Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's Been Awhile...

That title could refer to a lot of things, but I mean it in that I haven't posted since the beginning of the year. There is no excuse. Yes, I was busy for a bit, but I was using that as an excuse mostly. My computer did crash and is still being problematic (it actually crashed in the middle of this sentence, so we'll see if I can even finish this post). Writing blog posts on my phone is not something I can really do, nor do I want to try. So, my apologies for that.

Most of my posts are thought-out. I find a subject I want to write about and I research it, showing educational facts and information I find useful/interesting. But since I can't have more than one tab open without my internet freezing up, this post isn't going to be like that. As a matter of fact, I think it's just going to be me talking about things that are on my mind. Let that be your warning to stop reading now, or proceed with caution. The inner-workings of my mind are confusing even to me, and after 23 years, I still barely have a grasp on how to handle it. And unfortunately, I feel like my overall knowledge of life is becoming less clear as I'm getting older. Last week, I got this sudden realization that, though I feel old, I really know nothing and I am so young in the scheme of things. It kind of terrified me. To be clear, this blog is not me claiming to be super knowledgeable about anything. When I tell people about it, I frequently hear the response, "Oh, I should do that, I know a lot about sex and love it, too." Which is great. I mean, sure, there are exceptions, but generally, who doesn't love sex? It's great (well, it should be). But damnit, sex is starting to become the only thing I understand. It's so easy, as long as no strings are attached. You hang out, you have sex, you leave. That's all it is. But once feelings get involved, damn does it get confusing.

The story you have all heard so many times--I was in a long-term relationship. A very serious relationship, much more so than most 18-year-olds because of situations we were forced into before we were ready. In my mind, these experiences were so important and built up the foundations on which our personalities are based around that I thought it would make us last. But it didn't. It made us seek out our own personal growth, which is awesome. But since then, I have gotten to a point where I am comfortable with myself. I am okay with being alone--as a matter of fact, I need it sometimes. I got into that long relationship at 16. Now at 23, I'm facing the most confusing thing I've ever faced. Dating. Seriously, what the fuck. That's my first thought about it. I don't get it! I just don't understand it. It makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes.

People will say to not go out looking, just let it happen, blah blah blah. Come on. We all crave interaction, especially physical interaction. Even when you're not looking for a relationship, sometimes things just fall into your lap (maybe literally). And either way, I don't get it. I hate dating so much. I rarely meet people who genuinely enjoy it. We can all pretend we enjoy the whole 'meeting someone new and awkwardly discussing shallow interests while ignoring any bit of sexual tension in fear that the other person doesn't' phase. But seriously, it's not that fun. Once you find someone and you start to really like them, yeah, that's awesome. That's the best time, that initial lust and infatuation. But the initial meeting someone and talking about your lives and never really knowing if you're telling your life story to someone you may never see again is just awful.

In the age of Tinder, we're finally starting to admit that looks play a bigger role than we've previously said. An app that lets us find people we're attracted to for casual hooking up/dating? Awesome! I mean, it would be awesome if it worked. But it really doesn't. Maybe you have had a fruitful encounter from there. Maybe you are dating someone from there, or OKCupid or Plenty of Fish or Match.com, or some other similar dating website. But what I & all of my roommates have noticed, is that nearly every profile has the words, "Not really looking for a relationship right now." I know we're in our twenties and none of us really know what the hell we're doing or looking for. But can we please figure SOMETHING out? Or at the very least work on our communication skills? How often I hear of a friend talking to someone they really like for an extended period of time and then suddenly not at all is just sad. It's like we're all just stupid toddlers who pick up a toy for a few minutes because it's shiny or noisy or something and then put it back down when we get bored. And then we get pissed when someone else picks up that toy because it was ours before, right?

Maybe I'm not even making sense. I don't really care, because dating doesn't really make sense. And on that note, we should probably define dating. There's seeing someone, there's dating, there's relationships. I have always thought of seeing someone as more casual. There is a person you are hanging out with occasionally, and there might be some kind of physical interaction. Dating is kind of the same thing, but more exclusive. You're not 'boyfriend-girlfriend,' but it's a bit more serious. Relationships are generally monogamous, serious, things. I've had conversations about these definitions with friends, and it sounds like we all have different thoughts on them. Is that the problem? Is it just that we don't understand what we are all doing? Or do we just not care about other people?

My thoughts are all over the place, and I'm sorry for that. I lived in a small town in high school and after. Now that I moved to a city, there is a plethora of people everywhere I go. You'd think it'd be so easier to meet people. And honestly, it is easy. But it never seems to go anywhere. We're all just sampling each other and then going on to the next. It's frustrating. I feel like I can't trust people, and I'm terrified of getting my hopes up. I "give up" on dating about as often as I do with drinking. I give up until someone puts a drink in front of me and tells me to drink. Same with men. But I swear, alcohol is easier to acquire than a 20-something year old. And I don't mean just men--we women are guilty of it, too. Hell, I'm guilty of it. I'm not saying I've never gone out on a date and never talked to someone again. I have. I feel bad about it, but I've done it. My point is that we need to stop doing this.

Can we also just go back to courting? I've seen so many internet articles about this lately. If you like someone, ask them on a date! We need to stop with the "wanna hang out?" thing. If you ask someone that, they freak out all day beforehand wondering if it's a date or if you just legitimately want to hang out as friends. It's stressful. And after the date, FOLLOW UP. If you're interested, contact the person and ask them out again. If you're not, be nice, but explain yourself. "Hey, I had a really great time but I'm just not feeling the chemistry. Like to still be friends?" Perfect. Now they won't fret all week wondering how you feel, and you can both just move on without playing any games. Dragging someone along, even if you think they know how you feel, is just wrong. If you never straight out say how you feel, don't assume the other person knows where you're at, especially if you don't even know where you're at. If you're not sure about things, tell the person. Don't leave them with this big hope if there isn't any. It's just rude.

I guess what it boils down to is communication. Dating apps are great and they allow shy people to talk to others without the stress of physical interaction. But they aren't good for us. All of these communication devices are so terrible for us. We rely on pictures of others and stupid 'about me' profiles to determine compatibility. And because it's all so fake, we don't feel bad when we move from one to the next. We need more modesty, & we need to remember that we are all humans with emotions.

I don't know what my point of this is, other than putting forth my and some of my friend's frustrations with dating. I've been amused with the fact that people always loved to talk about college and 'the best times of your life,' but no one ever mentions these constant early-life-crises you hit in your 20's. The twenties seem to be the time you make mistakes and learn things that carry you through the rest of your life. This is the time we should be learning how to do things right. So let's try and figure it out instead of always sitting here complaining that we don't have anything figured out.

This is a terrible post. I am so sorry. But I feel good having written it.

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