It started with casual sex. I decided I was giving it up. Or rather, no longer playing into the patriarchal expectation that I had to spread my legs before we even exchanged numbers. I was excited by the idea that I could set a healthy barrier for myself and finally put my needs first… crazy, right? And while I continued swiping through the copy-and-pasted generic tinder bios, I questioned who I was even dating and why. So then I decided to give up dating, too! And I feel so free.
We initiate our first date conversations to take place over draft beer or stirred vodka. As if we need something to help the nerves to not only hold a conversation but also to decide to get underdressed. But sex shouldn’t be this dark, dirty secret we have to inebriate ourselves into. If we aren’t ashamed of getting it on, then we shouldn’t need anything to help us get off. So unless it’s meaningful, fun, or something my sober mind is actually asking for, I don’t want any part of it.
I don’t get midday texts and planned vacations. I don’t get love or commitment or growth or mornings fighting for the hot water in the shower definitely not meant for two. I don’t get breakfast in bed or invites to anything happening under the sun. I don’t even get off. So what’s the point?
For so long, I have drunk the Kool-Aid of the American Dream, but this isn’t the same America anymore (we’ll save the politics for another time). I wanted love and laugher and a shiny ring on my finger while I cooked dinner, walked the dog, and ironed his clothes for work the next morning. The feminist in me wanted all of the mundane domesticated activities, and more so, I wanted to be a mother. What a simple life, right? Until you have to weed through the millions of men playing with me when their hand wasn’t enough. I still want my version of the future, but there are so many more things to want than only the fairytale ending.
I want to travel the world. I want to meet up with the guy I follow on Instagram from the Ukraine and take pictures. I want to get lost in Morocco and explore Bali with my best friend. I want to backpack around Peru with my little sister and create memories I won’t have to delete after a breakup. I want to make pasta and decorate my apartment with my favorite colors, not having to get a second opinion or wear a t-shirt when I’d rather walk around naked, listening to my favorite music. I want to watch YouTube videos while lying in the middle of the bed and attend late night lectures on the days I am not full absorbed in my work. All by choice.
Don’t get me wrong, having all of these things with a best friend that I also like to roll in the hay with is the dream too. But it is just a dream, one dream, one version of the infinite possibilities for my life. I’ve had 25 years of brainwashing telling me there is only the final goal, the top of the pyramid to achieve, the final box to check, but the joke is on you, society. I am whole by myself. I am complete by myself.
I don’t want to date when I can have a better time with friends. And I don’t want sex when I can have a better time alone. My elders had it right all along—wait for the one who makes your life better. And until then, I will spend my energy making my life better. I want to look at art and the ever-changing society around me. I want to watch the fireflies glow under moonlight and dance in the rain because it’s better than hating the storm. The days may be long, but life is short; I’m not going to waste mine looking for someone who may not even be there.