What’s the most vile word in the English language when it comes to matters of the heart? I’ll give you a hint: Seth Cohen noticed it, Chandler Bing embodied it, and if you’re a millennial in today’s dating scene, you probably smell of it.
Did you guess? If you did, well done! You’ve correctly identified the number one most avoided noun in the history of verbiage. Desperation in any form is bad enough as it is…no one says they’re jumping for
joy desperation or choose to make the desperate choice first, but when it comes to dating this effect is 100 times worse.
Recently I heard an interesting podcast about the dominant hookup culture that rules the day (I swear my life doesn’t fully revolve around dating – just mostly). Sociologist Lisa Wade explained how a woman would rather be called a slut than be called desperate, because a slut may have slept with a bunch of guys but the desperate girl…well….at least when you’re a slut someone wants you.
*PAUSE TO TAKE IN THE FKD UP-NESS OF THAT SITUATION*
What’s so sad is that I can’t even say that this is something I don’t identify with. I have definitely been in the unfortunate situation (more than once) where I did something with someone that I wasn’t fully comfortable with just to feel wanted, to feel like I fit in, or that I’m just like everyone else. Well, I’m here to tell you that the sad truth is that sleeping around doesn’t make you like everyone else. In fact, feeling desperate and alone probably brings you closer to feeling like the rest of us than getting laid does.
According to this article in NOW Magazine, which went absolutely VIRAL in Toronto, us Millenials are significantly less sexually active than our Gen X predecessors. People claim to be too busy for something meaningful and overwhelmed by all the option, and it’s really no wonder why. We work longer hours, spend more time with friends than family and let’s face it, technology is complicating everything. At the tips of our fingers are option after option making people feel dispensable, so should we really be surprised when they treat us like we are?
It’s unsurprising that if you’re constantly talking about sex but not having it that you’d wind up feeling a little desperado, and there is absolutely no shortage to the sexual imagery that exists in every facet of our culture. Even as I write this I’m surrounded by content hell-bent on turning me into an attention-seeking single. The desperate divas from The Bachelor Women Tell All are whining on TV, I’m listening to James Arthur’s “You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You” and that article I mentioned earlier? The ad at the end was actually promoting a dating event for foodies!! ‘Foody call’…very subtle LOBLAWS.
Realistically, sex when you’re dating falls into two main categories: a) completely meaningless or b) meaning everything. I swear, now more than ever, the only time you DON’T have sex with someone is when you actually like them. As if the very intimate act in and of itself is proof that you don’t care about the person you’re sleeping with. WHAT KIND OF TWISTED LOGIC IS THAT? Most shocking of all, this mentality is something we women actually STRIVE for. We want to appear aloof, detached and totally okay with it…the less you care the better off you are. HAH. That sounds healthy…
There really is no win for women because men want it both ways: they want a sexually deviant, hot woman who knows what she’s doing in the bedroom until they don’t. For a woman to be deemed acceptable of “wife-ing up” she should still be seen as “wholesome and respectful”, which apparently doesn’t mean being overtly sexual or too comfortable in the bedroom. See the problem? Not only do men have ALL the power in relationships, but they condemn us for embodying the very ideals that they promote. Most of the time we end up feeling cheap and desperate because the only thing harder than getting someone interested in you is keeping that interest for more than 10 seconds.
I had a very illuminating experience last weekend. I approached a guy at the bar and we had a great convo for quite a while. My friend “Julie” ended up cock-blocking me so when he asked me for my number later that night I was stoked. Well, without my knowledge, another friend of mine, “Sara”, berated her for being the world’s worst-wingwoman and told Julie to go fix the situation. Julie claims he asked her where I was but I have my doubts. The result? Me, left wondering if he asked for my number because he liked me or because someone told him to…Worst of all – how PATHETIC I feel for even explaining this to whomever reads this blog. Why? Because this shouldn’t be a big deal at all, but what started out as a nice interaction/little ego-boost ended up rocking my self-esteem. When I messaged him later that night and got no reply I immediately felt like I was the poor girl who needed her friends to get someone to talk to her, even though I’m not. And that is not a good feeling.
As women we are often too hard on ourselves. We overthink our interactions with men and then get mad at ourselves for overthinking them – all because we don’t want to appear, you guessed it, DESPERATE. Who knows, maybe with time I’ll stop caring so much about looking some type of way. If a guy doesn’t like me for who I am then that’s on him not me. I’ll forget my fears and feel confident enough to say: “Hey, you’re great and we should hang out”.
Lol, Just kidding…I’m not that desperate.