I read the missed text when I woke up in the morning. A 3:00 am attempt at a hook-up, a guy left hanging because I was asleep — and disinterested. Disappointment filled me as I glanced at the words because sex is easy (I am a woman on Tinder), while anything more feels impossible.
I’m not against hooking up. I am a single, adult female — I know how things work. The problem seems to be that while I’m not a 3:00 am-text kind-of-girl, I’m also not opposed to things transpiring over the course of a date. I emphasize the word date because this seems to be the sticking point: no one dates. Everyone fucks, no one dates.
Meeting people is difficult — or it has been for me. I was a late bloomer due to certain life circumstances that diverted my attention and direction. In the past few years, I have started to catch up but I still haven’t found a happy medium between what I want and dating in general.
I like conversation. I like getting to know someone. I like feeling a connection between myself and another person. I want that before anything else has any chance of happening and sometimes it just isn’t there. I’ve played at different things over the past few months but this doesn’t change, regardless of my efforts to try to be something I’m not, just to see how it feels.
A kiss isn’t as good if I don’t feel that thing. I don’t want to fool around with someone I can’t have a conversation with. I don’t want to fool around with someone I don’t want to see again. I want to be with someone because I like him; not because we’re both lonely, but because there’s something there that makes us want to be with one another. I don’t need forever, I just want to feel like it’s more than “well this is better than nothing.”
I’ve been writing a lot of fiction lately and playing with the relationships between characters and it’s caused me to examine my own approach to this area. I’m shy. Sometimes I overcompensate and say too much. Sometimes I just say too much, period. At times, I have led people on unintentionally (although, sometimes purposely as I stumbled along). I’ve done a lot of stumbling but after tripping over my own feet for a number of years, I have learned a thing or two.
I have learned that dating sucks. Strings of first dates that lead nowhere, online fade-aways, and, admittedly, hooking up have given me a better picture of what I want and who I am within the world of dating. I’m not the girl who just hooks up for the sake of hooking up. I’m the girl who expects more first. I’m the girl who needs to feel a connection with another person…but I’m also the girl who wants to make-out.
In a world of hooking up, I’m the one who wants a date. I want to sit across from another person and feel excited to be in the same room with them, at the possibility of what could happen next, even if it’s just more talking. I want things to happen organically. I want a text — a phone call even! — without having to do it first. I don’t want to feel used, even if it turns out to be a temporary thing.
I want genuine, honest connections. I don’t want a game. I will text you if I feel like talking to you and expect the same from you — I don’t care how quick a text comes, it’s not a mind game, my reply just depends on how busy my day is. I want a first date in a public place, I don’t want a late-night text asking for a blowjob first. I don’t want to force something out of nothing. I don’t want to force anything — dating isn’t for everyone, and neither am I. I don’t need anything. I want things to be what they will be but I need things to start with honesty and genuineness and conversation.
I may be an anomaly in the world of dating but I stand by it.
In a world of hooking up, I want a date. I want to find a connection first. I want more.