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Archive for March, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Things I’ve learned about dating in the two years since I composed my anti-polemic and spiraled into a maddening dating frenzy!

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1. Don’t make a mixtape! The person who makes the mixtape is always the one who is more invested. The person who makes the mixtape, even if it’s hip enough to wrinkle a suit and make a math teacher wiggle, is the reacher. There are too many risks in this endeavor. For one, it’s likely the person will never listen to it, which is actually the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is that they hate it and judge you based on your musical selection. Even if you are sharply honed at the mixing craft – be wary of this in dating. It can have disastrous results! It is also too soon to show all your cards. Keep them cloistered. Remain a mystery. Make your date work a little harder to figure you out.
2. Sometimes divorce is the best way to save a marriage. This might sound antonymous, but it is true at least in small ways in terms of space, risks, and decisions. What a recent experience with a friend has shown me is that sometimes the best way to restore intimacy and trust is actually to take space. And, beyond that even, to end the limbo period by making a decision. Divorce is not an easy decision nor is it one that it is very pleasant. However, breaking the cycle of “will they?” “won’t they?” is both liberating and rejuvenating. Divorce is a risk. But, if it’s done in a gentle, thoughtful manner, it can also be a stress buster.
3. Dating is like repeatedly going on successive job interviews. You are a nervous wreck. You aren’t yourself. You are always overdressed. And you can’t stop thinking “did I get the job?!?!” after every awkward dinner. Just give the girl the job already, geez!
4. Dating means having to shove the feelings and feeling-based words back down your throat. Shh self… you can’t say these things! Your inner self will be miserable. Occasionally, you’ll find yourself crying in a bathtub. You’ll stress over every text message, phone call, email, and dinner conversation. Did I say too much? Did I not say enough? Did I ramble too much? Did I have too much caffeine before the date? Was that too personal? Get over it. If the messages were not well-received, it’s not YOU. The only rule you need to remember is TEMPERANCE – DON’T OVERDO IT.
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5. “Ghosting” does not mean you get to make a blanket fort and cut holes for eyes in sheets while wandering around in the dark with flashlights. It is definitely not that exciting. What it means is… you’ve been dumped! Imagine, if you will, that you have gone on 3 or so of those job interviews. You’re pretty sure you are in line for the job. Your resume is pretty well rounded and moderately impressive. You’ve had relevant experience to the position. You were well-spoken and you showed genuine interest in the position. And then you know what happens? Silence. No call back. No emails. No job offer. Nothing. Crickets! This is the new craze in breaking up. It’s when your date decides he’s no longer interested in you, but doesn’t want to expend the necessary effort (or guts) to actually communicate his disinterest in you so he vanishes. He dissolves whatever relationship or plans you had pending and disappears into the ether. The really troublesome part here is that, like a ghost, he will probably come back around to haunt you later. He didn’t make a clean break so technically you’re still jaggedly dangling on the line. Well don’t accept it ladies!
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6. Stop crying in the bathtub eating Fritos and go get a hobby. Seriously. Some people stop being themselves when they start dating and, instead, morph into gigantic mush piles of sobbing, over-eating pathetic. Don’t do this to yourself. Cultivate who you are. Find some new interests. Explore your community. Knit a sweater. Plant a garden. Revise your resume. But don’t let yourself disintegrate. This will never help you feel better.
7. Approach every potential suitor as a new friend. You like meeting new people and making new friends, right? This is a giant pressure release. If you haven’t tried this before, watch out when you release this valve, your head might actually explode.
8. Don’t use collective pronouns. Ever! Eliminate “we,” “us,” and “our” from your vocabulary. I don’t care if you are talking about the house you share with your roommates or the fun you have playing board games with your cats, don’t use these pronouns. Shy dates will wilt at the mere sound of these words! And, again, you will find the irritatingly triumphant return of crickets in the soundtrack as your pronouns reverberate in the room like you just yelled out “poop” at the top of your lungs the very same moment the music stopped.
9. Sell your spinster starter kit. I am in my late twenties, I live alone, I have 3 cats, and I vacation with my parents. I have bought the spinster starter kit. Egads! Even if I am also funny, interesting, creative, and witty – I have severely diminished my dating pool with the purchase of my DIY spinster kit. Ditch the kit!
10. “You’re awesome, but ______” is the new ghosting. This time your date has the guts to dump you, but wants to do so in a friendly way so he/she decides to write a complimentary preamble into the dumping. Hello….I’ve still been dumped! Yes I know I’m awesome, but I also know that in the manners book, compliments are not supposed to be conjoined with rebuttals. That’s backhanded. And this isn’t tennis. You won’t score with that swing, buddy.
Which brings me to 11…
11. There are no manners in dating. Dating is the modern equivalent of mulling about in the primordial soup. Every person in the dating scene is a selfish job-hunting representative of him or herself. It’s a savage free-for-all. There’s no chivalry in dating – that’ll get you slapped by a feminist or jailed for assault. What happened to honesty, tenderness, and politeness? Out the window with the pearl necklace.
“You don’t just walk away without a trace – tell it to my face. ‘Cause you’re coming back. You don’t just play around and get away. Hear me when I say you’re coming back. Oh you’re coming back. MANNERS – Take a second look and you’ll see, there is no one like me. MANNERS – You better reconsider ’cause you will never do better.”

 

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