I love love.
I do! I write about weddings as a job, I cry at sappy commercials, I pretend Ed Sheeran's songs are my wedding songs. I love romance and love and couples holding hands (but not making out on the subway, gross) and cheesy quotes and those ugly-faced selfies couples take.
But I hate dating.
Or more so the idea of dating, especially with how it tends to go today with the whole ‘hookup culture.’ I like the idea of dating, but the idea is always so much smoother than the real process. I've always said I wish I could just skip dating and be in love. Actually, I text this to one of my guy friends weekly and I think he's ready to throw my phone into a lake.
To be fair I might be jumping the gun because I’ve never truly dated. There’s a place between friends and dating and that’s where I usually hangout. Not totally by choice, but I’ve been there. I’m not one of those girls who go through the “I hate guy” phase because truth be told I love them which might be the issue.
So here we go, the rant to end all rants but we'll call it a musing.
The Rom-Com Curse
I blame it on the movies. And the TV shows too, but the movies seem to stick out more.
The movies that you find yourself finding comparisons between you and the girl on screen. She likes to read? That’s me. She likes the sound of rain? Me. She’s a girl? Oh, totally me. And then you take all these comparisons and you make yourself think that your life reflects this movie. It doesn’t matter that the movie takes place in a country you’ve never been to, your life will be like this.
I want the flowers, the dramatic showing up at the door (maybe not because sometimes I look scary), having a song, getting caught in the rain, horribly corny letters. All of it. I sadly live on the ninth floor so I’ve given up at the tossing stones at my window, but one day.
And I’m not putting all the blame on men of course because really it’s Hollywood too. Hollywood doesn’t factor in that it’s hard to meet a cute stranger on the TTC because it’s not that romantic, it’s busy, and I’m usually plugged into headphones.
I probably watch a rom-com a week (when I'm not binging on Grey's) and it's always the same reaction. I laugh, I cry, it ends all happy and then I spend a solid half hour wondering about my (lack of) love life. I say half hour because by then I realize how silly I’m being and I move on.
The First Date of All First Dates
In the movies the first date is awkward but ends in magic. Mine was awkward and ended in me rushing inside so quickly my roommates thought something was wrong.
I was ready for flowers (eye rolls allowed), pulling out the chair as I sit, opening doors, maybe even a first kiss? How exciting!
But, sadly, none of this happened. My first date was so horrible it scared me off for a good three years.
I was living with girls that all had boyfriends and they convinced me I had to get one as well. I was easily convinced, I'll be honest. So off we went setting up online dating profiles because how else does a full-time student who isn't always social find love?
It was so bad, comically so, I remember it all with perfect detail. That and I have a crazy memory for random things.
Have you ever seen Sex and the City? Yes? Okay, so Stanford? Carrie’s gay best friend? They had the same voice..and as much as I tried to get used to it I couldn’t. I got over his dog jumping on me and covering me in mud but apparently I can’t get over voices.
This man was quite a few years older than me and that didn’t phase me until he constantly said “I remember when I was your age ...” (This made him sound like both a odd teacher, and a grandfather). He repeatedly texted while we were having coffee, and Facebook creeped (so he was a multi-tasker I guess). I thought this was a well-known rule to just not be on your phone?
So we left the coffee shop, and that's when things got a little crazy.
On the walk home, he picked up his ringing phone, talked for a few blocks, and told the person on the other end that he was “not busy, just at work,” as I walked along beside him. He then went through someone’s garbage and took a dirty cat statue with us, offering to give it to me as a gift which I politely turned down. Annnnnd then he lived in his truck.
To top it all off he had been engaged a month before. A month. And here I was on my very first date.
While I wish this was a scene in an Amy Schumer movie, it isn’t. Although I relate to Trainwreck a little too much, I’m still waiting for my dance number.
Since then I have been on very few dates but all of them have been quite fun. Patience is key, ladies and gents.
Oh how I wish I lived in the dating world without cell phones.
I won't even get started on tinder and other apps like that, but I have tried them and they can be fun as long as you swipe responsibly. In fact, at one point this year I downloaded five “dating” apps and compared them all as a little social experiment for myself. My conclusion? Boys will be boys, no matter the app.
I detest (good word) cell phones and dating because what comes after the date. Waiting around, trying not to spend the day starring at my phone wondering if they had a great time like I did. And I know this waiting would exist without the cell phone but with the cell you can see that the mystery man is all over social media so you know he hasn’t been ran over by a subway.
That sounded a little angry, but hey it’s happened.
Whether we like it or not, we can constantly be tracked online. If you want to know you’re being ignored (or not, people do have lives I’ve heard) you can easily find out through social media. I learned this when a guy once got annoyed I wasn’t texting him back but sure enough I was liking pictures on Instagram. How strange is that?
Or there’s the infamous ghosting. (I’ve done it, I’ll admit. But it’s been after a guy gets a little too pushy and I’ve had enough.) Ghosting is the worst! Go on a date, have a (seemingly) great time and then poof! He disappears, slowly or all at once. Or there’s the ghost that disappears before you even have the chance which is neither worse nor better.
Cell phones can be great, sure. Especially for those dating who aren’t in the same city, or for sending PG pictures when you just really, really, miss someone. I think it’s just important to realize that constantly talking isn’t always communicating and you need to remember you’re dating a person, and not the person in the phone. Makes sense, right?
What did Shakespeare say about expectations?
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”
Okay so Shakespeare (my man!) didn’t actually say this. He said “Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises." It's from All's Well That Ends Well. Close enough.
This is the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn and I’m still not sure where to draw the line. Because I know I deserve good things, but I also know getting a letter in the mail isn’t entirely realistic these days. So I need balance.
I have a serious problem with overthinking and not just thinking in a negative sense, positive overthinking can be just as bad. One good date and I’m wondering if my parents will like him. Two good dates? Well, I’ve never made it to the second date thanks to the ghosters (and the fact I’ve been on three dates total anyway) but I’m sure the second date would call for a marriage proposal. Kidding! Kind of.
I wasn't always this impatient (if that’s the word) and maybe it is all the wedding shows and blog posts but I'm a little impatient now. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to get married or engaged anytime soon, but an actual relationship* would be nice.
My friends tease me that it’s because of my age and that might be a part of it. I like to think a little deeper and look at the big picture: I’m done school, I’m doing what I love, I live in a city I adore, I’m more than okay with what I look like these days so…what’s up next?
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I do know I need to tone it down a little because I get excited too easily and then being let down hurts a million times more. I partially blame it on my imagination, and also on that I trust very easily. If a guy says he had fun and wants to do it again, I completely believe him and happily text my friends the good news. And then, a week later, I have to shrug when they ask how so-and-so is because nothing ever happened.
Expectations, ladies and gents, keep them slightly lower and you’ll be happily surprised. (I hate myself a little for this, how sad is it I think this way?)
(*Actual relationship being dating, and not in that weird grey area of "What are we?" that I was stuck in for six months)
So there, I could write a thousand more words on dating. I could write an entire post based on just how much I hate the whole “Don’t worry, one day!” speech. What I should do is write a script that actually shows how dating and romance go.
It’s all very tricky, the dating and romance world, and I handle it by eating gelato out of the container and listening to Adele in between Netflix episodes.