“Dating” is probably my least favorite word of all time. It’s also pretty much my least favorite thing to do, which sounds sad but is totally true. After seven years of dating — online, blind, casual, trying to pick up guys at bars, and every other method in existence — I’ve realized that maybe it isn’t the crappy guys I’m meeting. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s me. Here’s why I just can’t hang in today’s dating scene:
- I’m terrible at dating games (and unwilling to play them). If a guy asks me out, I’m supposed to tell him I’m busy even if I’m literally doing nothing but sitting home watching Netflix in my underwear. If he texts, I’m supposed to wait an hour to respond and be super vague when I do. I should appear uninterested at all times — unless HE’s acting uninterested, and then I have to get him interested again so he can see how uninterested I am — because it’s all about the chase. These games are BS and not only am I terrible at playing them, I simply don’t want to, and that doesn’t go over all that well with most guys I meet.
- I’m loyal, sometimes to a fault. If I make plans with a guy, I keep them; if I say I’m available, I stay available. If we talk about “getting together sometime” or “meeting up,” he can bet his sweet ass that I’m going to assume we’re actually going to do that at some point. And here’s a crazy thought: if I’m dating a guy, I’m actually dating ONLY him. I don’t have the time, energy or desire to “play the field.” It’s extremely rare for me to meet someone I’m interested in, so when I meet a guy who’s seemingly worthy of my time and effort, I remain loyal. I’ll show interest in him and I’ll be honest about it… and very often end up getting screwed over in the end. WTF?
- I can never fake it. I mean what I say, I say what I mean, and I freaking care. Have I cared too much for people who didn’t deserve it? Absolutely. Genuine people do that — care about the well-being of others. We want what’s best for you and want to help you become the best version of yourself. Unfortunately, that quality gets misconstrued in dating. It comes off as being “too into” someone, being “clingy,” or as having unrealistic expectations, but that’s not the case. I’m naturally nurturing. I’ll comfort the guy I’m dating on bad days, do little things unexpectedly like bring him coffee at work or drop off soup when he’s sick. Whoa, I guess I’m way too into him, right? Wrong, I’m just being genuine, something a lot of guys in the dating world seem to see as a flaw these days.
- I’m old fashioned and I love tradition. I’m not talking old-fashioned as in I’d make my boyfriend help my mom churn butter before dinner while my dad fills the oil lamps in our electricity-free log cabin. I’m talking old-fashioned in a chivalrous way. I want a guy who comes to the door to pick me up for a date instead of texting me from the driveway; a guy who talks to me over dinner instead of staring at his phone. Then, when he drives me home, he doesn’t assume he’s getting in my pants — he gives me a kiss on the cheek and asks to see me again. Obviously, I’m living in a dream world with this one. It’s all penis pics and one-word texts. I miss the days of real conversations.
- I’m confident in who I am and what I deserve. After seven years of
torturedating, I’ve realized what I do and don’t deserve. I can confidently say I shouldn’t have to resort to playing games or pretending to be someone I’m not just so a guy will chase me. I shouldn’t have to waste precious time trying to get to know a guy when he doesn’t have any intention whatsoever of forming a real relationship with me. I shouldn’t be expected to hand over all the girlfriend benefits to a guy who can’t even say he’s dating me. I know I’m worth more than that.
- I’m selfish. I don’t share. If I’m dating a guy, I want him all to myself. I want to know I’m the only person he’s dating so there’s no reason for me to think or second guess him and his intentions. To me, dating is when two people put equal amounts of effort into the all-too-difficult-for-no-reason dating thing — two people who are honest, loyal and genuine to one another testing their relationship compatibility. Oh, what’s that? A friendship developed along the way? Why the hell would I want to be in a relationship with a friend — a person who makes me smile, understands me and brings out the best in me? It seems obvious, but it isn’t to a lot of guys.