“What is your plan?” – Mama
“Uhm, I don’t know, try to get through this meal without throwing up. Last night was a bit rough” – T
“You need to start taking life seriously, men can get married when they’re a hundred, girls need to get married when they’re young” – Mama
If only my mum knew what it’s like to date in 2014. I’m not talking about those couples who met in high school or on campus and are still together. Although those couples are so super cute and sugary sweet they make me want to cotch, but I mean that in the nicest way, like when I eat too much sweet stuff after Diwali.
I think it would be best to describe todays “dating” in a series of stories that have happened either directly to me or to my friends. I will however, claim all stories as that of a “friends” purely not to embarrass myself, now that I am claiming my identity on this forum.
I met with a mate for lunch (which turned into drinks - and then more drinks) this weekend and we were catching up on each other’s lives. For girls this conversation inevitably turns to“boys” and we quickly revert to our giggly idiot 13 year old selves where we gush over men (I personally don’t gush asmuch - but let’s pretend that I do for the sake of ambiance). I’d had a very serious relationship when I was far too young to even comprehend partnership. That relationship lasted 6 years and though that seems like eternity when you’re a teenager or in your early twenties, it went by quite swiftly as I was drunk for the most part (Disclaimer 1: my ex is not a person I hate, we are still friends and any unkind references made toward said person are most probably true - but are used here solely for humour).
My friend had (not so) recently gone through a rough break up and sought council on how to get over someone. I am unfortunately somewhat dead inside and often don’t take things personally. Perhaps to my own detriment at times. I was unsure of how to truly offer advice on this issue as I’m pretty much always either just out of a relationship (term used relatively loosely) or just into one. There is no real “get over” someone period as much as there is a go out every weekend and hook up with strangers until one of them sticks. (Disclaimer 2: I am not promiscuous, I am just liberal and comfortable with both men and women being able go out and “play the field” equally).
In my mom’s day, I picture it to be so romantic. Rainbows and butterflies flying around while oompah loompahs ran amokmaking chocolate for everyone in love, which would have been pretty much everyone. She tells me stories of my dad waiting outside her lecture venues for her. Creating art in the form of drawings while she was in her tutorials and presenting them to her when she returned.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TODAY
Perhaps I am mistaken and this just does not happen to me, but based on my friends (all 3 of them) encounters of men - they all share similar stories. In our experience on the dating scene, aside from the lack of rainbows and magical birds singing around. There is also no dancing around trees (compulsory Indian reference) or ballads sung to one another – damn you Glee for making me believe in a world where people sing their feelings and dance out anger. Let’s leave the “unrealistic” romance out of it. My realistic version of “boy meets girl” goes something like this:
“Boy meets girl and there is an attraction of some sort. Boy gets the attention of a girl by offering to buy her a drink and have a meaningful conversation with her (all things played out in my head are either in a bar/club or near alcohol). Boy does not cat call her. Boy does not stare creepily at girl until girl feels so uncomfortable they either leave or create that famous circle of trust where girls completely ice out boys. Boy does not throw drink on girl when she shows lack of interest in him - this has actually happened to me and one of the many reasons I have not attended a July After Party since 2010.
After boy meets girl and respectfully introduces himself and has developed a rapport with girl he then asks her for her NUMBER. Boy does NOT sleek away after encounter and then stalk the shit out of girl on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tinder (if you’re on Tinder – shame on you for being part of the desecration of romance). Boy does not tell his mates (that are sometimes mutual ones) that he “hooked” up with girl when he did not, even if he did, boy would be a gentleman and not kiss and tell. Boy does not ignore the girl after the encounter.
Boy and girl now both in contact with one another. They chat regularly, text every day call a few times a week until boy or girl for that matter arrange a date. Boy is not rude or crass, he does not ask for naked selfies or insinuate sexual acts in every conversation. Boy does also not constantly text girl - I once had a guy ask me if I was ignoring him after 6 hours of basically having a conversation with himself (no response from me at all). Girls like attentive boys not needy or creepy. Oh and I forgot to mention that this was also within 12 hours of meeting boy. Boy does not send you naked selfies. The flip side of needy is that boys these days will do all the ‘ground work , text the girl, get her hopes up because in my experience girl is planning wedding with boy 48 hours after knowing boy. Boy DOES NOT then proceed to ignore girl for 3 weeks after making arrangements for a meeting, no specific time or date of course. A casual let’s do dinner is generally all a girl needs to start the art work for her wedding invitation (Disclaimer 3: I love women, I am one, I am not anti or pro feminism (though Emma Watsons speech did bring tears to my eyes) - but I am not blind to their stupidity at times). Boy DOES NOT wait for 4 weeks to let girl know that he is alive and always was. The sad thing is girl will 9 out of 10 times spend those 4 weeks of silence wondering what they did wrong. They will analyze every text they sent, replay every conversation had just in an attempt to figure out what they said that ‘scared off’ boy. Girl will be so overwhelmed by the Boys return that they will lap up everything Boy says and the whole crazy cycle of conversing and ignoring will start again - and continue until girl has no sense of worth left. The beautiful thing about this scenario is that I have been both the giver and receiver of this treatment. In my infinite wisdom and now cynicism, that has developed from too many years of ‘dating’, I’ve realized that this is not the Boys (for the sake of this article we will call it boy but it could very well be girl) fault - they did nothing wrong. 92% of the time the girl has imagined a relationship and connection between her and boy that sadly does not really exist.
Boy and Girl go on a date. Boy takes girl to a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner. (Nice is a matter of perspective but it does not include a bar where shoes are optional). Boy pays for meal with the girl doing the obligatory purse grab before boy tells her not to be silly. Boy and Girl go for a walk and talk about nothing and everything for hours. Boy says bye to girl and gives her a kiss. Boy does NOT arrive 2 hours late to date. Boy does NOT arrive without a wallet. Boy does NOT try to attack girl with tongue at the end of the date. Boy does NOT suggest the night ending with something sexual. Boy does NOT NOT NOT trick girl into meeting his friends. Boy does NOT bring along a friend (especially a female) on date.
Boy and Girl continue to date, they fall in love, they get married. Unfortunately I do not have any NOTs for this part because I have not gotten past the boy and girl date.”
This post makes me sound bitter, I am NOT. I live my life more along the lines of the italics although I am guilty of a few of the dating indiscretions myself, but I am not going to take the blame for that because I am happy believing that I am a creation of my encounters :) .