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?