So Tell me What you Want, What you Really, Really Want

Well Spice Girls – I wish it was that easy! What do I want? What do the boys that I’m dating want? These are the questions that have been roaming through my dating mind and to be honest I’m not sure if I have an answer to any of them, and lately I’m wondering if I really need to.  Where I’m at with my modern, mid twenties dating I’ve been wondering: how much do we really need to know what we’re looking for when we start dating someone?

Let me take you back to when I did know what I wanted. A boyfriend. That’s why I was on the apps, that’s why I was frantically swiping and that’s why I was agreeing to all of these first dates weekend after weekend. I just knew that one of these guys could be my boyfriend and that’s exactly what I really wanted. So off I went. Each date felt like a checklist. Cute, check, Job, check, Apartment downtown, check, (I’m shallow I know) and so on and so forth. After each date, there I went, thinking that I had just met the boy who was going to be my boyfriend, and live happily ever after with me *cue wedding bells. I was so certain after each date that I had found ~the one~ But clearly (still single) my intuition wasn’t totally accurate.

Here’s exactly where I started to get confused – after 2 or maybe 3 dates, things would fizzle. We’d stop messaging, they’d be “really busy with work” or they’d just tell me that we weren’t a good fit. Quickly, after each guy,  I could see it: yeah he was boring, the conversation didn’t really flow, we didn’t have much in common, maybe his suggestion of movie night at his place really did mean that he just wanted to hook up with me. All of these things had come into my mind during the date, but I was so quick to push them aside, because maybe it wasn’t really a big deal. Think of all their other great qualities, I would tell myself and smile through the awkwardness that was the date. What’s worse is thinking back, had things not fizzled out (often by them) I would have still been keen and wanted to date them. Why? They were nice, they checked my list and I could tolerate my time with them. Then it hit me. Because I was looking for a boyfriend, I would date anyone who wanted to date me. I didn’t think about our chemistry, or if I was even remotely into them, but rather I checked off a list – what would my family think, would they get along with my friends, would be photograph well together etc. (you can see how this went). I was so into finding a boyfriend, that I forgot to use the date to get to know them and see anything other than a boyfriend figure sitting across from me, who realistically could have been anyone.

Fast forward to me deciding I needed to regroup. Maybe knowing exactly what I was looking for was detrimental to my dating, and my chance at finding ~the one~. Maybe I needed to be more go with the flow, and take the time to get to know someone and just see where it goes. Leaving my Type A planner personality behind, I decided to step wayyy outside my comfort zone and try it. I went into dating again much more open minded. There I went on  dates, trying really hard to be much more selective and really focus on the PERSON in front of me, not just the idea. Now I felt more confident, because I was going on dates no longer to look for a boyfriend. After one long date of a guy who only talked about himself, or a boy with whom I ran away from so he couldn’t kiss me, I became much more selective in the people I would see, and it seemed to be working well.

Next, I met Mr. Hm. Mr. Hm and I hit it off on our first date. And I know I say that about practically every date I go on, but he wasn’t just “really nice and cute”, but it felt like we had more in common, and I even left the date with those butterflies fluttering in my stomach (something I’m cluing in is an indicative sign to someone being more than just a friend). After the 4 hour long date, I texted him thanks, we chatted and we went on with our weekends. I hadn’t heard from him but knew I wanted to see him again. So like a modern, strong woman I texted him first again, and waited for him to ask me out. I didn’t think much of it, because when we spoke he seemed interested so I rolled with it. We had continued to see each other, and go on all of the dates exploring basically all of the Christmas and winter fun we could find. I was so into him, but tried to balance it by being chill – I mean, I was no longer dating for a boyfriend.

My chill attitude steered me away from anything that would make me seem “unchill” even though these things bothered me. Our dates were great, and he was kind and respectful and our chemistry together was pretty good ;). However, our dates were often a week apart, and within that week I could go days without talking to him and he could go hours without answering me. Mr. Hm was so hot and cold, I was constantly wondering “does he like me, is he seeing other people, where’s his head at” and though I would ask variations of these questions to him – (though confirming we were exclusive) I never asked him to clarify anything about what he wanted, or where his head was really at. The entire time something about it seemed off, and I never had that same confident feeling of knowing where we stood that I had with other guys that I’ve dated. I wondered what it was – aside from the fact that he didn’t like dogs (which really should have been my biggest red flag to begin with) I couldn’t find the flaw that I was looking for. After two months, I felt constantly confused – when we were together things were great, but during the week I felt as if he wasn’t in my life at all. It was as if we kept taking one step forward, and two steps back. It honestly became exhausting.

After enough of my frustration, with some advice from a friend I messaged him what I wanted to ask, trying to figure out where his head was at. Two and a half months of exclusively seeing each other, I really only thought that there would be one logical response. Trying to convince myself I didn’t want to be a girlfriend and I didn’t care about the title, it became so clear to me that I did want that with him. And I wanted all of the emotional support and responsibility that came with it. I realized I was upset if he didn’t text me after a long day, or would wait to make plans with me – likely only after I initiated it.

After a weekend of talking post message, I was going to see Mr. Hm and was excited about it. At the end of our date where we chatted about real things: our families, our charity work our job prospects, he drove me to my car. As he pulled up to drop me off, what felt like out of nowhere he decided that we should end things. EXCUISE ME. I was shocked, I was confused and all of a sudden I was sad because in that moment I knew that I had wanted something more. Leaving me with a very fair, and a very respectful “It’s really not the right time for me” type schpiel that he wasn’t ready to be a boyfriend again, and he agreed that was very clearly where we were headed. Confused and sad, I said goodbye to Mr. Hm and questioned where things went wrong.

All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had wanted to date him the whole time, and was too scared to say anything. I tried to play it off overly chill, but in reality I did think about what it would be like to be his girlfriend, and I was convinced that it was just a matter of time. I overlooked his signs of being emotionally distant and never called him out on it because I didn’t want him to say something that I didn’t want to hear. All in this, I followed his lead and pretended I was okay with what he was giving me, all because I didn’t want to say I wanted him to be my boyfriend. His mixed signals paired with our complete coupley date-y activities left me longing for an answer I was too scared to ask for.

My overall conclusion is still TBD. I know what I want (I think), but how do I go about the beginning stages of dating not jumping to conclusions or just hoping a guy will make the decision for me.   When I wanted a boyfriend, I misread every situation but when I “didn’t want one” I misread everything too, leaving me to question how clear my intentions should be when I start dating. I may be naive, and think every guy really is just super nice – but how will I know which guy is right for me?! As I continue to try dating through the six, I struggle to find what that happy medium is, and how much it affects who I date and how long I date them. Hopefully one day I’ll figure out  what I want, what I really really want and how I can get it!

Stay tuned

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Why I need to break-up with Tinder

Once single I solemnly swore that there was no way that I would be jumping back on the Tinder bandwagon. For awhile I was doing great, but then fast forward 8 weeks, and 2 sick days later and TADA the app was back. At first it didn’t seem so bad, there were some cute nice guys in my area and I was getting a few matches. Needless to say, this distracted me from my strep throat, my “wtf, why am I suddenly really missing Mr. High School Crush” thoughts (I think it’s because I’m sick – and theory confirmed by Carrie who also expressed missing her ex sporadically as soon as she got sick post break-up), and gave me a break from binge-watching Netflix. It’s fun I thought, there’s no harm in it…tinder-logo

However, one or two (or maybe a couple hundred) swipes later, I found myself annoyed and irritated at the app, but still oddly and weirdly compulsively checking it. Now, as my friends know, I’ve been taking my dating advice from Aziz Ansari through his “Modern Romance” book (shameless promo for the book which is actually really good and surprisingly, seemingly too accurate to my life), and have been using him as my dating guide in a way. Aziz (through his book) empowered (maybe the wrong choice of words, but we’ll roll with it) me to re-download the app. How on earth can a book do this, you might ask, well let me tell you. Basically, as part of the book Aziz lets us know that we live in a strictly technological age (I mean so shit Sherlock), and that our whole life is consumed by technology – so what better way to find someone other than the platform that literally EVERYONE is on?! This technology thing starts getting weird too (ps. Sidestory: A guy in my section decided to ask me out but instead of in person where he sees me basically everyday, he proceeded to do so over instagram direct message – sorry what?) Aziz also makes it clear that now with technology, like everything else, we are so much more connected to so many people. Seems great right? Wrong. Aziz makes it clear that the  amount of options that we have is almost too overwhelming that it makes it so easy to say “next” to someone and not even bother to get to know them.

When I was swiping away, I thought about this in real time, mostly because I noticed how scarily quickly my fingers were swiping “left, left, left”, and I had barely made time to look at the guys profile. I don’t think that I’m a judgey person (for the most part), but on this app I turned into a complete and total judgey betch. I found myself swiping no for the stupidest reasons, I don’t like his name, his friend is cuter, he took a mirror selfie – and I felt totally validated and okay with doing it. Thinking like Aziz, I totally understood it and it finally clicked: we have so many options that we don’t get to know people because we don’t have to! Seems promising – what a fun time to be dating…(I hope you can pick up on my sarcasm)!

This leads me to my second problem with the app: I actually start feeling bad “ghosting” people, so even though I have zero interest in talking to them, I find myself engaging in so many conversations and giving out my number just because I feel too rude to say no (As the archived posts in this blog show me – ghosting is a new trend that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, and I think all the daters can unanimously agree that it sucks). Lucky for me, I have been using my strep throat as an excuse to push away any guys who have cut right to the chase and asked for a date, but it’s also just as annoying to engage in the same “small talk” conversations at least 20 times. It used to be flattering to get the attention of the guys who want to talk to you, but now it just seems redundant and impersonal, and maybe that’s why it’s totally un-engaging.  Kudos to the guys who start with creative lines, and some of them honestly and truly do make me laugh, but there’s only so many generic conversations you can end up in before you do it mindlessly – and that is a clear sign of a connection lost before it even started. Is it possible to find prince charming if you’re bored of him before you even meet?!

The second issue with ghosting is getting ghosted – maybe that’s why I don’t like to do it to other people, is because it’s not fun when it happens to you! For example: I was chatting a cute guy on bumble, had a clever opening line and we exchanged a few messages before HE said that he wanted to hang out. Okay I thought, I’m not bored of him, (that’s a good sign), so I went with it and agreed – and all of a sudden he was gone! So confusing to say the least, but also annoying to get “invested” in someone and them just to disappear!

So I tried as a single girl to jump back on Tinder, (and other dating apps) and as quickly as I got on – I’m jumping right back off (and hiding under a rock). I can almost guarantee that come the next time I’m bored or lonely or find myself randomly missing my ex, I’ll be downloading an app right back thinking maybe this time it will be different. I guess you can say that tinder and I (along with many other people I suspect), are in a love-hate relationship, but I think it might be time for us to break up (and hopefully for good!)