Friday, August 31, 2007

A Mini-Rant about Dating

I used to really love dating. I loved the getting-ready process of translucent-powder clouds and curling irons, loved the expensive drinks, loved the restaurant food, loved the awkward getting-to-know-you conversation. I especially loved when the 22-year-olds I'd go out with would wear too much cologne and order things I'd never tried, like scallops, and this would impress me a great deal. After my most recent breakup, I was excited to get back into the dating scene, especially since my palate has expanded beyond those mysterious scallops and now includes things like beef carpaccio and montepulciano. Yeah, I know what those food items are now. I know a bit about the world now. And do y'all know what that means? It means that dating sucks.

I'm in my late 20s now, and my bullshit meter has, unfortunately, been near-fully developed. I know when a guy's feeding me a line, I know when a guy is dumber than concrete, and I know when it's obvious that there's going to be no connection beyond the identical cocktails we've ordered. That makes dating this weird game of Plinko (God bless Bob Barker, may his legend live on). If the guy-chip falls in a slot that's not a zero, but it's not exactly the $10,000 spot on the board, do you keep going? Or do you stop, tell Bob you're done, and walk away with whatever lame La-Z-Boy (or two glasses of sangria) you've managed to score before you even started playing?

The problem with dating is things are never as cut and dried as they are on The Price is Right. Maybe you need an ego boost because you just found out your ex is happier without you. Or maybe it's been a while since anyone has touched your arm meaningfully while referencing a band/book/city you love. Or maybe you're afraid of the future -- either the success that being single might bring to your career or the irrational threat of being one of those New York cat ladies who run the risk of not being found by anyone until three days after they've already died. It's cliche, but that'll strike fear in the heart of pretty much any red-blooded New York woman (or man?), whether she (he?) wants to admit it or not.

I wonder, sometimes, if a true connection is what we're all looking for, or if convenience and timing meld together to make a "good enough" that flies. Maybe it's a little of both?

Gawker mocked this Metafilter post today, but I liked its honesty. As a newly single gal, I wanna know how to pick up guys, too, and I think most chicks do. It would be a lot easier to do so if society didn't mandate that I feel some sort of connection with a dude before asking him back to my boudoir. (Um, not that I would do that anyway, you hear me, male readers? Okay.)

I don't feel hopeless. I also know that I'm not dating Justin-Bobby or any of his ilk, thank God. I Those boys are not for dating; they're just for fun -- I learned that back in '03. But that knowledge doesn't make this romance mystery easier. If anything, it makes it more of a game than dating already is. It's when the non-Justin-Bobbys disappoint that can feel especially unfortunate.



Blogger Phil said...

Hi Jane,

Try making an Outline of what you are looking for in a guy, then put the things that you like and the things that you dislike on the same page and then narrow your searches for just the right person by comparing what you would tolerate versus what you absolutely would not. This way you can come closer to narrowing your search parameters.

1:06 AM  

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