside-uggos and yes, those serial killers (tho I'm sure you have some watching your sexy bodies on zee internetz)

Expat Traveler said...

Yes I tried commenting earlier today while blogger was officially wonky but it didn't work...

So I totally agree with you all the way. While you are single, you just want to justify you are wanted and needed. IF us women aren't, it's just a downer..

Having said that, I so know how wonderful it is to travel while being single. Not that now that I'm married it's not all too different, but I just can't run off anywhere on a whim anymore...

elver cruzila said...

si te gusta García Márquez debes ser tu la musa inspiradora de sus historias contadas con tanto realismo mágico.

Anonymous said...

I have been single for over 8 years. I feel like I wasted the last half of my 20's by waiting and searching for someone. Now I just keep myself busy with my son and friends. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it won't.

I have a question for you since you are talking about dating.
My friend has a horrible crush on her step-brother. Her dad married his mom when they were adults. What do you think of this situation. If he likes her, it is creepy and gross or is it OK?

Wanderlusting said...

Rachel - I totally agree with the "if it happens, it happens" type deal. Lot less stress and worry when you just, as Kass suggested, ride it out. Otherwise I think you would have missed out on a lot of life.

As for the stepbrother thing. Well, I thought it was creepy in Clueless but the only thing that made it OK was the fact that the parents were divorced, so they weren't technically stepbrother and sister anymore (I can't believe I am using an Alicia Silverstone movie as part of my advice). But anyway, I don't think its creepy per say, as they did get to know each other as adults and I could easily imagine it happening...but because the parents are still married...yeah, feeling it is one thing, but acting on it is another.

amanda jane said...

oh yes... dating, that's what we're talking about, got side tracked with the whole dating you're brother.... my opinion is... that it's creepy... I knew a girl once that wanted to date her cousin because they weren't really related (since he was married into the relationship type of deal)... I thought that was creepy then, so brother still.... yeah, I agree with Karina.

I think if you are always looking looking looking for someone to "BE" with, people around you can FEEL the desperation... and therefore there is no fun or chase or whimsical romance to start dating you.... (or whomever, haah), who wants to be around someone so NEEDY?!?! When it happens, it happens, it's EXACTLY what happened when Jason and I met! ;0p All I wanted to do was be a good mumma and take care of my baby girl when he squeezed into our lives!!