Sex and the Ivy

The Mating Game

Filed under: CK, Dating/Relationships — Elle August 5, 2008 @ 1:39 pm


new rule: you can’t volunteer to make someone a mixed tape like some john cusack circa “Say Anything” indie God out of my dreams, and then not respond to a fucking text message. it’s just MEAN.

Kennedy has a new blog on Tumblr, a new life in Seattle, and a new distrust for men. (Thanks flaky dude from last weekend!) We were discussing her most recent date and she asked me what I thought she should do regarding this maybe-interested/maybe-not guy. My advice:

I, being the type to not trust men, say you are one of many girls he is pursuing concurrently using the unfortunately effective technology of mass text messaging and copy/paste. My advice is to maximize orgasms while minimizing pain. I suggest dating as many people as possible at the same time so any single man’s attention is irrelevant since you are too busy anyway. Basically, don’t get invested. Men are shit.* Let’s not forget that just because one of us is operating under some sort of romantic delusion at the moment.

I should’ve probably added the disclaimer that following the above advice is the first step to lifelong commitmentphobia, but I figure Kennedy’s already well on her way toward that.

Anyway, it was interesting to talk about boys because I haven’t done it for months. Literally, months. The people I have been keeping in touch with in the States are mostly in serious relationships, so no one’s gushing about their drunken error in judgment from last weekend. You have to understand, I used to relish in drunken errors! And yes, I do mean my own. Everyone else was mostly horrified but I loved my crazy dating antics (almost as much as I love myself), so ever since I went off the market and stopped being so damn entertaining (to myself), I’ve been dying to live vicariously and single-y through someone else.

Until Kennedy and I chatted, at least. Then I remembered that dating was largely a complicated, terrible affair. Being single itself wasn’t so bad (and often times, it rocked), but when you were sick and tired of being alone and decided to get out there and look for someone with whom you could share takeout bills and pregnancy scares, the process for finding said partner came with so many rules and expectations that you would’ve thought “dating” was something invented by a particularly heinous schoolteacher. For example, what’s with waiting to call and not seeing each other on consecutive days? Or the do’s and don’ts of first date hanky-panky? Or generally keeping your feelings for someone guarded until he hands you a big rock? For reasons that escape me, playing hard to get has been marketed as the key to getting a mate, despite its incompatibility with our biological impulses and all evolutionary theory. On one hand, it reduces men to masochistic idiots who want the unattainable. On the other, it encourages women to behave manipulatively. Way to fulfill a stereotype!

The only thing that’s worse than playing hard to get is doing the opposite: pretending you like someone you don’t have the least bit of interest in, which actually seems to be a dating maxim itself. I’ve done this before and I’ve had it done to me, and my theory is that this behavior occurs when the disinterested party is afraid of offending the uninteresting one. (Like, what are you supposed to say, “I’ve been dating you for the water pressure”?) Also, I sometimes date guys for longer than I should simply for lack of other options. DO NOT DO THIS. I am terrible at breaking up with people, but seriously, suck it up and deal with being alone, because if you don’t, this is what will happen: Invariably, a more attractive option will come along. You will be forced to kill off your dalliance of the past few weeks without much warning. Your victim will go through all five stages of grief as their dreams of cohabitation slowly disintegrate while you watch on somewhat embarrassed by how long you took part in this charade. No one is happy, and if you fail to give adequate notice, you may even have a recent ex-lover phoning you at 2 a.m. while you try to play Just The Tip with the person you dumped them for. All in all, not hot.

Oh, last reason off the top of my head for why dating sucks: “dating” is a favorite activity of assholes with girlfriends. (Another possible theory, Kennedy. Take notes!)

Okay, let’s end this baby on a positive note since I’ve just spent several paragraphs criticizing an institution in which I no longer have to take part and everyone’s probably like, “Hypocrite!” So I would like to recap by saying that although I stick to the claim that dating is a sham, my last two relationships did start with first dates — the traditional kind that comes with dinner and ends in 69 — but that being said, let’s not attribute the successful outcum  to the dating process. After all, any non-kissing action on the first date is supposed to be a romance killer. Thus, I’m pretty sure the relationships evolved in spite of the rules and expectations, not because of them. So you see? It’s actually all in your hands! Be a maverick! Don’t wait to fuck! Answer your goddamn text messages as soon as you receive them! And stop listening to dating advice from oversexed college girls! Seriously, I don’t know jack.

* Men not actually shit.