A Dating Manifesto
Being of the fairly, newly single variety, I’ve been standing around in clubs, libraries—anywhere really, and witnessing this crazy little thing called dating. Most of what I’m witnessing is third party, because the thought of getting into the twisted world of he said, she said, makes me want to climb into a dark hole and lick thine wounds. I’ll instead concentrate on work. But that’s just me. I’ve noticed some things that you might call observations, and said some things you might call cynical; you’ve gotta be one sick fuck to date in this, the modern age.
Let me preface this by saying, I know there are exceptions to every rule, but what I’m writing about are the rules; and the fact that these are said rules is what makes the whole game of dating such a disastrous, mind numbing experience.
1. Hatin’ & Datin’ Last night, a girl I’ve known for awhile, and at one point experienced utter joy whenever she saw me, gave me the cold shoulder. Then moments later, she came up and let me know that her poor social decorum was a result of the overwhelming jealousy that her orange coloured boyfriend experiences when she’s in the presence of other danglers. She then wanted to introduce me. Why the fuck? I wasn’t sure, but I decided to play along. He wasn’t having it—disrespect right from go. If I wasn’t full of ego, I might have been hurt. Later still, she was walking past me, back to him, and said, “Watch how horribly he treats me”. And so, I watch, and so he treated her like dirt. At one point, when things turned physical, I thought of stepping in, but my inner-He-Man halted at a thought. She knows that he is a puffed up, roid monkey, basket case, but she stays. Why does it fall on me to step in? No, I’ll leave this one up to security. Before I left, I let her know that she only deserves better, if she is better. Letting the person you’re with have that kind of scary, evil power over you is not only weak, but self-fulfilling prophecy (the worst kind of prophecy).
2. The Power Play Which brings me to the next hot trend in dating—power. The world of women and men joining together to enjoy life seems to be a trend gone the way of Biggie and Tupac—Biggie was fiercely better by the way (little side note). No longer is it, “What can we do together?”. Instead our species is all tangled up in waiting to answer back on that first text or call to see who breaks first, not appearing too interested, and possession through territorialism—who can push the other to their breaking point the quickest. There’s rarely a dive right in, and see where it takes you attitude. Sure, maybe it didn’t work out for the guy typing this blog, but I have no regrets. Dating isn’t about power. It’s not who can out maneuver whom. It’s supposed to be about enjoying life with a companion. Sounds trite, old fashioned, and cliché right? If you think so, I hope you enjoy your lonely bed, you silly little bitch.
3. The Standard I’m just a guy. Tall, maybe good looking to some, revolting to others. I have my highlights, and my issues. Basically, I’m like everyone else. Last night, I had a few ongoing conversations with a girl that travels the world as a model. To me, she’s gorgeous, one of the most gorgeous sights a guy could see. To a few of my friends, she’s bland. It’s all subjective, and standards don’t exist. I have friends that walk away from a girl they like because the other testosterone fuelled “experts” tell him that she’s ugly. The idea that everyone has to agree on how attractive someone is, exists only as a myth. Some like natural, some like body builders, some like trolls. Who cares what some think? Dating isn’t a team sport. So next time your friend tells you her ass isn’t round enough, or his arms aren’t big enough, let them nurse their vodka, water, lime, and you go explore that unquantifiable attraction coursing through your body. 4. The Fakeness No wonder people commonly breakup because they thought the person was “someone else”. Not even Barbie is Barbie everyday. How about this? The gel tits, the deep black eye makeup, the spray tanners, the steroids, the high heels, those ridiculous designs in your hair … all of it—banned. It’s just false advertising when you get home anyway. Let’s put our realness out there for the boys and girls to see, because eventually it’ll have to happen anyways. At least this way, we’re not wasting any time.
5. The Jealousy 1 + 1 = 2. We all agree? That’s how easy this dating faux pas is to solve. If you’re with someone and your jealousy is overwhelming, leading to rage, panicked texts, or gentle stalking … call a spade a spade. One of you has provided the other with a reason not to trust. That’s it, it’s over. Man or woman up, and end this journey before the train wreck. Oh, and if your reason for not trusting the other is because they are insanely hot—and you feel like they’ll cheat—you need to grow the fuck up, and not hold the very reason they caught your eye against them. You child.
6. Shhhh! You’re talking to someone, and suddenly they say or do something that shines a light down from the Heavens and makes you want to spend the next 30 years lost in that moment—that’s called interest. Now, when is the last time that happened to you, and you actually said, “You’re amazing. Wanna go out?” This arbitrary back and forth, where two people can’t say “I like you” is about as fun as driving a Ferrari through rush hour traffic. You need to break out and rev the engine to really enjoy life. We are all so fearful of rejection that we can’t seem to muster up the words. It’s a silly little game, started by silly little people, and unfortunately it’s been merged with the game of tag—you’re it.
7. Text You Later You exchange numbers after a night of interest, and then you may never hear that person’s voice again. Stop texting. It’s fine as a secondary line of communication, but in those crucial developmental times in a relationship, nothing replaces a real conversation. Now, before you say that’s me being old fashioned; I’m a tech junkie that sends over 1000 texts a day. It’s not old fashioned, it’s just true. Texting gives people time to think about their response, and removes yet another layer of real. Those embarrassing moments when you don’t know what to say, are the building blocks of great communication. Besides, you’re single, so you’re probably masterbating a lot. Give your hands a rest, and use your vocal cords.
8. He’s Creepy I hear fems say this constantly about m’s. Chances are, he’s not. Instead, he’s into you. Courting and shivery are such lost arts that women can’t even identify them in the light of day anymore. Sure, there are some pretty creepy dudes out there, but trying isn’t creepy. “He called me the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, and wants to go out with me as soon as I get some time. What a creep.” Yep, girls say it. While his overture might be slightly exaggerated, he was paying you a compliment. Sending you dead puppies with Joker makeup—now that’s creepy. Blowing into your ear, and asking for your bra to take home and sniff—creepy. Flowers, and compliments are romantic overtures meant to make you feel good about yourself. No wonder so many guys are so tied up in knots. In the end, the fine line between creepy and sweet is completely related to sexual attraction, and that’s something no one wants to admit. This brings me to number 9 …
9. Keeping it Par There are only two factors in this world that can get you out of your dating class; money and plastic. If you’re a six, you’re gonna have to date 6’s or lower. That’s just the way of it. Unless of course, you have money as a man, or get plastic surgery as a woman. Then all bets are off. Devoid of these two class system smashers, you need to be realistic about the man or woman you will get. There are very few exceptions to this rule, so few that you need to stop hoping you’ll be one. It’s a material world based on looks, and that goes for the stereotypical hotness, right through to the stereotypical lagoon creatures. The sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.
10. Sex or Companionship Do yourself, and everyone else a favour, and just be honest. If you’re looking to hookup, tell the person on the other side of flirtation. If you want a meaningful relationship, make it known. Honesty people; it’ll save you from a world of hurt.
11. Social Media Inboxing another girl while you’re in a relationship, and gently flirting is cheating. Liking another girl’s pics because she’s hot is disrespectful to your girl. Venting your relationshits on Facebook is annoying. Think of it this way, in the real world—that place that exists outside of the Internet—would you go up to a girl and start flirting with her at the bar if you’re in a relationship? Would you run around telling girls that they’re hot if you have someone at home? Would you hit up a group of people you barely know and tell them what a piece of shit your partner has been? The answers should all be no. If they’re yes, you’re an idiot. Social media has allowed people to blur the lines of acceptable behaviour. Define the lines again, and live happy.
12. The Getting to Know You Fibs In the beginning, people will fib on dates to bolster their chances of getting another night out with you. Accept it, and move on. But, when those fibs carry forth into a relationship, that’s when you’re in trouble. Lying to the person you’re in an honest to God relationship with is surely the end foretold. If you need to lie, your boots were made for walking.
13. Sex & Getting It If the sex sucks, you’re doomed. Stop kidding yourselves. Chances are any part of a relationship, including sex aren’t climatic because you’re forcing the issue. When you first meet someone, there should be sparks. Dating, and especially having sex with someone should not be something we do just cause. The whole experience is largely based on those first few really intimate moments—first eye lock, first few conversations, first few kisses, and the list goes on. If those moments aren’t captivating, it’s probably not going to work out.
14. The Want There will always be someone that wants what you have. This is no more problematic than when someone wants the person you’re with. They will lie, cheat, steal, and do just about anything else to get you to breakup. The worst part is time and time again, I’ve witnessed relationships end due to rumours, and bullshit started by that person that can’t wait to see if they’ll get their turn. Don’t buy into things you’ve heard about your partner. It comes down to trust once again. If you can’t believe that which is told to you by the person you’re sharing your life with, bounce.
15. Lie To Me You’re sitting there, at dinner listening to the other person talk, and honestly you want to stab them in the eye with your fork. Instead of saying, “This just isn’t going to work,” you politely nod, smile, and likely leave the door open for this poor sap to keep trying. Wouldn’t life be easier if you just said what was on your mind?
16. Interest I have a friend that likes this girl I know. I tell her, and she comes up with a weird convoluted excuse that leaves a door open because, well, there’s a solution to the issue. What she really should have said is, “I’m not interested.” Leaving the door open is what makes nice guys mad, and oft times leads to misconceived creepiness.
17. Slut Shaming So many people are out there, single, hating on other people having sex. Let’s be honest; if you could, you would. Just be safe citizens.
18. Know Your Enemy We all have people that we can’t stand. For whatever reason they simply grind your gears, and the mere mention of their name makes you sick to your stomach. Make a list of those people, and identify them with that guy or girl you’re dating. If any of those people have engaged in sexual congress with the person you are dating, it’s all downhill from there. That mother fucker that makes you sick will eat away at you (even though it’s completely irrational) and you’ll always think there’s something wrong with your prospective girl or guy because of the fact that they slept with them. Cut the cord and end it, before casualties exist.
19. The Career “I wish we could go out, but I’m really busy with my career right now, and just don’t have the time.” You hear that? That’s the sound of bullshit. You can replace “career” with school, job, the gym—anything really. No man or woman is ever that busy or that into their career. Everyone has time to do anything if it’s something they actually want to do. Yes, that person is just trying to let you down nicely, but fuck nice. Be real. Say, “I just don’t see this really working.” Everyone has time for dating, feeling good, movies, having sex … and more importantly, everyone wants to do all of it. Stop lying, ya jerk.
20. The Most Important Questions I’ve weeded out so many potential dating disasters with a few simple questions. You need to decide what matters to you most, and ask those questions. Don’t be afraid. The worst that will happen is you’ll avoid the anguish of a messy breakup. My questions are:
What’s flirting to you? Superman or Batman? Do you want kids? Are you a workaholic? What’s your family dynamic like? Do you know <insert list from #18>? How rational are you?
The first few dates are potentially the best interviews you’ll ever get yourself into. I rarely ever ask the questions just like that, but I get the answers I need. Have fun with it, but if the answers to your questions make you cringe, chances are you should partake in a nice hug and walk away.
So there it is, my list of reasons I’d rather be fed through a wood chipper, than date. The whole system is breaking down. In the end, the simple truth is that if we were all a bit more honest, and not so damn scared of what’s on the other side of that full disclosure, we’d be better off.
I’ll save you the suspense. No one’s perfect. No man is the ultimate man. No woman is a constant porn star and Martha Stewart mixed into one. No relationship exists without issues. And before all of that, no mountain is too high to climb when you’ve equipped yourself with the right tools. So, go … fuck, date, look longingly into another’s eyes, bring her home to mom, and dance like dervish. Who knows? You start being honest, maybe you might just end up happy.
WRITTEN BY JAMIE HALL Writer, Entrepreneur & Fan of Superman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada