From a distant perspective, adult dating always seemed so cool. Television made it look easy, convincing me that when you're an adult, you mingle responsibly in bars and get asked out by some handsome stranger. Or you fall in love in a charmingly awkward situation at a routine dental cleaning with your twenty-something babe of a dentist. Or that someone you once found utterly repulsive suddenly proves to be, not only your soul mate, but super hot too.
In real life, as an adult, you get shit faced wasted at bars and black out face down in the tub when you get home; handsome strangers don't actually ask you out; creepy strangers do. And that dental visit? There's nothing charming at all about that awkward dental cleaning with your mid-fifties dentist. And that guy you find utterly repulsive? He is still equally repulsive, if not more so, and continues to drive you nuts in the worst possible way.
In real life, there seem to be two scenarios for modern dating: 1.) get drunk at a bar and make out with someone. At some point they become your boyfriend/girlfriend 2.) online dating.
I haven't personally experienced dating scenario #1 post-mommyhood, but it seems to be just as popular as before I popped out a kid. Pretty sure that's how my friends have all gotten their boyfriends.
I HAVE experienced scenario #2, and boy is that one a doozy. As a single mom, with minimal free evenings for mingling, online dating seemed the answer. It's true that I've heard great things about online dating and heard of some terrific success stories, but my numerous experiences weren't so stellar and usually went something like this...
Online dating, day one. Browse. "Holy shit, look at all these hot guys! Wow, look how much I have in common with all these tattood bearded man-babes!" Wink. Send convo. No reply from hot man-babes, but tons of winks and convo's from dudes completely NOT my type. Get disappointed. Lower standards.
Day two. Still feeling pretty good about online dating. Send a few more winks and convos to the guys I actually find attractive. No reply. Lower standards.
Day three. "Holy shit, I'm way less like-able than I thought! No one likes me and it's already been THREE WHOLE DAYS! MY LIFE IS OVER!!!" Lower standards WAY down. Go through your inbox and second guess your decision to pass on the dudes you didn't like at first. Settle for someone remotely tolerable. Get in relationship with the first guy who likes you.
Ok, maybe some of that is a cruel exaggeration, but there is some truth there. Long story short, I don't think online dating is for me. Besides, I'm too weird. Guys online don't go for weird. And the ones who do are way weirder than I can handle. And pretending NOT to be weird doesn't work for me. I'm actually really good at pretending to be normal, but it makes me miserable. Meeting strangers one on one for small talk just isn't my thing. I'll have to stick to dating scenario #1, and see how that goes. Unfortunately, even the drunken bar scene has its downside...
For one, why must I have to get drunk and eventually make out with someone in order to start a relationship? Why can't someone just ask me out like they do on tv? Maybe they do, and I'm just misjudging the modern dating scene entirely, but I get the feeling that men these days are looking to women to make the first move. Or alcohol.
WHERE ARE YOUR BALLS?
I feel like modern men have been trained to fear women and hide their balls in a ziplock bag instead of just asking a girl out. Don't get me wrong; I don't trust a guy who isn't at least a little afraid of me, but what happened to the days when a cute random guy would just ask for your number? Why is it only creepy guys who have the balls to do that? I'm all about feminism, sure, but a guy who takes the lead is like 95% more attractive than a submissive one. I might turn you down and laugh behind your back, but I'll respect your confidence. I like being submissive in relationships, but I can't do that if you don't show me your balls. (Not literally.)
And here's another question: where do I fit in the the dating world? Who the heck am I? I'm NOT a party all night/weekend/day/week/hour kind of girl. I'm wholesome as fuck. I have a daughter and I'm an awesome mom and absolutely LOVE my cuddly, wholesome life. But I'm also weird and have tattoos, like certain types of music, and have an often raunchy sense of humor. I'm too wholesome for the wild dudes and too wild for the conservative soccer-dad-types who actually date single moms.
Yeah, adult dating sucks. I spent the first several years of my adult life in consecutive long term relationships, which developed from different variations of dating scenario #1. When I first became a single mom, I thought there must be a better/cooler/more adult way to meet people. Turns out there isn't.
But in order to move past my cynicism and develop a healthier, more hopeful mindset on love (you can read about my struggle with believing in love here), I'm going to take everything I've just said with a hefty dose of good-hearted humor. I'm more excited about just having fun and enjoying life than seeking a relationship. I'm optimistic that shit will happen when it's meant to, just like it always has. Dating scenario #1 has never let me down before (depending on my current perspective), so why knock a good thing, even when it isn't as cool in real life as it is on tv?
And even though the world is swarming with submissive men, the right guy will have all the right balls in all the right places. So if you feel like the dating world is getting you down, just repeat that mantra. You're welcome.