I don’t go on dates. I’ve actually only been on three real dates in my life. One of them lasted 5 years and spanned several states…but you will understand that in a moment.
I’ve tried traditional dating. It’s really awesome to get taken out to a nice place, wear nice clothes, and get shown off a little bit. But…there is always a catch.
Let’s be honest here – dating, as a part of the human mating ritual is about (for the most part) showing off your potential mate around a bunch of people you will likely never have to see again. For the male, especially if you are young, this often involves saving money, skipping meals or skipping other things to take the male or female of your choice someplace that neither of you would ever eat normally (to make it memorable of course) and you both end up wearing things neither of you would ever be caught dead in under normal circumstances…You go out of your way to create an environment of “magic” (that is to say, one where you are on your best behavior and you often “watch yourself” by holding back on the parts of you that your potential mate might dislike). We all do it at some point because this is what we are taught is normal and acceptable social behavior.
All women experience that rush at least once. “He’s taking me to __________________! How awesome is that?!” Then, it sets in…”Oh shit. What am I going to wear?!”. And thus the ritual of persuasion begins. That thing that happens when we want to sell ourselves as suitable partner material. We start wearing things we think our potential partner would like. Saying we like things we have never heard of, or worse – we despise. We allow the creeping expectations to set in and influence us.
I have a confession to make. I am AWFUL at these subtle head games. I don’t know the rules,and I (only recently, at age 30) recently had several friends (gay, lesbian, bisexual, married, divorced, children and child free, even some of my trans-sexual friends – I know a lot of people. Shoot me…) hold a sort of educational talking to about dating. What it means to each experience, what marriage means, what each Individual is looking for etc… I discovered that across the board, I am failing.
I have never been one to really enjoy all this…bullshit. I never bothered to learn the “rules” – especially ones pertaining to dating. My mom is always on me about something – wearing a bra, crossing my legs in a skirt, wearing ripped t shirts to a nice restaurant, not telling people I barely know that their opinions are full of shit…the usual.
I was very surprised in my early 20’s when I discovered that among some males, the expectation is that the more expensive the place, the more he brings you..flowers, a carriage ride…etc. – the more you are expected as a woman to “put out”. If this is the first date, and you do – they almost certainly will not marry you.
I tend to think that all of this…crap…Just builds expectations. You expect your partner is going to behave a certain way. That things are going to go “as they are supposed to”. Honestly? Expectations are the enemy of relationships. All they do is create resentment. If our courting and mating rituals are all rife with this kind of expectation, is it any wonder that the marriage that results from this, often fails? Seriously guys…It’s not that difficult.
I think that every day you are with someone should be an adventure. I think that every day should be like a first date should be…exciting. Full of discovery. Surprise. Wonder. You should commit to your best friend and go from there. Enjoy something simple with them…do things together that you love to do. Nurture each other. Understand that you are going to fight, learn how to fight fair and talk through it.
Two of my favorite couples have been together for a very long time each. One of them has five kids and is stupidly In love after over 15years. They write each other public love notes. Still. The other has been married just under 10 years and they work every day at staying together through whatever comes.
I want THAT. Why the hell would I start on that path by lying to someone? Pretending?
I am flawed. I am loud, opinionated, and I work my ass off as well as sleep at odd hours. I eat cookies in my bed. I have gas sometimes. I will argue with you even after I know I am wrong. I’m stubborn and hard to get close to because I’ve been hurt. I am also fiercely loyal once you get there.
Most of all – I am imperfect, just like you.
My ideal “first date” (if I were looking) something relaxed. I’m gonna say the wrong thing. I may be shy. I will hug you in public. I will also tear you a new one just as quick if you piss me off.
All this is just stuff I have noticed. I’m trying to write more because my readers want to see more. This means I have to do it out of habit, so bear with me. My brain goes stupid places.