People are not scratching posts. They are not places to sharpen your claws, or to press up against when a particular need arises, only to be disregarded after the ‘itch’ is satiated.
The proliferation of online dating has exacerbated a culture of emotionally immature and or broken people simply rubbing up against each other virtually, and in the flesh. People do this to fulfill primal needs for sex, attention, or self esteem. The consequences seem vague and nebulous. We can rationalize that it doesn’t hurt someone if we swipe right, engage, and then ghost. We can assure ourselves that modern day dating affords us the luxury of flirting on the rebound, or sexting on the side of our marriage beds. Why not, we ask ourselves? Who am I hurting?
As a woman searching for true intimacy and connection, surrounded by best friends who are also looking for the same, I can tell you that we are the people you are hurting. We have steady jobs, and beautiful homes. We have children who we support and care for, and hobbies that we love. We are stable and secure. We know who we are. We don’t give our bodies or our attention to just anyone. If we give it to you, honor it. Be ready for it. And, if you are not, do not pretend like you are.
We are the women who still believe in happy ever after. You are the men who believe in fun right now. Please stop presenting yourself as options, when you are simply speed bumps in the way of our journey to arrive at our fairy tale.
I’ve been back on the dating scene for six months. I have encountered a host of men who have no business using an online app. They are still entangled with ex-wives and girlfriends. They are looking for easy sex outside of their supposed monogamous relationship. They are sorely lacking in financial stability and self-esteem, and yet, there they are posting flattering pictures and inviting me out on dates. Why? My guess is they are afraid to do the work it takes to become wholly self-actualized while being entirely alone. That, and easy sex does not hurt.
My advice to women is to never give away sex easily. Unless casual sex is something that benefits you or that you want, make men wait. Using sex to garner love is the easiest way to wreck your own self-esteem.
The way to avoid getting entangled with a “scratching post man” is to have super-high standards. If a man texts all the time but doesn’t ask you out, ignore him. If a man talks incessantly about his ex-wife or girlfriend, move on. If a man does not invite you on a second date immediately after the first one, he is not that interested in you. If a man asks you to be casual and you know you are looking for more, do not bother. You cannot change these men. It is futile and exhausting and you are too beautiful, too smart, too worthy to wait for anyone.
Modern day dating sites have made women fearful. We are constantly told that we have to act like we do not care. We cannot appear needy. I agree that neediness is a huge turn off for either sex. But, when did we start accepting less in order to maintain half-ass behavior from men. When did we start to equate neediness with our own fair and simple desires getting met by men? This needs to change.
The only people we can change are ourselves. If we are so fearful of being alone that we allow “scratching post men” to feed us scraps, while we sit starving waiting for our perpetual banquet of love, we are no better than they are.
The best way to guard against the type of heartbreak and frustration that these men bring into our lives is by having self-love. Do not be afraid to be alone. Do not be afraid even if its been six months, or two years, or 10. Cultivate you own inner world, your interests, your hobbies, your friendships.
I am a firm believer that I will meet a man someday and it will be easy. There will be no need to play games. He will call, text, and ask me out immediately. I will not chase him. He will not chase me. We will simply stand still, eye to eye, heart to heart.
Until that day, I accept no less. I am not a scratching post, a way to feed a man’s ego, a piggybank, some warm, hot hole. I’m a beautiful, intellectual woman. If you cannot say the same for yourself, pull yourself off the dating site, and do that work.