Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dating in 2014

Dating in 2014 is far different than it was over a decade ago when I was last single. Overt sexuality in the media and a high ratio of women compared to men - especially here in the South, I believe, has changed the dating landscape. In my dating life over the past couple of years, the majority of men I encounter have an expectation that after three dates it is time to “put out” or get out. Three dates? 

That is barely enough time to learn a person’s home address, let alone reach that level of intimacy. Trust me, I am not judging those who decide that having sex on the first or third date is a good decision but I personally value individuals who have an interest in me that is deeper than what is between my thighs.

On the one hand, I appreciate the forthright nature of men who decide not to pursue me after the third date. It lets me know that they are not the man for me. On the flipside, it is disheartening because I am left wondering, where are the good men who can appreciate my intelligence, wit, charm and love of life? Admittedly, I would really like to have a meaningful relationship and  believe the man who wants one too will cherish all I have to offer. As the pastor of my church put it - sex is the dessert, not the appetizer.

So what is a woman to do? Like men we are sexual beings and desire intimacy. Speaking for myself, in the past when sex was introduced into the relationship, it became a monogamous committed affair. As I dipped my toes in the dating pool, I quickly learned that most people don’t hold that same belief. Seemingly sex has become sport and with the numerous opportunities out there, committed relationships are a thing of the past. I made the mistake of allowing my desire for a relationship to override my clarity of thought. When a man told me he wanted to be in a relationship, despite his shortcomings, I moved forward. Sex was involved and based on previous conversations, in my mind we were committed. However when actions did not reflect the words expressed and I asked about it, “he was not ready.”

I left that situation quickly and realized that perhaps he say my vulnerability as a newly divorced woman and said anything to meet his goal of having me physically.  I too was culpable because I let my yearning for the ever elusive great “relationship” work against my better judgement. However, I still pressed on in the dating world, sure the next date might just be the one.

I tried online dating to no avail. The sheer number of wackos and sex fiends I’ve encountered that way is astounding! One man asked me on a date and when we met and I told him my age, he immediately asked for the check. 

To add insult to injury, having arrived at the restaurant before me, he requested individual checks! I was perplexed because what type of man asks a woman on a date with the expectation that the woman will pay for it? Please don’t get me wrong, I have no problem going dutch or even paying for a date, but in this instance, he initiated the entire encounter! In the end he paid for my drinks and appetizers and I dodged a bullet. He told me he would date a crazy woman who was younger than him rather than date a woman his own age!

That was my last venture into the world of online dating and really dating at all. I decided to simply “live my life like it’s golden” without worrying about “finding a man” and instead focused on looking inward and finding me.  And you know what? When I stopped looking, a man who values and cherishes me, not my body, stepped right into my life!  Although I have no idea what the future holds, I am enjoying this journey, we are getting know each other and having fun in the process. Dating in 2014 is indeed different than it was years ago, but I say remain steadfast to your values, beliefs and do the things that make you happy. Become the person you are looking for.  When the time is right, a good man you will seek you out and find you!

1 comment:

Meghnan said...

Well said, Renee! I recently became separated and am starting to dip my toe into the dating pool water as you put it. This is great advice! Happy to hear you found someone special.

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