Speaking of the New York Times, I have some thoughts on an article I came across this week on the end of courtship. I'd highly recommend you take a short break and read it, but it's kind of long, so if you'd like the nutshell version, here it is:
1) Girl puts on her skinny jeans and gets all pretty, and cute, and desperate for a date she is asked out on via OkCupid.
2) He texts her thirty minutes after said date start-time to ask her if she wants to meet up with him + friends. She declines.
3) Author gives up completely on the hope and prosperity of "hookup culture millennials". [My spell-check is informing me that she may have made the last word up. Go girl.]
4) Evidence, evidence, more evidence. Clever pop-culture references. Evidence. Witty simile. More evidence. Shameless plugs for various innovative online dating opportunities.
5) Author takes a quick venture into online stalking methods, backing up theory that there is no use for a real first date after you've googled, facebooked, twittered, tumblred, instagrammed and linkedin your crush. [Who's making up words now, chick?]
6) She theorizes that traditional dating makes a man feel like things are getting too serious, too soon.
7) Some San Franciscan rarity breaks the mold by refusing to accept anything less. Happy ending. Yay!
Don't misplace my snarky attitude here. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE. I LIVE THIS ARTICLE. My frustration stems from the truth behind it. And also the fact that the author offers no realistic cure.
I've been dating for the better part of nine months, in a big city, with a notable excess in the population of men versus women.
In December, I decided to take a one month hiatus from dating. I cleverly referred to it as my hi-date-us. I failed miserably due to my lack of boundaries and my immense threshold for being bullshitted. [Spell-check says that one's a word. You learn something new every day.] I didn't go on any actual dates, but I didn't eliminate from my life those who complicated it. So really the only thing that changed about my lifestyle was no more free meals or drinks. Not helpful.
At the end of December, I was drunkenly invited to partake in a structured date detox for the month of January and decided that was a GREAT IDEA! This one includes eliminating from your life any male who has ever made you feel human feelings AND creating lists of qualities you have experienced and would like to experience in the future. Also no flirting.
It has been half of a month and I would say I've earned an A- so far. January 12th was questionable, but spending time brainstorming what I really want in my life has empowered me like I've never felt before. I think I've told my partner-in-detox about 15 times that I'd like to just remain abstinent from dating forever. Obviously that's not going to happen, but I do believe I'm well on my way to breaking the mold.
So with that, my single friends, I offer you my cure:
If you don't want something, don't settle for it. If you do want something, hold out for it. If you want flowers at your doorstep, stop responding to the late night "hey, what r u doin" texts. If you want to get to know who a man really is, turn off the computer and ask him to dinner. If you want a happy, stable man in your life, shut the door and find happiness within first. Create a framework for the partner you truly desire. There are so many fish in the sea, but it's not about quantity. Figure out which kind of fish you like the most, research which region that fish inhabits and pray that when you catch him he's tall, rich and sensitive. But even if he's not, maybe he has all ten of the "must-haves" your date detox asked you to define and carry with you at all times. And you'll live happily ever after.
*After thought: As I was writing this angst-ridden blog post, I received a picture of a ridiculously romantic gift my brother had just presented to the girl he is dating. I know that real, decent human men exist. I just happen to be related to all of them.