Friday, November 9, 2012

Dating 101

I'm starting to realize that dating is weird.  No one ever really tells you this.  People say it's tricky, it's messy, it's hard, but they never tell you that it's weird. 

I'm not used to it.  In college, "dating" meant a couple lukewarm cranberry-vodkas in a dorm room, followed by fumbling around on some unwashed bed sheets.  There's no need for follow up because in a few hours you're standing next to each other on the egg line.

But dating in New York. In your 20's.  Is a little different.  Until recently, I pictured it like some Ashton Kutcher chick flick: glamorous, easy, sexy.  Maybe I just pictured it like Ashton Kutcher. 

It isn't at all like Ashton Kutcher.  There are long, drawn out conversations about music preference, about siblings, about summer jobs.  There is that inevitable moment of stiffness when the bill comes, and that awkward goodbye hug where you've both turned your heads away from each other so you're virtually just pressing chests.

Then there are good dates, the ones where your heart is thumping as you approach the restaurant.  There's good wine, good pasta, flirty banter.  There's a long, heady kiss on the sidewalk.  It's these good dates that make dating weird.  It's the follow up date, equally as good, that makes it even weirder.  It's the text message with all those smiley faces (are they seriously that happy?)  Or the text messages with the lack of smiley faces (could they be disinterested?).  It's the slippery sliding feeling of falling for someone, and losing control.  Not to mention that while you're trying to figure this all out, you're also supposed to remain cool, casual, and unaffected. Ideally, you strike a golden balance.  You're vulnerable but guarded, adventurous yet stable.  You carefully display your personality at its best, and you even share a few of your weaknesses.  You've put your heart out on the table, but you're in standby mode, ready to snatch it back. 

As my roommate, Emma used to say, WHAT THE WHAT?
Is this not a little confusing, people?

P.s. Another interesting article about modern dating here.

photo via Max Wanger


  1. So I also experience this weirdness when trying to meet new friends. People always ask impossible questions about family and music preferences, leading to awkward responses such as: Umm (insufferable pause while I prepare for them to judge me) I like everything you know? Fleetwood Mac, Drake, Nicki Minaj. Yeah Radiohead of course. My parents? Well I actually don't know my dad, but my mom lives in a mental institution in Portland, Oregon. Okay see you later!

    1. SO true. the music taste conversation never gets you anywhere. like, yes, I listen to Single Ladies after the shower. Yes, I play Coldplay when I feel like crying. And yes, I listen to bob marley during the summer like every other white person. What about you? I also like to imitate Joanna Newsom and harmonize with fleet foxes.

      Remember our song, jess? I've got that video somewhere.....

  2. Jess- I so agree. Meeting friends might even be more weird... especially in Milwaukee where the all social situation revolve around thick brots and crappy Pabst. WHAT THE WHAT?