“Be open to online dating sites,” they say.
“Step outside of your comfort zone and do things that scare you,” they say.
“You have to be willing to put yourself out there,” they say.
These statements are made with the best of intentions; and I love the people who care about me and encourage me to do these things.
I’m open, I’m stepping outside of my safety bubble, and I’m putting myself out there. Believe me. I’m out in the world, every single day, open to making connections.
Most people have become so disconnected from the world around them. They’re glued to their electronic devices, they’re staring at their phones, they have earbuds in, they avoid making eye contact, and they’re oblivious to the woman walking her dog who’s trying to catch their eye.
So I try the dating sites, and the latest dating apps that claim to be “designed for people who really want to make a genuine connection!”
“Swipe right, and find your soulmate!”
Give me a break. It’s all superficial garbage, and it’s yet another reason to be glued to your phone or laptop, avoiding life.
For those of you who have somehow managed to meet your worthwhile significant others through online channels, I applaud you. You, my friends, are the exceptions.
For the most part – to put it bluntly – modern dating has become a fucking joke. I hate dating. I really do. It’s stressful, exhausting (especially for an introvert), and the majority of ‘men’ today have become downright lazy.
This shouldn’t suggest that I haven’t been on some truly fantastic dates in my life. I certainly have, and they’ve set a very high level of expectation.
My most recent date was spectacular. He cooked me dinner in his home, we had champagne, and he held me and stroked my hair while we watched a movie. He expected nothing more, and I felt completely safe. When he kissed me, I could feel it in my knees.
As my luck would have it, this person lives on the opposite side of the country, so our evening together was a one-time expression of mutual affection – both of us aware that it wasn’t going any further.
Admittedly, I had a hard time releasing him from my internal hope chest, because that’s the kind of man I’m looking for to share my life with.
The sad truth? While these men do exist, they are a dying breed, and they’re becoming harder and harder to find.
I have a few close girlfriends who are struggling with the same dilemma. We’re all in our thirties, we’re all fiercely independent (and stubborn), we all have strong personalities, and we all refuse to settle for mediocrity.
We’re also sick and tired of wading through the cesspool of shitheads that seem to be overpopulating the dating market no matter where we live.
Do we expect Prince Charming to come dashing in on his white horse? Hell no.
Just because I’m addicted to romance fiction and I’m still obsessed with the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey books, does not mean I expect real life versions of Edward Cullen or Christian Grey to come sweeping into my life.
Although, I must admit… A modern version of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy would be fantastic.
Point being – while we’re well aware that there’s no such thing as the perfect man, my single friends and I do expect gentleman who will treat us with the respect, loyalty, and adoration that we deserve.
I know those men are out there – I know several of them personally. I’m proud to call some of them my friends, and their respective partners are very fortunate women.
One of my best girlfriends is married to a man who holds the door open, not only for her, but for me if I’m with them. Once when we were going out to dinner, I was walking closest to the street curb. He put his hands on my shoulders, moved me away from the curb, and took my place.
That is a gentleman. That is what I expect.
I’m not settling for these modern day douchebags who message me on the dating sites saying, “Are you waiting for me to feed you some cheesy pick-up line, or can we just skip that part?”
Or, “Wanna see my dick so you know what to expect?”
OR, even better – “Are you DTF?” (Translation: That acronym stands for ‘down to fuck.’)
Nope, nope, and NOPE.
Whatever happened to chivalry? What happened to the excitement and anticipation of getting to know someone before taking the relationship to a physical level? And when in the HELL did sex become an upfront expectation for dating?
No, I am not going to have sex with you after the first date, the second date, or even the third.
In fact, I’m not going to have sex with you until there is a deep emotional connection; and for me to feel secure, there needs to be an enormous amount of mutual love and respect behind the physical act.
I’m sorry, but I’m not changing who I am at my core or relinquishing my morals to accommodate how fucking lazy and entitled so many men have become.
As Porphyria R’lyeh said, “Girls are not machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.”
To be clear, I have zero issues with folks who have casual sex. As long as you practice safety, remain honest with your partners, and don’t inflict false hopes in order to seal the deal – that’s a ‘your body, your choice’ situation.
On the flipside, if you manipulate others to get them to sleep with you, you’re an asshole – male or female, plain and simple. May such spineless cowards contract miserable STDs and rot in hell.
I have friends whom others may call promiscuous, and friends who definitely went through phases of promiscuity in the past. Truthfully, I love and respect them for having the mental ability to separate sex from emotion.
One of my fictional heroines is Samantha Jones in Sex and the City. I adore everything about her – her confidence in who she is, how openly she embraces herself, and how she fearlessly goes after what she wants.
She’s a brazen, inspiring character, and I admire the hell out of women with that particular kind of strength.
For me, emotion, intimacy, and sex are intertwined, irrevocably. That’s how I’m wired, and I refuse to apologize or feel ashamed of this.
I don’t feel safe exposing my heart – and especially my body – to the risks that come along with intimate relationships these days. Not without serious commitment and security.
And even then?
In the past few months, THREE of my girlfriends have discovered that their husbands have been cheating on them. Not ‘one-time-mistakes-this-will-never-happen-again’ cheating, but ongoing, deceitful affairs. In two of these situations, they’ve been cheating with multiple women.
I have another friend who shared with me that she was in a monogamous relationship (or so she thought) for six years, only to uncover that her boyfriend was unfaithful several times, once with her older sister.
The best part? He contracted the herpes virus and generously passed it along to my friend without her knowledge.
So now, this strong, beautiful, amazing woman has an incurable disease that she’s being forced to manage and feel insecure about anytime she meets a potential partner. Men have walked away from her as a result. Never mind that she’s a smart, independent single mom with a great sense of humor and a rockin’ body.
I’m sorry, but what the FUCK?
Literally, I have no words to express the levels of frustration, discouragement, and disgust I have with what can be called nothing short of an epidemic. The epidemic that has become modern dating.
Welp. I’m not accepting that this is ‘just how it is now,’ and if I want to find a partner – these are my choices. Fuck that noise. I’m standing my ground.
Even if it means I’m alone forever and I never have a sex life – to me that’s a much more appealing option than settling for anything less than what I want, and what I deserve.
To my remaining single, thirty-something girlfriends – this blog is inspired by your individual strengths, your radiant spirits, your unique beauty, and the simple truth that we know our value and we are not compromising ourselves by settling for the dregs.
Trust me, we are all worthy of great love. Why we’ve had to wait longer than others…Perhaps that reason will become clear someday, perhaps not. What’s important, is that you each continue to believe.
Believe in yourselves, believe in your worth, and believe – even while all evidence points to the contrary – that there is a perfectly imperfect man out there, navigating through his own version of dating hell, searching and wishing for YOU.
You may call me naïve if you feel so inclined, but I believe. Wholeheartedly.
In conclusion, I’ll reference Sex and the City one more time –
“I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” – Carrie Bradshaw.
And I will stubbornly keep right on looking.
Special thanks and dedication to Audrey, Michelle, and Chassity, for being who you are and gracing my world with your friendship. This one’s for you.