The issues with dating too close to Valentine’s Day.
The issues with dating too close to Valentine’s Day.
Not much is known about Saint Valentine –his story may have even been that of multiple people. The only fact that is recognized is that he died on February 14th. Some say that he secretly married couples defying the emperor so that their husbands did not have to go to war. Others say that his prayers before his execution healed the jailer’s daughter and restored her sight and hearing. Many of the legends that are told about him stem from Geoffrey Chaucer, notable author of Canterbury Tales, when during the 14th century, February 14th became a day dedicated to romantic love.1 Little did Valentine know that on the day that he died, billions of people would either cringe or be elated by his name.
Honestly I enjoy the month of February. My birthday is the week before Valentine’s day and I love seeing pink fluffy bears and heart shaped candy celebrating my day of birth –obviously that’s the only reason they’re there, right? But when it comes down to it, I’ve truthfully never been with someone that has expressed his love for me as I wished he would. No bouquet of flowers, no huge teddy bears, no candlelit home cooked dinners –I’ve always done this for them and not received anything in return. (I know…what the heck Monique?) Although, I do believe that Valentine’s day unfortunately has a stigma of high expectations. You are hearing this from the girl that has lived with horrifyingly lovey-dovey parents that have encouraged her unrealistic high expectations –like they are WAY WAY up there. My parents are disgustingly perfect for one another and observing their relationship while growing up has in fact ruined me for love because I doubt I will ever meet a man that lives up to how my dad treats my mom.
Not only because of the most adorable parents in the world, but wonderful society has placed extreme expectancies for this love drenched day. Nearing February, you see various flower commercials, jewelry promotions, and reminders that you MUST get your “better half” something special. Do not get me wrong, I am all for this and I would love to get a dozen dark red roses with spritzes of baby’s breath delivered to my place of work (message me for my specific address ;) ). After all, this is a day of courtly love so you should be expressing your love for those you care for in your life. But what happens to that one in your life that you’re not exactly sure where things are going yet? Enter –awkward dating scenarios.
Casually dating around Valentine’s day is utterly baffling. Do I get him something? Do I get her flowers? Do I mention, “Happy V Day,”? Do I get him a card? Do I take her out to dinner? Do we ignore the day completely? I mean it is a day of love; so what exactly happens when you’re just “not there yet”? You can’t just fool yourselves and celebrate a day dedicated to being in love. So what do you do?
Valentine’s day is the equivalent to meeting the parents in a relationship. If you’re just starting to date, you don’t want to jump ahead five spaces and move into something so fast without determining what your options are. Again, the timeline of dating in the 21st century has sped up tenfold. You don’t just “see where things are going,” and actually do just that –everything around you will not just stop because you’re trying to figure out your commitment issues. So should you jump on the V-day bandwagon or ignore it all together?
I may or may not be “casually” dating someone currently. But if I was, I would absolutely avoid and ignore any mention of Valentine’s day. Trying to “figure it out,” is complicated as it is -why encourage the awkwardness of it all and introduce a lovey-dovey mess of a day that should only be celebrated by couples that are truly in love? I have plans with myself that day.
I can understand how a girl in a new relationship can view a friend of hers in a serious relationship. It can be upsetting and jealousy may rear its ugly head, because, “My boyfriend didn’t do that for me!” However, every relationship is different and we are all on distinctive steps in life as we are in the relationships that we have with others. Just because another couple actively participates in Valentine’s day activities, does not mean that it’s not okay that others do not. Even if you’re single, why not celebrate how wonderful you are all on your own. Do something special that you never do for yourself –a mani/pedi, pick up that book you haven’t had time for, or just spend the day relaxing. Ever heard of Galentine’s Day? Celebrate the women in your life that are sometimes better than any boyfriend you could ever have.
Why would you want to be with someone that feels forced and manipulated by those around them to take part in these romantic endeavors? I’d rather wait for someone that wants to organically express his love for me and this will mirror the love that my parents have for one another. So if you have that kind of love, be as gross and lovey-dovey as you want and soak in the fact that you have found someone that you can do that with. Otherwise, be happy all on your own and celebrate those that you do love around you. Encourage the hopeless romantic in you -just because you haven’t found them yet, doesn’t mean that they’re not out there searching for you too.
^Unrealistic love expectations.
Technology and etiquette. Is anyone else perplexed by this?
Dating etiquette AND technology!? This is just getting absolutely absurd.
When is it okay to ask for your phone number?
How long should I wait to text you? An hour? Two hours? A day? Three days?
I texted you, you never responded back to me, and now you just liked my status on Facebook? What? What about texting me back!?
Can I call you? No? You don’t like to talk on the phone???….
When is it okay to follow your Instagram?
When is it okay to follow your Twitter?
When is it okay to Snapchat each other?
When is it okay to add you on Facebook?
When is it okay to follow your blog?
When is it okay to add you on Myspace? (Ya, no. Let’s use social networking within this decade please. K, thanks.)
Why are you responding to me on another social networking app instead of the one that I originally messaged you with!?!? That’s like going into another room while we’re in the middle of a conversation!!
There are just WAYYY too many outlets, apps, and media that we use on a daily basis and then we add problematic dating endeavors on top of all of that? No wonder we’re so confused and stressed all the time. It’s exhausting. After writing this, I definitely want a cat-nap.
If you’re chatting with me on a dating website, and you ask for my phone number after only a few sentences, chances are, you will not be receiving my phone number. So when is a reasonable time to ask? Online dating is equivalent to meeting someone in person –just obviously a different approach. If you’ve held a continuous, intriguing conversation and feel that you’re equally interested, you’ll likely get a phone number after politely asking. Too many guys that I have chatted with have become increasingly oblivious to me being polite versus me being flirtatious –there is a very defined line between the two. Just be aware of how the conversation is going –I can’t stress that enough. Being aware and being in the moment makes you comprehend and appreciate so many things around you -but that’s a topic for another day.
Honestly I despise “texting rules.” If I want to text you, I will text you. If I had a nice time with you, I’ll let you know when I get home. I HATE the rules involved in “waiting a few days” before you should contact one another. I believe that we live in such a fast paced environment that this really doesn’t apply as much as it used to. To be fair, if I don’t respond to your text within a few short hours, chances are, I’m not that into it or I’m “super busy.” I consider this same tactic to your communication as well –if you don’t text me for a few days, you’re obviously not into me. Or…you got kidnapped and your kidnapper is apparently not answering your texts. But really, it only takes a minute to respond to someone, so if you’re into it, just do it –don’t use “being busy” as an excuse. As a society, we’re on our phones or electronic devices about 90% of the time, so saying you’re ‘too busy’ is bullshit. Acknowledging others is something that has become so rare. Just be honest and tell the person if you’re not interested so it saves you both a lot of time and wondering. I’m a very upfront person, so these silly rules are just fluff and complicate things even more. This does not mean to bombard me with texts throughout the entire day. Yes, it’s nice to talk to someone new, but really, the “less is more” idea can certainly be applied here. Keep them guessing, don’t give out too much information all at once. Like a good friend once told me, dating and getting to know someone are all about balance and once you find someone that comes naturally with, then everything else falls into place and you eventually don’t need to worry about the “rules.” If you have to force it, “it” is obviously not there.
So, what is NOT okay in regards to texting? Do not continually text “Good morning,” and “Good night,” to someone you just started talking to, especially if a conversation was not taking place at the time. You’re not dating yet, so why are you pushing? Also, it’s pretty safe to say that texting ONCE and waiting for a reply is the right way to go –NOT texting multiple times before they’ve had some time to respond. You wouldn’t interrupt someone in person after just asking them a question, so why do it electronically?
What’s the point of starting a possible “something” with someone and then saying you don’t like talking on the phone? I had a guy I was talking to, let’s call him, “Jiminy.” Jiminy was so sweet and kind and we definitely had a connection (he was also VERY attractive). We had been chatting for a few days, texting, etc. As I’ve said, I need to have some time talking to someone before actually meeting them. I ask if he wants to chat on the phone later. He responds back asking me, “Are you one of those girls that needs to talk for a few weeks before actually meeting?” Why, yes, yes I am, because I’m a smart woman and I know how to be safe and I’d rather do that, than put myself into a situation that I’d rather not be in. I explain that I’d like to get to know him more prior to meeting. He tells me he cannot do that -he hates texting and doesn’t talk on the phone so not meeting isn’t going to work for him. Geez….ouch. There has to be a balance of making the person that you’re talking to feel comfortable and vice versa –ESPECIALLY on the internet. You could be talking to a good-looking guy and it’ll turn out that his cat hacked into his computer. YOU NEVER KNOW!! So if you’re going to be texting and want the end result to meet in person, then make your recipient feel comfortable –be yourself (not your cat), and be genuinely interested in your conversation.
To me, all of this seems like common sense, but evidently, I’m alone in thinking this. Just because you’re behind a screen and can’t see a person, doesn’t mean that you should act dissimilarly than how you would normally be speaking in person. I’d rather be meeting someone that was everything I had hoped for and more than someone that was an entirely different person. Be aware, be balanced, be genuine, and just be YOU! That should really not be a difficult concept to grasp.
I know most of you have been requesting my funny stories about messages and texts I’ve received from these so called “eligible bachelors,” so I will share one that happened a week or two ago.
I was messaging with this attractive guy through the dating site -let’s call him Clyde, since I’m not a fan of this name and it’s still protecting the “innocent.” The conversation was going so well that we exchanged phone numbers and decided to text. It was a Friday evening and I had decided to snuggle up with my dog and watch Netflix. All of a sudden, my phone starts ringing and it’s Clyde. In past exchanges with others, it’s been considered polite to at least ask if it’s okay to call prior to making my phone convulse, but whatever. We start to have a decent conversation. He works in a snazzy hotel, lives in these great apartments that I’ve admired from afar -he seems like he really has his shit together, which is always a +10 points for me.
Then Clyde has to F it up.
He tells me that he’s very impressed and shocked that I’m not one of those slutty, skanky girls, that goes out and drinks all weekend. Me, being me, responds in a bitchy, sarcastic tone, that, no, I’m actually a 27 year old woman that respects herself and is actually intelligent, and not a 21 year old girl. I tell him that I’m not sure whether that was meant as a compliment or an insult. He continues on this tirade, obviously impressed that I’m an attractive female that can keep herself together and doesn’t feel the need to go out, drink, and sleep around. WOW! YAY ME!!! He continues on telling me how much money he makes, and that he is getting a new matte, black Range Rover. In this area, that’s really not uncommon, but I hear him giggle, so now I know that he’s BS’ing me. Being the nice person that I am, and also being selfish to make a good story later, I endure through the rest of the conversation. He tells me that he got trashed last weekend (so attractive) and that he had Steve Aoki in his apartment partying with him. Now I play along and act super impressed and into him, “OMG!! NO WAY!?! HOW AMAZING FOR YOU!!!” Apparently my performance is astounding because he tells me that we MUST be Facebook friends.
I have a rule, as I’m sure most of you do as well, about who I do and do not friend on Facebook –I don’t want just anyone on there. And I certainly don’t want this guy on there, nor anyone that I’m just starting to get to know, and potentially date. Not that what I post on Facebook is bad or not “me,” but since I joined Facebook in 2005, for the last 9 years, there has been plenty of information that has passed through there that I don’t want just anyone seeing. (If we’re Facebook friends, you’re welcome –you are one of the lucky ones that I’ve included in my life of cute animal pictures, and bitchy histrionics by yours truly.)
I tell him that we’re “not there yet,” and that I really don’t even know him, so, we cannot be Facebook friends yet. He HANGS UP ON ME.
If you know me, you realize that I always need to have the last word on everything. So I text him and tell him, “Did you really just freaking hang up on me?” He responds, “Ya, you won’t be my FB friend.” I go off on him and tell him that his approach is absolutely unreasonable and why would I want to be friends with him, let alone date him. He doesn’t respond. I win.
I receive a text message 30 minutes later from him, “Hey girl.”
This is my life.
Dating websites are like window shopping, and as with shopping for clothes, who wouldn’t want to shop for their future date? Honestly, looking past all the frogs you come across, my generation has it pretty awesome in terms of meeting new people. ‘Pretty awesome’ does NOT discount the fact that it still sucks, but with this outlet showcasing all of the important traits and qualities that you look for, right there on the screen in front of you, it definitely makes it seem less sucky.
On the benefits of online dating, Aziz Ansari describes how his friend found his wife online: “He typed in Jewish and his zip code. That’s how I found a Wendy’s last week. He found his wife the same way.“ HAHA…yes I love Aziz Ansari but he makes a true point. There are definitely pros and cons to how we’ve grown up in a society that has had an increase in technological advances. But has it helped communication or further drifted us all apart?
You see someone at a bar that you find attractive so you make eye contact and after various glances and across the room flirting, you walk over to one another and start up a conversation. You find out that they live close by, what they do for work, if they have pets, etc. But only generalized information since this is after all, a first introduction -why get into the nitty-gritty details of each other yet? So you exchange phone numbers and they say that they’ll text you later. You go about your week, and a few days later you receive a text from this person. You go back and forth, get to know each other a little more, and eventually after continued conversations, you decide to meet up. You hang out one night and then you find out that this person has a quality that is a complete and utter deal breaker. Maybe they have a cat, and you’re deathly allergic and start dying, or maybe they’re Republican and you vowed that you would never befriend a right winger, or they’re a vegetarian, or they don’t like to cuddle, or they’re a born again virgin and refuse to kiss until marriage…. Whatever the quality that you dislike, this turns you off to the point that you just have to stop talking to them. I’m sure this has happened to at least some of you before. And then you feel like you’ve wasted so much time and energy on this one person. And maybe, just maybe, there was actually a really amazing person on the other side of the room that same night, but you’ll never know now because you just wasted a whole week on this mess of an individual!!!!!
You see someone’s picture on this dating website that you’re on and find them very attractive so you click on their profile and scroll through. You find out all sorts of information that is almost a little TMI. You find out that they’re a Capricorn, that they have a dog, that they’re Buddhist, that they live 10 miles away from you, and OMG! THEY LOVE HARRY POTTER AS MUCH AS YOU DO! So you decide, after careful examination of their personal information spread across your screen, that you would like to befriend this person. So you send a message, tell them that you’re interested, that you enjoyed looking through their page, to message you back if they’d like to chat…and then you wait…………………………………………………………………………..*crickets* You can see when they check out your page and anxiously await a response back…and nothing. This person goes about their day not acknowledging that you exist.
As equally exhausting if you ask me, but I feel that these two scenarios are pretty much identical, but with online, all of your information is out there, and you can choose whether or not to respond or write to someone without any physical or emotional ties. Also, the timeline of these interactions speeds up ten-fold. You can decide in a few sentences and minutes, whether or not you’re interested in someone.
Seems pretty unromantic, doesn’t it? So what’s the point of this anyway? I suppose it’s the easiness of having a place where you can essentially pick out your perfect friend or mate. Technology has made us lazy. You reach out to someone, and without looking at you, they can either acknowledge or completely ignore you. How frustrating is that? Not only in friendships, but how on earth can dating –the most complicated human act possible become even more insanely complicated and difficult!?!?! Whoever said that dating was fun, lied…big time. But not just that, they obviously grew up in a time when buzzing touchscreens didn’t dictate their lives.
Aziz Ansari on Conan explains why dating sucks. This pinpoints exactly how I feel about dating today.