And dating is the WORST.
If you’re a single human on the planet you know what I speak of. It’s just not easy out there for us single peeps is it? No. No, it is not. I liken it to The Battle of the Bastards episode of Game of Thrones when Jon Snow can’t catch a breath and it looks as though he might get crushed. THAT episode. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I really don’t think I am. I think I’m pretty spot on actually.
You see, each time I psych myself up for another round of rejection roulette on whatever app I am set to use, be it Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, Match, eHarmony, Coffee Meets Bagel, idiotsonly.com, I feel like I look like this:
It shouldn’t be this way should it? I shouldn’t have to strap on emotional chainmail, a standoffish helmet, and equip myself with a sword of false pretenses to just “put myself out there”, right? RIGHT? One would think, but this is 2018. Times have changed. The dating game has really, really changed. The last time I was single was 2009 and boy oh boy are the rules different. I’m not talking about just going from
stalking researching MySpace to Facebook either. I’m talking about expectations, attitudes, the whole gamut, so yes, the gif above is extremely accurate.
Today expectations ebb and flow with the mood of society. I am speaking from the perspective of a single female, of course, but this applies to men as well. You want to be seen as confident, but not too confident. He can’t think you’re too needy, but you need to maintain an air of availability. Don’t be too available though, because then you’ll be seen as not having a life, and dear God is that terrible in the dating world. You HAVE to be seen as active or you’re lazy and that’s not acceptable either. Style and class are important and it doesn’t hurt to have a cute puppy (thank the Lord Bailey fits that category). State your intentions on your bio and maybe the guy will actually read them instead of just swiping through your pics, but don’t hold your breath. Be cynical, but be optimistic at the same time. Essentially, be a humongous oxymoron. Got it?
Okay, so now, how do we navigate the dating waters and find the *perfect* mate? Do we check off all the tick marks and nearly kill ourselves in the process? Do we walk on eggshells for a guy for six months feeling like we’re dating just so he can tell us that we weren’t, though by all intents and purposes we freaking were? Hell if I know! If I were an expert I A) wouldn’t be single and B) would be uber wealthy. I have read mountains of articles and listen to Matthew Hussey (a real expert if you ask me) on a loop and I still am completely clueless. I do know this: today’s dating game is made for men and women who don’t want to commit.
I do honestly wonder though, how does one meet people outside of dating apps and “mixers” in this day and age? I’ve been to one mixer in my life and it was so hilariously disastrous that it will have to be another blog post for another day. There’s church, school, work, sure, but if those are places you don’t normally look or if you’re not one to “fish” there where do you look besides those places? Online of course! And if the game is thrown and there’s not really a way for you to win? What then? I want to keep my value, my worth and my sanity, how do I do this? No, this isn’t a rhetorical question. Do I keep reiterating my expectation to the dude who seems “so perfect” but isn’t really because he’s not committing or even investing in me at all? Do I state my standards, cross my fingers, and hope for the best waiting to be hurt yet again? Do I take a more cynical approach and go the route of “all men are pigs” which I know isn’t true because I know some amazing men who treat women like gold?
I’ve heard advice from all over: “When you’re not looking for it, it will happen.”, “Be confident, it’s sexy.”, “Make the first move”, “DON’T make the first move.”, “Go older!”, “Go younger!”, “Look at your church!”, “Look at the grocery store!” (ok, what?), “Let me set you up…” (NO.), “Give the waiter your number” (Double no). All advice that comes from the heart and is meant to be helpful, I’m sure, but I just want to love and be loved. Even if it does stink from time to time, I have a lot to give.