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Dating has never been my strongest suit. Shocking revelation: It still isn’t.

September 1, 2010

A few months ago, with assistance from Kyknoord, my cat Teva dressed up in a tasteful business suit, took a cold, hard look at my nonexistent sex life and tried unsuccessfully to sign me up for Match.com.

I don’t do everything Teva tells me to do. She isn’t the boss of me. I’m my own person. I joined OkCupid instead.

I registered because I’m lonely because it’s free for the sake of the blog to silence a few of my more persistent friends, who kept insisting that I ought to “get back on the horse,” and that “there are more fish in the sea.” But I’m not an equestrian. And ever since childhood I’ve harbored an irrational fear of seafood. And it’s unclear to me what equines and aquatic creatures have to do with my quest for intimacy, although it would at least partially explain all the Googlers who find this blog searching for “animalsexfun.com.” (Please stop. It’s creepy.)

In my 29 years, I’ve never – ever – dated casually. Well, that’s not totally true. On one recent occasion, someone appears to have dated me casually. I just didn’t know it at the time.

A laissez-faire approach to my love life has never appealed to me. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of gal. Unfortunate emphasis on the nothing.

I’m not sure whether I was in need of a distraction or diversion, but in a moment of weakness, I decreed that August would be “The Month of Casual Dating.” Kind of like Joan Didion‘s tome, “The Year of Magical Thinking.” Except 11 months shorter. And with considerably less thinking on the part of my temporary companions. And neither Joan Didion nor I experienced much magic. I was *seriously* misled by the title of that book. Spoiler alert: It isn’t about magicians.

So, although it’s totally out of character for me, I went out with anyone who made the effort to electronically extend an invitation. I’ve been dating up a storm. If pressed to be more specific, I’d say it’s been a shit storm.

A few craptastic examples:

I shared cookies and coffees with a librarian, whose life I learned was apparently the opposite of an open book. SHE BARELY SPOKE.

A third-year med school student and I chugged chai during a study break. She was attractive, smart, personable and worldly. So worldly, in fact, that she nonchalantly worked into the conversation that she’s MOVING TO AFRICA.

Later that day – that’s right, two dates in 24 hours – I met a web designer for beers. My excitement about her was threefold: 1) she was hott; 2.) she would be valuable to recruit for Googlez, my Sapphic search engine invention; and 3.) she was hott. That’s how today’s youths spell “hot.” Maybe. Just one caveat: SHE SHOWED UP DRUNK. Not tipsy. Fall-down, slur-your-words, push-your-beer-from-side-to-side-because-if-you-take-one-more-sip–you’ll-vom drunk.

I always had a hunch it’s nearly impossible to find a girl who is capable of conversation, living in my hemisphere and not struggling with sobriety. Now I know for sure. That’s the knowledge I’m taking away from this social experiment that I’m passing along to you. You’re welcome.

Today is September 1; the Month of Casual Dating is officially over. Because that’s how months work.

Although I’d suspected it all along, now I can say for sure that I tried casual dating on for size, and it is *so* not the right fit for me. Unlike Teva, who looks fabulous in a suit, I prefer to dress – not date – casually.

For better or worse, whether or not it’s in vogue, I’m holding out hope to slip into something more comfortable. It’s hanging on by the thinnest of threads.

P.S. An AWC shout-out to Emily and Naomi, who put on their most stylish yenta hats and set me up with a Jewish doctor for my first blind date ever (and also the first one that I’ve landed at least in part thanks to this blog). You guys are finally starting to wise up to the fact that I need serious help. I’ve been saying that all along.

P.P.S. Heartfelt thanks to Roxanne, who mentioned me in an awesome post about female bloggers. If she lived in my region of the country, and if she were remotely interested in me, and if I didn’t totally despise dating, I totally would be all over this girl. If only.

P.P.P.S. In addition to having a keen eye for feline fashion, my pal Kyknoord – in light of my recent religious confusion – sent me a drawing that explains the Holy Trinity in a way my non-believing brain can finally understand. I really think he’s nailed it. I’ve *got* to stop talking about nails and Jesus at the same time. Behold:

Dude, where's my cross?

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 2:49 AM

    while I like casual dating, I despise internet dating. DESPISE. I got into it for the same reasons. I’d been through a breakup, my friends said I should keep trying, blah blah blah. what I hated was that I felt pressured to give anyone who asked a chance. and there were a LOT of losers. though your drunk date tops any of my stories. it’s just not for me. not organic enough, if that makes sense. there’s no natural progression, no chemistry. it felt forced and exhausting. so, while I’m open to dating someone I meet via the internet (by chance), I refuse to ever use an internet dating site evah (that’s how the kids spell ever) again.

    loves you in my panties!

  2. September 1, 2010 4:12 AM

    You know what makes me a little sad? That I’m not one of the kids anymore. I don’t say evah, or hott, or ever actually misspell anything intentionally unless I’m mocking those who do. I had a shocking realization the other day. I was kind of halfheartedly lusting after a guy on TV (in a g-rated sort of way, because I’m happily married, but that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to smokin’ hot Irish dudes) and in the past anyone lust-worthy was usually too much older than me to make it a viable option in the million-to-one chance that said hottie presented himself for my sexual gratification. Well it turns out that this particular hottie (Aidan Turner, in case any of you straight ladies want some eye candy) was actually a few months my junior. Now I know this is not a big deal, but it seriously stunned the hell outta me. And to make matters worse, my husband was watching a video on youtube the other day and the singer was also pretty easy on the eyes. But then I found out that the damn kid was only nineteen. Barely. I felt like a damn pedophile.

    And I just realized that I got lost on a tangent before I even got started. I meant to tell you that while I still mock them mercilessly about it, my Dad and stepmom hooked up thru a dating service (not online though, because neither of them are tech savvy enough for that) and have been together for 10 years now, and happily married for 7 of those. So even though you feel kind of dirty and embarrassed about it, don’t cross it off the list completely. You never know where you’ll find Ms. Right.

  3. September 1, 2010 4:36 AM

    If I lived in your region I’d totally turn for you

  4. September 1, 2010 6:18 AM

    Is Jesus giving the Shocker?

    I find this post depressing on behalf of all straight girls who have ever said, “You know what? We should just become lesbians. It would be so much easier.”

    Insensitive though the thought may be, it’s nice to have a mental fall-back plan.

    P.S. You should have banged the drunk girl. Hell-o, she was already warmed up!

  5. September 1, 2010 7:02 AM

    this furthers my position that the desire to have a ‘one and only’ leads to more misery and heartbreak than joy. admirable attempt to suck it up for the month of August, though. that’s a whole bunch of folks you can cross off your list…

  6. September 1, 2010 8:15 AM

    Did you include your arm fetish in your profile? You might have gotten more interesting dates….just saying. 😉

  7. Lindsay permalink
    September 1, 2010 9:09 AM

    I hate casual dating, too. I just don’t think it’s in a lot of lesbian’s DNA. It’s definitely not in mind. So single I am and single I remain, hoping one day that ‘the one’ will just show up at my door step. Or, in a less creepy way, in front of me in line at the coffee shop!

  8. September 1, 2010 10:31 AM

    I did casual dating for a while after my first husband and I split. My months of slut. It was fun, in a temporary way, but mostly because as I’d met my first husband so young that I’d never tried it.

    I don’t think I could like a life that way for any length of time.

    Six months was enough. Plus I had to break up with a boyfriend I didn’t even know I had.

    But with Jesus coming up in your life so much, we really need to ask the question: are you just not praying hard enough?

    Cause this could totally be a sign.

  9. September 1, 2010 1:52 PM

    I feel your pain.
    I recently asked an archaeologist out on a date. She said I was too young for her.

  10. September 1, 2010 2:37 PM

    I’m with Sarah P – next time you find yourself with a drunk hottie, HIT THAT. It’s how I met my husband [and all the others that came before him].

    I was a BIG fan of casual dating [is it dating if you’re really just hooking up and making out or having sex? Yes? Or is that casual sluttiness? Whatevs, it was awesome.] but that’s mainly because I’d far rather have a drunken hookup than actually talk to someone and find out what a loser they are.

    I have my standards.

    Anyway, if the hubs and I hit the skids, you are #2 on my list [sorry, but #1 right now is Damon from Vampire Diaries, and if you google his pic you’d see why. Sexy + Evil = Lose my panties FAST].

    So, sorry your month was craptacular. I’m on my 7th week of bronchitis, if that makes you feel any better.

  11. September 1, 2010 2:44 PM

    Casual dating is so awkward in my opinion. I guess I’m more the kind of girl who would prefer to be just friends with a guy first and then discover that we both like each other and start dating…at least then there wouldn’t be awkward silences! But, sadly, that’s not the way things have worked out for me.

    They always say that getting involved/volunteering is a good way to meet people. Have you ever tried that before? It seems like all the volunteering events near me are full of people in their forties through sixties, but maybe you’ll have better luck.

  12. September 1, 2010 3:38 PM

    Dating stinks but I guess it’s the necessary part of finding Miss Right. I had given up on finding a sane lesbian to date….and then…I met her by accident through a straight friend. It took a very long time to find her so don’t give up your chickie is our there somewhere.

  13. September 1, 2010 4:27 PM

    It is impossible to find all three. That’s why I gave up years ago.

  14. That Girl permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:12 PM

    I was just talking with a friend about how hard it is to date as a lesbian, because there are only so many fellow lady lovers to go around & sadly they are not always easily identifiable. I’ve concluded that there needs to be a code-system or lesbian head-nod to let family know – hey I’m a possibility!

    But yeah to the casual dating. I like conversations, and not just piddling “what do you drink?” I need your mind to be hot in order for me to be interested, no matter how stunning you are.

  15. September 1, 2010 6:40 PM

    I show up for every date drunk. It’s the only way I can get past my crippling social anxiety.
    s

  16. September 1, 2010 8:57 PM

    I read suniverse’s comment and had to stop halfway through and check the name because I was certain that I’d left that comment but had no memory of having done so.
    I was really glad to find out it wasn’t me because I hate bronchitis.
    Also, hoping that the lesbian-dating world’s loss is the lesbian blog reading world’s gain if you know what I mean.
    Love,
    Kit

  17. September 2, 2010 3:45 AM

    What I love about those Googlers is that they *already have* the URL they’re looking for, and yet they search Google for it . . .

  18. Lisa permalink
    September 2, 2010 8:47 AM

    I think you don’t really get how casual dating and internet dating works. You can’t expect every date to be with someone you want to see again. Except for the chick who wouldn’t talk, sounds like you had two good dates. And by good, I mean you have a good story to tell. That should be your goal from internet dating, it will make it a lot more enjoyable.

    You don’t like casual – though I don’t see how 1 month stacked up against 29 years is a good test. And if you were introspective, you might ask yourself why you are so attached to your old way since that doesn’t seem to be working for you.

    You owe it to your blog. Go back out there and get us some good stories.

  19. September 2, 2010 9:17 AM

    That’s quite the traumatic experiment. Maybe the Librarian didn’t talk because, y’know, she works in a library and the only thing she ever gets to say during the working day is “SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” or sometimes “this book is overdue” and maybe she’s so used to not talking, it just kind of seems the norm. But even so, that’s not an excuse. If you want to date, you need to have the basics of social communication down. That’s probably where I was going wrong (having never really been on an actual date). I just kind of accidentally end up in relationships and then very casually stay there. And when I say relationships, I mean relationship.

    Bottom line? Don’t take relationship, or any other kind of life type advice from me.

  20. September 2, 2010 9:36 AM

    holy shit. all of a sudden, you just became Nickel Smith in my mind, a character of Rita Mae Brown’s.

  21. September 2, 2010 11:49 AM

    I love this post. Greatest line: “3.) she was hott. That’s how today’s youths spell “hot.” Maybe. Just one caveat: SHE SHOWED UP DRUNK.”

    Listen, I’ve been that drunk girl, and it’s just nerves. Get us some seltzer and taco bell, and we’re back, baby, we’re back!!!

    No, but really. I loved it all. And “Googlez” . . . HI-LARIOUS.

  22. September 2, 2010 2:04 PM

    LOVED this post! Online dating can be so harrowing. I will say that I met my future fiance on OK Cupid late last year, so after many years of failing miserably at dating, I seem to have found success. I wish the best for you of course! And the great thing about OK Cupid (apart from the whole “it’s free” thing) is that even if you aren’t meeting anyone, you can take all those silly quizzes about your sex IQ and so forth. Servicey!

  23. September 2, 2010 6:01 PM

    If it helps, I became a SPECTACULAR dater after my divorce when I was 30. Within a year I was remarried to my wonderful husband. Look at it as fun and that THEY are lucky to be with YOU because you are INCREDIBLE!

    Sorry, I know you didn’t ask for advice…

    xo Susie

  24. September 2, 2010 7:25 PM

    Half the fun is reading the comments after you post. The entertainment just doesn’t stop!

    If I were lez and not already married, and if I lived near you, I’d be all OVER your conversation-loving, casually-dating-so-I-can-find-a-serious-relationship self. But, alas, too many ifs! My being bi doesn’t count, either, I realize… somewhat bittersweet.

  25. September 2, 2010 10:43 PM

    …if only the nuns woulda taught it to us that way when my parents made me go to catholic school… the trinity that is. not the dating. although that might have helped also.

    yeah, i guess we’ve all been “there.” and by THERE i mean trying to internet date and finding that the world is more full of effed up weirdos than we ever knew … and they live close enough to date!

  26. September 3, 2010 1:34 AM

    “all-or-nothing kind of gal”

    yep

  27. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    September 6, 2010 9:08 PM

    “But I’m not an equestrian. And ever since childhood I’ve harbored an irrational fear of seafood. And it’s unclear to me what equines and aquatic creatures have to do with my quest for intimacy, although it would at least partially explain all the Googlers who find this blog searching for “animalsexfun.com.” (Please stop. It’s creepy.)”
    I have never laughed so loud in my entire life. My housemates think I’m insane. Where do you come up with this?

  28. September 8, 2010 9:29 AM

    I hear you loud and crear, exept for me it’s men…
    want a hott girl who can carry on a decent conversation come to Europe haha

    Casual dating has never been my thing either, it’s like a job interview…I hate those.
    but I do think you should probably get away from your computer for a while and get out there, plan a tryp somewhere!!!

    Who am I to give advice to a total stranger that lives across the ocean u___u?

    cute post, ohh and nice pic haha Who’s your daddy? nice one

  29. September 13, 2010 1:06 AM

    NO YOU DIDNT. I could have sworn I’d already left a comment here. And I don’t see it. And I’m wondering if it was too inappropriate for you.
    Doubtful. I probably forgot to press submit.
    Let’s pretend it was hilarious.

    Can we also talk about “The Year of Magical Thinking.” Didn’t like it. I love depressing stuff, but ugh… get over it.

    Also, I give you props for putting yourself out there. Dating blows. Well, not for you. But, you know.

  30. September 14, 2010 4:07 PM

    This could be the best title for a blog….ever!

  31. September 14, 2010 5:30 PM

    Maybe it was the online part? I am all for casual dating, but that online stuff just scared the crap out of me. I need to know if I connect with a person, and that can’t happen over the interwebs (e.g. you can still type even if you don’t talk but… you need talking in real life).

    I had a dude send me almost-nekkid pics of himself. Before we even met.

    And then I was done.

  32. September 17, 2010 11:36 AM

    One of my best friends is currently living with a boy he met on OKCupid.

    For reals.

    It kinda freaks me out.

    Also?

    You should try standing with a sign on a street corner.

    I’ve heard some homeless people are actually millionaires.

    So you’d probably at least get a date.

    Maybe even with a homeless millionaire.

    (Those carts are expensive.)

    (Especially if you bling them out.)

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