Over thinking singles

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One thing I’m truly grateful for is my male friends. I’m a beer drinking, sports loving woman so being “one of the boys” has given me great access to “locker room talk”.

I’ve heard the stories and it’s almost poetic at how routinely the conclusion of a budding relationship results from classic female neurosis. One of my friends, who shall remain nameless has recently started dating a new girl. He was absolutely smitten with her at the beginning and things progressed quite quickly despite the original desire to “take things slow”. Needless to say, they had sex fairly early and now she’s projecting so far into the future it’s freaking him out. Blame oxytocin (the hormone released during sex) for this marvelous little behavioral twist if you will but to me, it’s simple; we need to slow down! We live in fast times where communication is instant, food is fast, transportation is simple and quick and therefore we believe that everything else should be “fast and simple”. When it comes to dating, this is the wrong way to think. Very, very wrong.

I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands of dating articles over the years outlining the way you should act, dress, play and live for the sake of a relationship. It’s absolutely exhausting absorbing the idea that dating should be staged as if it’s a synchronized event. Dates 1-3 should be “this” and dates 4-7 you should be “here” and on dates 8-14 you should be having “these conversations” blah blah, fucking blah! This, to me is where dating becomes so flawed in its process, it’s because everyone has this idea in their heads about how it *should* be instead of enjoying it for what it is.

Women are the worst for this. We are the worst over-thinkers on the planet aside from perhaps, an astrophysicist. We think “he slept with me, so now I should be his girlfriend, right?” Wrong again, but we feel this way because of either a past experience that hurt us, or because some Cosmo columnist said that the “experts” agreed.

Why does no one go with the flow anymore? Years and years of my life have been wasted on expectations that stemmed from some unwritten rule book instead of following my own gut feeling or instincts on a person. Instead of freaking out and trying to pressure something into happening, why do we not just let things unfold naturally in a serendipitous way?

Case in point my nameless friend. He went from gushing about being so into this girl to fear of commitment because instead of enjoying what was happening between them, and letting things unfold naturally, she projected this expectation on him of how she wanted things to be. It’s simple science, when you apply pressure to most things, they will break.

I discussed this with one of my girlfriends and she brought up a very spot on point. It used to be that people looked for qualities in people that complimented their own. Nowadays people are obsessed with finding their “soul mate” and in doing so, are critiquing the smallest and most minor of behavioral or physical defects as deal breakers. The idea is “if this was my soulmate, they wouldn’t do that”. Seriously? There is no such thing as perfection and even though everyone knows someone who knows someone who married someone they knew for two weeks and are still together 20 years later doesn’t mean that you need to expect or search for the same. If YOU feel good and happy spending time with someone, then fuck the rules, be your authentic self, and enjoy what you’ve got going. This so called “soul mate” you speak of will translate from spending time getting to know someone WELL, not after two weeks. As they say, “good things come to those who wait”, right?

So singles, go with the flow, get out of your own head and enjoy the here and now. You’ll never get to the future without paying attention to and enjoying the present 🙂

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Are Vancouver men lazy? The flip side.

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An article published by Vancouver magazine titled “Do Vancouver men suck?” in January, 2012 was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the recent Global news broadcast pegging Vancouver women as the pickiest daters in Canada. My first instinctive response is no, they definitely do not suck, but there are definite problems on the male end of the Vancouver dating scene just as there are with the women of this city.

Where women are pretentious and selective, men are becoming increasingly lazy. There is a complete lack of chivalry in Vancouver and the definition of chivalry (thanks to an abundance of pretentious and selective Vancouver women) has been misconstrued. Let’s refresh, shall we?

chivalry
1. (Historical Terms) the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, justice, and a readiness to help the weak
2. Courteous behavior, especially towards women
3. (Historical Terms) the medieval system and principles of knighthood
4. (Historical Terms) knights, noblemen, etc., collectively

Versus… the Urban Dictionary version…

chivalry
Doing whatever a woman wants and tells you to try to get laid. Being pussy-whipped and being a chick’s slave. See “gentleman” and “real man”.

John thinks spending lots of money on his girl and doing what she tells him is chivalry. Even though she thinks she’s equal she wants none of the responsibilities of being an adult. His balls are in his purse and she doesn’t respect

To set the record straight, chivalry isn’t taking your woman shopping. It is not apologizing with a Betsey Johnson dress that she demands as the only thing acceptable to get you out of the dog house (yes, I actually know a woman who did this) it doesn’t hang in a closet, sit in a driveway, or dangle on her collar bone. Chivalry is not monetary; ever, it’s acts of kindness such as holding the door, pulling out a chair, and all around just treating a woman with respect and courtesy to which equality would dictate should also be extended to men (Duh!). Perhaps the most consistent thing I have discovered due to this new age lack of effort among single Vancouver gents, is the desire for NSA (no strings attached) relationships. In short, they have their cake, and eat it too. Do not order appetizers, do not collect $200, go directly to bed. I can’t tell you how many men I have come into contact that want to avoid dating at all costs (pun intended), yet want the benefits of sleeping with someone on a regular basis. If you look at the casual encounters boards on Craigslist in Vancouver, the men to women ratio of posting is astonishing. Let’s say about 3 women to every 200 men are looking for a NSA relationship, and this is in a city where the single women count apparently trumps the single men. A simple online dating experiment I did took my normal daily message count from an average of 20-30 a day to 4 or 5 just by eliminating receiving messages from men only looking for a casual affair. Why?

I asked many of my male friends the same question of why? Aside from the ones who explained they were still not over their previous relationships and just wanted to have some “fun”, most responded with “dating is a lot of effort” or “work”. Apparently the act of going out for dinner, coffee, a movie, a hike, a walk, or anything that requires lifting more than a penis to men is considered “work”. I have to wonder if it’s because of the women of their past, or for lingering doubt of the future. Dating is a cycle which can lead to an unfortunate state of reality and constant “bad timing” issues which makes the market a scary place. A nice girl dates an asshole who hurts her because he only ever wanted her for NSA purposes, she then goes on to date a nice guy who she hurts because now she believes all men are assholes and said nice guy turns into the quiet guy who can’t approach women. One creates the other, creates the other. Somewhere in this cycle, chivalry dies.

Basically, a lot of single Vancouverites are at a disconnect in the way that we perceive each other. In my conclusion, no one sex is worse than the other. We are all contributing to the fall of Vancouver dating life and maintaining its less than desirable reputation. My advice is to stop setting up expectations or “sexpectations” and just go with the flow of things. Get to know people and note the warning signs (ie. if her plastic surgery was paid for by an ex boyfriend, and you are more of a budget friendly guy, don’t be surprised if she has high expectations of generosity, and so on). So lighten up Vancouver! Have an open mind, stop labeling, being picky, and start opening doors for people; if you do, some doors might just open for you 😉