Today on the radio, they were discussing dating.
But it’s not just “single” or “taken” anymore. It’s talking to. Seeing. Dating. Dating but not sleeping together. Seeing and sleeping together. Just fucking. Friends with benefits. Dating but not exclusively. Exclusively dating but not boyfriend/girlfriend. Boyfriend/girlfriend.
By the end of the segment, my head was spinning. Yes, I understand we love to label things – it justifies feelings, gives us order in something that might be very confusing otherwise, and it gives us an excuse for our behavior, whatever it may be.
Talk about complicated…on top of all these semantics, we also now have technology to a) give people a multitude of ways to just not be into us; b) ways to stalk said person on a multitude of different social media platforms; and c) ways to be lazy and non-creative by just searching for ideas, should we ever actually be asked on a date.
One of the most refreshing (albeit short-lived and rather abruptly ended) relationships I’ve ever been in is the only one (thus far) where there was zero ambiguity. I knew exactly what every single Dinner Thing meant (yes, he actually said, “I would like to buy you dinner and take you on a non-platonic date” for the first one), I knew without a doubt if we were serious/exclusive or not and which terms and titles were appropriate at which time, and aside from his inability to express any emotion, he was always very clear about his intentions (and they were typically noble and gentlemanly). I rarely wondered about anything, and if I found something opaque, I could ask and he would explain.
Maybe I’m an old soul – I long for the days when you had one phone, one phone number, one man at a time, and one term for him taking you to dinner. Where you could meet said man organically – serendipitously, even- at a non-techno-dance-club (like a group of people with the same interests, like reading or running, getting together to do the activity in question), at a wedding, or in a grocery store. When we didn’t have to be behind a computer and have people size us up based on our flat profiles before they decide we’re worthy of their time. I miss the days of a nervous first date, where you don’t know the person at all, and you start off with a few awkward laughs, but it later blossoms into a great time – and as you part for the night, you look behind you and start to get butterflies over the budding potential. Maybe I need another old soul to cross my path, and maybe if I can find him, perhaps we can go on a non-ambiguous, non-platonic date..