Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dating-Shmating

It's official. Either dating is the stupidest, moronic thing in the world, or i'm just doing it wrong. I assume that dating is about romance... creating that warm, fuzzy feeling, that insane sparkly connection, that desire to reach out and touch another person.

But what is the fascination with meeting random people for coffee / drinks / dinner at various entertainment stops? What's the great moment of connection that i'm supposed to get from staring at someone's face, as they tell me all about investing in the stock market or social marketing, or lawyer-ing, or a joke about someone who said "sex-ion" instead of "section" (seriously, are we still 12 years old?), or a million other stupid things. All of them - good people. The only common factor being Me.

Honestly, I've never 'dated' (what is that anyway?). I've either been in love, or lust, or i have friends. It's exhausting meeting new people, going through the same conversations about "tell me about you.." when seriously, everyone seems super-bored with themselves. Ofcourse, i've read the literature about "show interest in the other person" etc and i appreciate someone trying to get to know me, and i'm usually always interested in a new person (who wouldn't be? They're new! But generating my curiosity? That's not happened in such a long time!) - but how is this supposed to create a "romantic" situation when i just want to smash my coffee mug / wine glass on his head or mine?!?!?

What's happened to the effortlessness of just connecting with someone? What happened to being surprised? Why is it all about convenience? Even if it's convenience, why are people just asking me out to consume something - coffee, food, alcohol?? Do they assume that feeding me is the only way to keep me in place while we have desultory conversation?

And the truth is, i miss it. I miss looking across the table and just thinking, 'Oh so cute/dishy/sexy/yummy!" instead of "Is it polite for me to leave now?" I miss being taken by surprise, being provoked (in a good way), being kept off-balance (again, good way) instead of thinking, "Oh Lord, I'm so not into him." I miss romance. I miss the butterflies in the stomach. I miss the body-slam of 'this is the one' desire. Instead, i get multiple cups of coffee, the sometimes-dinners, the depressing ratio of 5 nice conversations to 15 tedious encounters, the too much-too soon revelations.

Maybe this is what 'dating' is. In which case, can we just be remote, online messenger friends?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I get what you are saying but I guess if you keep trying and keep meeting new people. Somewhere along the way you meet someone who completely blows you away. I’ve met, “dated” been friendly with many women but the instance I met the dear girl I am married to now I knew she was the one. Wish you luck !!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if human beings are supposed to "wow" each other like that. After all, we are not discardable products. We have feelings, we fear rejection, we are trying to make a good impression, and we hope be loved, and hopefully not be hurt by the experience in the process. Perhaps you might want to try not treating men like the latest video disc player in a shop - "If this gadget doesn't wow me right now with it's mind-blowing high-def 1080p video right now, I don't want it!!!" :-) Also, think about what you are bringing to the table? Are you wowing him? Are you fascinating him with amazing conversation? I'm just saying... way too often women put the entire burden of "tonight's entertainment" on the guy, and perhaps the guy doesn't want to put on an amazing show for you... maybe he just wants to show you an unvarnished, real person and be there, sitting next to you, the both of you quietly enjoying a perfect evening. Just a thought...

Searcher said...

Anonymous (the second one):
It's interesting you brought up the 1080p whatchamacallit analogy. I think "dating" is more like going to a DVD rental store - you pick a few movies, watch them... but love only a few. These few evoke feelings of happiness, excitement, empathy, compassion (etc etc) in me as a viewer... which is why i keep going back to my favorites. This doesn't mean that the other movies are bad - just not for me. I think what i'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter what the gadget is, if all i'm seeing is the same tired movie over and over again. THen again, as i said... it's likely that i've got it all wrong.

Nguyen Pham said...

Haha, that is so true! I feel the same way when you say :"I miss romance. I miss the butterflies in the stomach. I miss the body-slam of 'this is the one' desire. Instead, i get multiple cups of coffee, the sometimes-dinners, the depressing ratio of 5 nice conversations to 15 tedious encounters, the too much-too soon revelations."

A- Girl said...

I hear ya searcher. Ditto to every word you said. I have been pondering JUST that, having been on all sorts of dating websites for years now. I have hypothesized an explanation. We are too old for ‘butterflies in the stomach’. I think butterflies in the stomach happen from age 16yrs to say 25 yrs, tops. We are not young carefree students anymore. We are adults who spend most of our day dealing with nasty colleagues and bosses, meeting work deadlines, paying rents and mortgages, dealing with friends who behave ungrateful, parents who still fight. Obsessively trying to stay in shape lest that belly fat return, wondering if we need to start using that anti-wrinkle cream and feeling snubbed by old friends who don’t have time for us as they have families of their own now. All this saps our energy. I think we are busy and tired.

Second, we are not naive anymore. We have an opinion on everything. We are difficult to impress. We have high expectations from the 'show' and we don't even realize it or won't admit it if we do realize it. We are not simple and are very hard to impress. That’s why for me every ‘date’ invariably feels like an interview session. We are very jaded. We have been through relationships that have been serious, but didn’t last. As clich├ęd as it may sound, life is not simple anymore. We are lugging all our past negative experiences, which subliminally affect us. I think we are emotionally drained. We are 30 something and time is flying. Thats why no one has time to get to know someone "naturally", let things take their own course..... and everything has been relegated to what’s 'convenient'.

When we were young we really believed that we can conquer the world. We will be CEO s or uber sexy bosses and have fantastic love lives, which would invariably involve ‘us’ leaving ‘them’ and moving on to an even more fantastic relationship, till we find 'The One' who would be ‘perfect’. Oh and all this will happen before or by the age of 30. Though most of us have probably met our professional goals, our personal love lives have not turned out to be what we has dreamed of. People have ‘left us’ and broken our hearts (just like we have broken some). I think the reality that I have ‘not’ been able to concur the world, and perhaps never will is dawning on me. All our past negative experience and complications of present makes it difficult for us to feel love. This goes for both men and women. At least that is what is true for ‘me’. Which are some of the most fun experiences that you recall with fond memories? When was the last time you felt butterflies in the stomach? For me invariably my memory goes back to the period when I was between 16 and 23yrs old. Fuck, I feel so nostalgic. I want to be 21 again :(

What is your opinion on my hypothesis Searcher?

Searcher said...

Sigh. A-Girl... You could be right. It's bloody depressing. I don't want to settle for anything less than butterflies, knowing full well that butterflies don't last. But atleast it's some kind of a recognisable start instead of... an interview.

A- Girl said...

Sorry for that rant. Didn't mean to depress you. I agree, no matter how angry and frustrated I feel at these strange, un-chivalrousness, unromantic, boring or plain assholish men I meet, I know that I will NOT settle for less. Trust me, it is better to be single and actively looking ("dating-shmating"), than just throw in the towel and settle for someone who can not keep us on our toes....there should at least be some 'honeymoon period' in a relationship, no matter how short that period is.

And BTW it doesn't matter that we are 30 something and single. We should express our gratitude to god everyday, for at least making us so smokin hot ;-).

Mariposa said...

I agree with both of you (searcher and A-girl) and i am a single 40-something. I used to fall in love and go through that wonderful feeling...then move on to the next stage. But somehow back then, I met guys who were open to that, who showed genuine interest, who shared themselves fully...we ran like hell up the mountains of LOVE and excitement about each other!

In the past 2 years since my divorce, i've met very nice guys, but guys who were unwilling to take the leap. Huh? Maybe i just attracted the wrong kind.

Maybe that's your problem too... let's not give up hope. I believe in feeling the butterflies at 16, 25, 40, 61, 80.... ! Seems like we just have to be a bit more patient...