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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

She's Come Unhooked

“Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you.” ~Author Unknown

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ok, let me back up and preface this all with something I’ve been pretty adamant about. I don’t like to date. Call me crazy, but I just do not enjoy it. It’s nerve racking and riddled with drama and I have always felt that I have enough drama in my life. My last relationship couldn’t have come at a more unfortunate time and after that experience I almost started in with another suitor and was smart enough to stop myself. Which, thank God, because the latter person ended up being a liar and an asshole, so now I think of it as a preemptive strike of sorts. Since then – 3 years(ish) – I’ve pretty much shied away from those with an XY chromosome. I’ve continually said that until I have my shit together and have done what I really want to do, then I’m not going to add another person to my life. By this I didn’t mean to say that if the right person were to come and sweep me off of my feet, then I’d kick his ass to the curb, but I’m less inclined to throw myself at the mercy of some male and beg him to hook up with me.

For the most part my crushes have been few and far between and mostly reserved for the extra special. Not short bus special, but I would give anything to marry him special. But this isn’t about that person, who does in fact exist. This is about now, while my friends are in some pretty serious relationships, I feel like the last man standing. In a Darwinian world, I’d probably be dead because my chances of procreation right now, are pretty slim to none. That said, my perpetual single status never really comes into play, at least not until recently. So when Larissa suggested The Unhooked Generation: The Truth about why We're Still Single by Jillian Strauss, I scoffed at the idea. But when I was told that it would be free, then who the hell gives up free shit? Though there was still much scoffing and incredulous beliefs as to what this book would actually do for me.

In short, the book did nothing. It consisted of chapter after chapter of reasons why people in their late 20’s to early 30’s were single. The use of IM to make relationships turned one woman off, detailed lists as if made to interview someone for the Pentagon were being used as guidelines to find one’s perfect mate, general stupidity of one gentleman who wanted a pseudo date before the real date turned another woman off…on and on and on. I didn’t need 200 pages of someone telling me what not to do; I know what not to do. The fact that people go on dates with such an exhaustive list of what their perfect person must have is what irked me the most. Half of the time, as Jillian Strauss pointed out, the items on the list were contradictory. One man wanted a woman who needed him, but was also independent. He wanted to feel like ‘the man’ in the relationship but wanted her to be able to pay for things herself. Half Carol Brady and half Murphy Brown. Even if one believes that women can be both (though I’m not saying whether or not I can agree or disagree with that), the fact is no one can live up to such meticulous standards.

My standards for potential mates are pretty simple: goal oriented, wants children (and not adverse to the ideas of adoption and/or midwifery), must be willing to be supportive of whatever I would like to do, College educated (Though I would make exceptions for this)…and that’s all I can think of for now. But honestly, I’m not too picky. Part of me thinks that my cynicism and dubious attitude toward this book was because I’m just now contemplating throwing myself into the dating gauntlet. With the interview type questions and the doubt and worry to whether or not I’m choosing the right person.

JB tells me that one day I’ll just bring all of my friends together and introduce them to my boyfriend and say “This is Joe, we’ve been dating for three months. The end.” There will be no questions from them, but JB says that I’m the type to be sure of who I find. I’m not too sure how correct that is, I know that part of the dating ritual is to go through the jackasses before getting to the Prince. But then again, we’ll see about that. The one thing I’m damn sure of is no more dating books. I’m already insecure and unsure about dating as it is, I don’t need a book to keep me up all night wondering if I’m dating correctly. But then again, that’s just me.

20 Comments:

Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

Just one question: How does he know that the next guy you date will be named "Joe"???

9:23 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I have ESP. I also know that he will be tall, dark and handsome.

9:35 AM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

Ya know...short, pale and ugly guys need love too.

10:01 AM  
Blogger ocg said...

I wish I had the answers for you, but alas I ponder the exact same things... If I discover the answer I will be sure to let you know... also if you could let me know if you find a solution, I would gladly take any advice you could send my way.

12:02 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

Oh I am feeling this post--Having just recently broken up with who I thought was the love of my life--SEVEN YEARS together--I am thrust into the dating pool and feel like someone is consistently picking me up out of the water and pushing me back down under...I'm like you...When you know-you know...If you have to work at it from the beginning its not right...but if you can see yourself with them at 80...then give it a shot or just have fun. Either way-Enjoy yourself!!

Don't forget these to put on the list:

A man who not only supports but respects you

A man who wants you...sexually and as his best friend...yeah yeah some say that is impossible but its not--Hold off on marrying the guy that can be like that for you....

12:16 PM  
Blogger Lizzie said...

Don't even get me started on dating books. They are such a crock.

Good luck out there!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Ninja: I'm sure they do, but they're not going to be getting it from me.

OCG: good plan.

KassyK: done and done. Also? 7 years?!? Lots of luck.

Lizzie: I'm very good at respecting books but I just want to dog ear the shit out of dating books and maybe blow my nose on the pages.

2:35 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

Yea--7 years...We met IN college...and the break up literally JUST happened. We are still best friends...Its almost more like an amicable divorce...But as long as you stay true to your standards...you are all good.

AH that was so Dr. Phil. Apologies.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous jenn said...

Far better things to spend your money on than dating books:
Classes, dinners out, sephora, cute shoes/bags, drinks-----
almost everything. Self-help books generally just make me feel like crap and compound what ever problem I was having, not help it.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I think if you live your life the way you want to, you usually run into someone who best fits your way of life. But if you do too much pre-visualization of the perfect person, you're always going to be disappointed.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Kassy: Not Dr. Phil at all, good advice. Keep it coming.

Jenn: to be honest, I didn't even get through the entire book, that's how crapass I felt about it.

Neil: that's exactly what I've always done and will continue to do. No sense in stressing about it.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Angela said...

I've found dating books to be a huge source of enjoyment and hilarity, but not so much any help whatsoever. I don't even know how to date. I've never done it. I've just been in "relationships". Now that I'm "dating" I feel very much like a fish out of water and just keep screwing it all the hell up. I also keep thinking I'm just going to stop trying, but the problem is that I just really, really like men, damn them!!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Whinger said...

Are your friends 22 as well? The ones in serious relationships? Not to sound cold or meanly pessimistic, but give them a year and they'll be single again.
(Sure, one or two might get married off, but the rest will realize they're too young to commit for life.)
And now, after being the "half is glass empty" person, I'll go ahead and continue with the "smug married" syndrome and say that it'll happen if you're open to it. And it will be wonderful and you'll wonder why you ever wondered.
Enjoy your life and find things to do that make you happy and he will come to you. Also? My rule of thumb while single was that I spent the amount of money I would have spent on an S/O on myself. Valentine's Day? Present for ME. Ex's birthday? Present for ME.
This was a way longer comment than I intended.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Angela: hilarity indeed.

Whinger: Yes, my friends are also 22 and you're most likely correct and tomorrow's post will be why I'm a strange 22 year old who worries about such things relentlessly. P.S. love your blog.

3:54 PM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

As you get older, your standards will decrease.

My standards: male.

;-)

5:16 PM  
Anonymous jurgen nation said...

DATING BOOKS (and chick lit) ARE THE DEVIL.

6:20 PM  
Blogger unforgiving b*tch said...

I agree with jurgen nation...Dating books are of Satan.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Dating....sometimes it's awesome. Other times, not so much.

I only read one dating book. Right after my divorce. It was a shame (the book, not the marriage).

You just have to go with your gut.

And don't worry, "Joe" is out there.

10:36 PM  
Blogger RoarSavage said...

Totally agree: who needs a book that gives you more questions than answers??
Mwah!

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Nicole P. said...

First time to your site. This post totally summed up where I am at as well (I'm 24). Thanks for putting into words what I was thinking so I have some ammo to all my newly engaged friends.

11:17 AM  

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