Around the World With a Vagabond

Why Dating is a Sham February 14, 2011

Filed under: February Doesn't Suck,Why Dating is a Sham — christynichols @ 12:24 pm
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I realize it’s Valentine’s Day, and I will probably come across as a bitter cynic. . . . but I’m not a cynic. Promise.


I just think dating sucks. Living in California during my high school and college years, I dated a lot. When I lived in the UK, most people I met did not understand this concept – this drawn-out interview for a partner that would remain a partner for no set length of time.  Their puzzlement also made me a little puzzled about the whole thing too.


I’ve had some pretty bad dates in my un-tethered years.  I could rattle on for hours, but I will just give you one that lands in the top 5 worst dates.


Mr. 40-year-old Lifeguard arranged to meet me at the bus stop.  I dressed up. He wore his board shorts. We walked to a pub for a drink, which he asked me to buy because my round was first. Okay. I can be modern. Rather than dinner, Mr. 40 wanted to go straight to a club.  I was low on funds, and couldn’t afford cover, and he didn’t want to pay my way. Not only was he old, he was cheap. Instead, we took the bus stop a few miles to his bachelor pad that was full of barbells and giant tubs of protein powder.


To this day, I do not know why I agreed to go. I think I just wanted to see how bad it could get.


At his house, Mr. 40’s idea of entertainment was to play videos of rap music for me that he had taped off MTV.   . . . . . . .Really?  I called a cab home, even though I didn’t have any cash.  The taxi waited out front while I woke up a flat-mate to borrow money.  (My flat-mates were awesome. I don’t know if they felt the same about me).


There was more to that date than I am telling which qualifies this as one of the Worst Dates Ever. However, to his credit, this guy was not faking anything. He was his true self from the moment he asked to meet me at the bus stop to the moment he told me how much he loved pumping iron to Usher. And then demonstrated.


Dating is a total sham because most of the time, people are pulling out their best stops to impress. There is nothing wrong with this, I guess, but it’s a bit fake, right? People who go on dates should know that the very first date is as good as it’s EVER going to get. People who date are creating illusion after illusion of an ideal situation that will NEVER consistently be.


Really. After the first date, whatever that involves, sky diving, roses, wine, sushi, walks along the pier, blah blah blah – that’s it folks.  From there on out, the familiarity with the other person begins to grow and the motivation for impressing each other starts to slacken.  Not always all the time – it’s nice to be “dating” someone for 4 years and still want to impress them, but the effort just isn’t made as often. I am not trying to deflate – I just think when people go to great lengths for the first date, it should be a genuine reflection of who they are.


I once went on a date with . . . .let’s call him Mr. Boring.  When we met, he was standing outside my car, and I was sitting in the driver’s seat.  I was lost and needed directions.  He gave me directions, I gave him my number, and boom! Date was arranged.


This was a mistake because, from the sitting position of my car, a child of the age of 12 looks gigantic.  I thought this guy was taller than I. He wasn’t, so imagine my undisguised look of shock when I opened the door, and had to lower my gaze to meet his. Would I have given him my number if I was standing next to him and knew that he was shorter than me?


Well, good things come in small packages, right? Right? Hm.


The date was boring. First we had sushi.  His life was dull and he asked me about my travels because he liked my stories.  He hadn’t traveled.  He worked as a . . .I can’t even remember.   After sushi, he wanted to walk along the pier.  (We were near a beach.) Great, I thought, because this is who he is – a guy who takes walks along a pier.  Lame.


To make this story short and nearly painless, nothing happened. Not even a smack on the lips. Short Boring Guy was kind enough, but not a thing he said or did seemed real.  Plus I had to carry the conversation. I hate that. SPEAK TO ME.


Anyway, I am going off topic and beginning to rant. Sorry.


I guess my point is that dating is a sham because people create an illusion of perfect couple-happiness.  I guess that’s okay.  I mean, if a first date consisted of someone who was 100% genuine, that might mean that they show up looking hot, but show up late, go out to a nice restaurant, but fart sometime during the main course; get a bit frisky in the parking lot, go home and turn on the TV.  Fart again.


Right? Is that what people get if they keep going on dates with the same person?


Maybe.  I realize I have just described one date where the guy didn’t try, and we never went out again, and then another date where the guy really tried, and we never went out again. Who wins? No one, it seems.


I guess with dating, I just don’t know what I am talking about, and probably should not have written this.


My partner and I never dated. We just started “hanging out.”  He never arranged to meet me somewhere, or pick me up wearing expensive cologne, or bought me flowers. Even without the dating part, we’re still “hanging out” two years on and counting.


In fact, if I had to pin down an event that might qualify as our first date, it would have taken place in the California desert. We ended up there by accident. We were both poor, homeless, and without jobs. We slept in separate tents while camping with strangers in Joshua Tree after drinking other people’s beer and singing around a fire.


Yep. I think that was our first date. And it was awesome. But I’m pretty sure he farted.