It’s not so important that it’s Happy Ever After. Just that it’s Happy Right Now.
Have you ever noticed that Myspace doesn’t include any in-between options between single and in a relationship? Isn’t that interesting? There is no “Dating” option? Just Dating? Nope.
When did “Dating” disappear from the picture, and where the hell did it go? I’ve been dating someone. Just dating someone. He makes me happy. I hope I make him happy. But we haven’t defined anything, and unless or until we do, we’re just dating.
Suddenly, that grey area between “Entirely Single” and “In A Relationship” isn’t acceptable. Of the few people who know that he’s a part of my life, one definitely has made no bones about the fact that she thinks I’m an idiot because I don’t feel comfortable calling him my boyfriend. I don’t know where he is every moment, and a week can go by without speaking to him, and I’m ok with that. So I must be ignorant and stupid. Why can’t I just be commitment-free-for-right-now and low-maintenance? This friend has asked me several times, “so, are you together yet?”, and when I answer no, (because she means “together” as in “committed”), the subtext is unmistakable. She thinks I’m naïve.
I was talking to another one of my friends about how frustrated I am about this, and they in turn asked why I feel this pressure to define my relationship; where the frustration is coming from.
This is the conclusion I’ve come to.
When you ask for your friends approval and they don’t give it, what they’re really withholding is their validation of the world in which you live. Because that’s all that we really want in life. We want to feel validated and know that we matter to someone else, and our feelings and opinions are justified. When my friend thinks I’m naïve for feeling alright without the definition of our “relationship”, I in turn, feel that she might me right. Am I naïve? Am I stupid? Does the concept of “Dating” just make sense only to me?
You see, I have this theory. “Dating” does not exist. At least not in the traditional sense. My generation has completely redefined the term. Pardon my language, but “seeing” someone is synonymous with “fucking” someone, “Together With” someone means that you’re expecting an engagement any day, and “in a relationship” means that you’re either living with, or married to them. The problem is getting from point A to B. Where is the line blurred between sharing your bed and sharing your life?
Going out for one night and “getting to know” someone is impossible now, because while you may be enjoying the dinner and movie, what’s really on your mind is how the night will end. He’s wondering if he’s going to get lucky, and she’s calculating in her head how much she really owes him at the end of the date. (Is a Caesar Salad and a Coke worth a kiss or a blow-job? How much will that bouquet of flowers cost me?) He’s expecting sex, and she’s expecting his expectation, but what it really means is this” Are you a one-night stand, or are you expecting this to be long term?
I really think it’s the fallout of the sexual revolution. I know I’m the last person you thought would say that, but hear me out. When it wasn’t publicly acceptable for a woman to be sexually active outside of marriage, guys knew it was a big step. They were willing to work for it. They knew that they’d better tow the line or there would be nothing going on in the bedroom. Now, girls are losing their virginity before they hit double digits, and those who believe True Love Waits are usually Still Waiting. Sex is openly available, as close as a bar and a few shots away. If what men really want is so freely given, why should they have to put up with the shit that goes along with a relationship? What can we as women do to convince a man that it’s worth it to stick around and see what happens? It doesn’t have to be forever, let’s just work on a second date.
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