I love it when married people ask you about your dating situation, and then they respond, “I am SO glad I don’t have to do that anymore.” Gee thanks, that sure is comforting. Whatever happened to this “being the best years of your life” and “I am so jealous of your single status”?
While searching for a #ThrowBackThursday picture this week, I looked through all of my Facebook posts when I was a senior in high school. Wow, was I dramatic. The whole entire year was devoted to this “Boy Strike” that I created (it even had a Facebook page devoted to it). I can’t really remember what prompted that “Boy Strike,” or what it really was, because I ended up with a homecoming date and a boyfriend anyways, but I think I am wanting to bring it back into my life. Those were definitely better times.
Dating is so emotionally taxing. You are constantly going between being so in love with someone to thinking they are the scum of the earth. You go from changing your relationship status, updating your profile picture, writing smoochie-smoochies on walls, to deleting every single piece of evidence that you were ever together. As a very busy person, I don’t really have brain space for this emotional roller coaster. My life is already full enough, so that means if I am going to date someone, I have to kick something else out of my brain to make room for analyzing their behaviors (and usually that means doing my laundry or attempting to cook dinner).
And, I also hate that, since dating puts me through the emotional wringer, each time, I come out a more tarnished, more damaged version of myself. Sure, I believe that experiences make us better people. But every time I get dumped, every time I get a late night phone call, every time my messages don’t get returned, I become a little more cynical, a little less optimistic, a little more corrupt. I’d rather keep my innocence and believe the world really is made of bunnies and rainbows. I decided a while ago that I am not the kind of girl who has “lots of boyfriends.” For some girls, that absolutely and 100%ly works for: they need to experience a variety of relationships in order to learn what works best for them. Um, I don’t really have time for that. And, I don’t really want to be the kind of girl who says, “Oh yes, I dated this engineer, then this mechanic, then this accountant, then this hippie.” To me, having too many serious relationships desensitizes you to those experiences you have with Your One True Only. Creating inside jokes and secrets with each other is my favorite part of being in a relationship, and I feel like exposing myself and sharing that with too many people will make it less exciting and magical.
I also really hate mundane, generic “getting to know you” questions: Where are you from? What do you do for a living? Did you go to college? Did you grow up with a sister? If you could be a crayon, what color would you be and why? Blah. I get so tired of talking about myself and answering the same questions over and over again in the same exact ways that my answers begin to sound sardonic and rude. I know that “getting to know each other” is supposed to be “the most exciting part,” but I am kind of over that. I hate having to analyze “how I should approach the situation” because I don’t know them that well yet, or in the context of their speech, what does, “…you know…” imply? I kind of just want to find someone that I already know a plethora about, and that I can come home, put on my footie pajamas, and force them to give me a back rub.
And, while we are on that note, I really hate small talk via text messages. Between working, coaching, going to grad school, kowtowing to parent e-mails, organizing social events, and, um, finding time for basic human survival needs, I don’t really have time to be frivolously bantering back and forth about unimportant issues. In my world, text messages are used to transfer information: What time will you be here? What do we need from the store? Leaving school now. Do you know where my computer is? So if we aren’t talking about those kind of things, and your messages don’t offer me something (such as a joke I would find funny that would brighten my day or a compliment about what a great person I am), I don’t want to small-talk text.
But, all of that is insignificant to that fact that what I really hate about dating is the guilt that pervades my soul. I really hate it when really nice people that I know I don’t romantically like text/call me. I have been in the unrequited love position and it sucks and I never want to be the reason someone feels that way. If you are douchey, then I have no problem telling you off. But, if you are a genuinely good person, I feel guilty not responding back to your messages, because I don’t want you to feel rejected, and I also want to recognize the fact that you are taking the time out of your day to think of me. That is really nice, and should be rewarded, because you are a good person. However, what usually happens to me is I start getting stressed out about responding to your messages. I don’t spend a lot of time on my phone. So, I don’t respond back, you text me multiple times in a row, and then I start feeling guilty that I never responded back to your first message, because you were just trying to be nice and make sure I was still alive, even though I know I don’t like you, and I realize that, by texting you back, you will then text me, then I feel obligated to respond, and I realize I have NO time to respond to you, so I start texting when I am driving (terrible combination) and it turns into this dangerous, vicious, guilty cycle, and I know that I have set you up to think I am interested, but the only reason I really responded back was because I felt guilty, and sooner or later, I am going to have to break your heart and let you know it’s not working out. Cue: guilt.
I also feel incredibly guilty when I go on a date with a guy, we have a decently good time, he pays for my dinner, but I know that it is not going to work between us. I am the kind of girl who believes in the motto, “If you do something nice for me, I will do something nice for you.” I think it partially has to do with my competitive nature. If you plan a really romantic date for me, I will surprise you with tickets to your favorite musical someday. If you bring me chicken noodle soup when I am sick, I will write you a really sentimental thank you card. If you take me on a trip in your private jet, I will offer to get a tramp stamp with your name inscribed in it (Ok, so maybe I wouldn’t go that far). So when a guy takes me out, and I know it’s not going anywhere, I feel guilty that, you did something nice for me, but I won’t be able to do something nice back. Like, it’s supposed to work that, you take me out once, and afterwards, we continue into some kind of relationship. However, I realize pretty quickly I am not going to be able to guarantee late night phone chats or that you will someday meet my family or that I can be your support system when you have a stressful day, because I just don’t like you that much and I know I will never play that role in your life. So, please, don’t be nice and don’t pay for my dinner, and absolve me of my guilt.
I really hate dating.