Big deals are made of the ways in which men do not deserve the radiant Venus of our female-kind. We write articles and make lists on how if homeboy doesn’t call when he says he will, or can’t pick up the check, then he just isn’t “worth it”. We make rules and regulations about the way he should hold open doors whilst assuming our capability for holding open our own door. We want him to be sweet but strong, determined but open-minded, well-dressed but not, like, gay about it. And meanwhile, we’re running around town hiding from our one-night stand because “he was just too into it, you know?” and writing tests about pop stars so that he can prove our love is his love.
Sometimes, “ladies”, we give ourselves a bad name. Sometimes, he really can do better than us. Sometimes, we really are just a bit of a bitch.
If you’re in this for the freebies, shame on you. Dating is designed as a slow reveal of two people’s most truthful parts, and that can be over a fancy meal in the plushest place in town, or with a popsicle at the park. A man should not have demonstrate your worth with cold, hard cash. You should, if you’re the strong independent female you tell your friends you are, already know your worth. Dating is an expensive game, and not one that we can expect to have the bill footed for. Sure, it’s nice when a fella wants to treat us, but it doesn’t have to be somewhere or with something to make everyone on Instagram jealous. Give your guy room to surprise you, to be thoughtful and kind and inventive without breaking bank. My idea of thoughtful isn’t McDonald’s and a film night. My perfect first date is wine in the park, during the afternoon. It’s the sentiment, not the cost that matters. Let him tailor his romance to what he thinks you might like – maybe you love a Big Mac. Be generous about his intention. Dating isn’t a test, despite what you decided with your friends at cocktail hour.
I know you might want to protect yourself, but honey: we’ve all been hurt before. Why are you purposefully blowing hot and cold that way? Who the fuck are you to set the tone of a relationship that way? To deliberately confuse him, as if by doing that you’ll disarm him enough to get to know the “real” him. You know what a dog does when it doesn’t understand? When you yell then go to pet it? It bites. Why are you so surprised that his texts have wider and wider spaces in between them? When you see a Facebook photo of him out with another girl? When he fucks you because he can but then doesn’t call?
You don’t like his friends and you have keepsakes from your ex. What the hell is he supposed to do with either of those pieces of information? Why are you telling him he isn’t good enough for you? Why are you setting him up to fail? It’s like you don’t even want a man, really; it’s like your addicted to the drama of failed love. It could be so easy if you just let it. If you owned your own imperfections.
I’m not saying you should settle.
I’m saying you should stop being so fucking cold.
Honey, in doing all of this you’re not acting as your best self, and so ultimately neither is he. And you know what? He really deserves a woman who shows up as the love she wants to see in the world. If that’s not you, he can do better – and so can you.