Friday, June 3, 2016

Dating is "Garbage"

“How many dates have you been on this year?” She probed. I pretty much knew that once I gave my answer that I was going to sound strange so I pretended to evade the question. “...So, zero” she followed up with, “Why not?” The inquiry put me on the spot while I stumbled through an answer that while not being a lie, wasn’t entirely the truth. “ It’s a lot of work,” I stammered knowing that later I’d probably pick apart the very words falling out of my mouth this moment. “I go out and people get attached and I end up not liking them and then it’s awkward and people get upset” I replied.  “You need to go on more dates” She advised while I smirked at the notion that this very woman advised me to guard my heart just a few months prior.
Fast forward several hours and I am trying to sleep, but I’m having difficulty because the answers to the questions have started stringing together in my mind.  Why don’t I date?  As the hours ticked away and my 5am wake up call was closing in, I found myself pulling the puzzle apart.  What I was able to come away with before I finally drifted out may have been an over simplification that I think I really do see dating as garbage.
    To clarify, not all of it is garbage. Just the modern standard of what we call dating. There are these rules that you’re supposed to follow that nobody is ever really trained to understand. If you like someone you’re supposed to wait a certain amount of time to call. You’re supposed to pretend that you’re not interested. You’re supposed to act a certain way, which may or may not even be you. There are parts of it that seem strange to me, two people each pretending to be someone else while gradually revealing who they really are in hopes to not alarm the other. All the posturing involved for a man to come across as some decisive Alpha who is always in control and knows how to take care of a woman, or some woman to position herself in a way that is be seen as not having vulnerabilities or minimal emotions.
    I get that this whole system is meant to weed out people who would be predatory or take advantage of another person, or at least I think that is why. Most are afraid of vulnerability and know that there are others out that that would exploit that. It’s something no one wants and I understand . This is one reason that I spend time with people to find out if I even like them before I figure out if i’d be interested in dating them. I personally try to evaluate someone’s character before I let my idiot heart run wild. How does this person treat other people? How does this person handle adversity? How does this person react in the midst of actual real life grit, do they respond with compassion or do they try to brush over things with a plastered smile? Are they tough? Are they tender? It’s possible that dating as we know it is supposed to flush all that out, but it’s done under strange pretensions. Maybe it’s me, it’s probably me but I see the whole system as garbage. In a perfect world I should be able to tell a woman I’m interested in taking her out, because I’ve deemed that I have seen enough that it is worth it. That isn’t some dramatic profession of love, it’s just the truth. More often than not people get hurt because they play some game in dating where they’re not sure how much to invest or divulge and the “relationship” becomes unbalanced. Some people are JUST looking to have fun, whatever the connotations. Other people are looking for fun, and romance. Other people are looking for something real and deep that is honest, that can be heavy and light, fun and serious… balance I guess.
    Maybe this is something everyone gets from casual dating. Maybe I’m pretentious or old fashioned or the like. I think that one reason that I don’t date often is because it’s rare that I find people on the same page.. To be honest, I don’t often find many people with the same values that I hold and investing in that situation usually isn’t beneficial for anyone. In my experiences it’s lead to angry words and broken hearts. I’ve finally come to the understanding of the verse about being unequally yoked. I want a right relationship, with honor and truth. I’m not desperate, I’m not frantic, not urgently searching through a pile of people trying each one on to see if one fits well enough. I’m not that guy, I’m pretty certain. I am not about the conquest to prove something to other people. The only expectations that I feel I need to meet are the ones I have set for myself.  Another point that the modern idea of dating misses is the foundation of friendship. It holds the position that you do not want to date a friend, period. It dismisses the really important factor that the person that you’re going to be with is supposed be your best friend. The system isn’t designed like that. In this system a friendship is something that shouldn’t be considered for a potential romantic interest because the ‘friendship’ is deemed ‘too important’.
I don’t really advocate this or courtship either I suppose because each has it’s own flaws.The imposing drawbacks of courtship where half a community is “involved” in a potential relationship can go so far as to regulate how often two people talked on the phone with each other. Instead of two people learning about each other in order to see if they’re compatible you have the involvement of far too many people scrutinizing your words, your actions and thoughts.  If dating is garbage and courtship is overbearing, what is a person to do? I don’t know.  Become a monk and teach kung fu or something.


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