In short, I want to date a feminist.

I truthfully haven’t had much to write about or have felt like writing in a long while, but relaying the tale of a recent (non-)date to a friend this evening has inspired me.  So, here it goes…

Text, me to him:  “I know your life is pretty complicated right now, but if you feel like joining me for a walk at the beach sometime, just let me know.”

He responded.  We picked a day and a time.  It had been a few months since we had last seen each other, for what he had unexpectedly turned into a ‘date’.   I was looking forward to seeing him again and the chance to get to know him a bit better.  The walk at the beach ended up a friendly time, but nothing more – something I was briefly disappointed about, but I lived.  The part that’s relevant here is the first part of our meeting, though, the part before we met.

An evening walk at the beach.  Simple enough.  I ended up arriving about ten minutes early and didn’t see him at our designated meeting spot, so I took up a place in the shade to wait as it was a hot day.  I messaged him just to let him know I was around the corner in case he had happened to show up early as well and was killing time.  He messaged back a couple minutes before we were supposed to meet to let me know he was in the restaurant (near our meeting spot) and had just ordered something to eat.

My second thought was, “Ok.  It’ll actually be nice to sit and have a beer.”

My first thought – or feeling rather – was envy, mixed with a little bit of awe and, I’m not going to lie, a tad of resentment.  It just hit me.  It was such a weird thing.  In the smaller picture, this was not a huge deal.  It’s summer.  I’m on holidays.  I’m usually pretty easy-going.  Whatever.  In the bigger picture, what I was so in awe and envious of was his ability as a man to do whatever he felt like in the moment, regardless of the circumstances and without notice.  He didn’t apologize for planning his time poorly or delaying the walk at any point during our evening.  From the little I knew of him, I didn’t think he was an intentionally inconsiderate person, but that’s the point.  He obviously didn’t feel he had any reason to apologize.  It was dinner time, he was hungry, so he was eating.  That all makes sense.  What’s the big deal?

The big deal in the bigger picture is that women are subtly, and not so subtly, punished socially for acting in similar ways.  Even as an independent, confident woman, I wouldn’t have had the guts to do that, no matter how badly I had planned my day or how hungry I was.  And upon further reflection, I realized that at the root of it is the fear that I wouldn’t be accepted, I’d be thought of as “high-maintenance”, flaky, inconsiderate or selfish by this person on whom I was hoping to make a good impression.  Granted, as it turned out to not be a date per se, he might not have cared what impression he made on me, so his actions were not thus dictated.  And, that may not have been how he would have perceived it anyway had the tables been turned, but the point is that, as a woman, it wouldn’t have even crossed my mind because of that planted fear.  I would have wanted to present a version of myself that wasn’t too demanding, regardless of whatever other needs were pressing.  It makes me so annoyed that it is an impulse, indoctrinated into me, that I have to work so hard to ignore.  

The cognitive dissonance this issue causes in my mind is gradually subsiding with age and with much counter reinforcement, the main exceptions being brief periods following romantic rejections.  But generally, the older I get, the less I’m willing to dumb myself down for someone, neglect my needs, or pretend I’m more subservient than I am just to keep their attention.  I want to date someone that sees this struggle and acknowledges their privilege.  I want to date someone that really views and treats me as an equal, who’s not intimidated by my independence or my intelligence, someone who will lift me up and be proud of my accomplishments, cheer me on –  just as I want to do for them.  

In short, I want to date a feminist.

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Short one

A little bored today, I went online to check out what’s been going on on my account.  I’ve received a few messages and a few likes over the past couple weeks – no ‘Spank me’s, fortunately.  Did get a message from a guy that seemed worth replying to after reading his profile.  Not only did his profile include things about reading books and grammar (totally a turn on to my nerdy side), but he seemed pretty normal, interesting even, and he had posted more than one decent picture of himself (none of them bathroom mirror selfies!).  I also thought he was cute.   It was a nice start, so I sent him a message.  Not being a big fan of long email conversations with someone I haven’t met, I suggested we meet this week if he had time.  He replied almost right away, flirted and said he’d like to.  I let him know that I’m around most of the week before leaving on a trip next week and left it to him to suggest a time according to his schedule.  The conversation pretty much left off there.  He messaged back that this week it might be hard to find a time.  Hmm…

He asked what part of the city I’m in.  I’m actually in the city.  It turns out he’s totally at the opposite end, in the suburbs – I don’t even consider it ‘in the city’ as it takes at least an hour to get to.  I acknowledged that he was kind of far and that I have a hard time meeting people that don’t live in the suburbs.  I asked if he works or is in the city often by any chance – hence giving us a chance to meet.  He replied that he does work and live in the city.

That was it.  Maybe I offended him.  Who knows.

I left it open and told him to message me if he had time to meet, wished him a good day.  I’m doubtful I’ll hear from him again.  

It’s unfortunate.  He seemed like a smart, no nonsense kind of guy.  I’m not offended if he changed his mind to meet (in that micro amount of time), or if he was just being polite in agreeing in the first place, but then I remembered that he was the one who messaged me.  I’ll be completely surprised if I hear back from him.  

Excuse me, is this spot taken?

Not much is going on in my dating life these days, but this summer it will be five years on my own and there’s been a lot of reflection that comes with that milestone.  Among other things, I’m really feeling ready again.  Don’t know how a new relationship will happen or when, but it’s nice to feel ready.

In this time of reflection, an analogy I first heard a few months ago (thank you, Jaime Primak Sullivan) has been rattling around my mind.  It’s come to the forefront again in the midst of a relationship I’ve pursued with someone on and off again for the past few years.

The analogy goes like this: In life, we all have a parking lot in which we have a limited number of spaces.  We choose who we reserve spots for and those may change over time but, generally, the spots closest to the door are for those most significant to us.  We also have some visitor spots that get filled from time to time with temporary guests, those that come and stay for a while, but maybe not often or permanently.  

For a long time, I’ve been stuck returning to one parking lot in particular.  And I do so willingly.  I keep returning because it is super close to my heart, I’ve parked there for years and know it well.  I’d like to be out and on my way again, though.  Free.  I thought it might help to write about it.

Continue reading Excuse me, is this spot taken?

My Week in Messages

I inadvertently got back online this past week.  Friends and I logged on to my deactivated account to check out men’s profiles to use as exemplars while creating a profile for one of our male friends.  So, since I was back on, I decided to stay on for a few days as an experiment, some entertainment.  Winter has brought about the predicted restless spell I knew it would.  I found I have a different attitude this time around, though.  My motivation is more a distraction from boredom and for fodder with friends than finding someone.  So far, it’s been exactly that.

My week in messages was…well, it was.  See for yourself. Continue reading My Week in Messages

Hiatus

I started this blog originally because I (and the other single women around me) seemed to be experiencing some common things that really bugged me and I wanted to explore them with a wider community.   Like I said in my introduction, I’m not someone who dates extensively – or even dates actively for that matter.  When I first became single, I did date moderately for a couple years and then sporadically the last couple.  It depresses me and my experiences up until now have ultimately left me disillusioned about the whole idea of actively trying to find someone.  I do believe there are many people out there that I could be compatible with, but I think for now I’m truly through with the active hunt.  All these experiences have left me happy with just living my life and being open to meeting people whenever they pop into it.  I know I’ll meet someone eventually, have a partner again, and I know I’ll be incredibly appreciative of the renewed experience when it comes my way.  

I wasn’t sure where this blog was going to take me in the beginning.  I just knew there were things I felt compelled to write about.  I’ve debated going back to online dating just to have stories to tell, and there are times I think it’d be amusing, a way to break the occasional period of boredom or restlessness I sometimes find myself in, but it’d be disingenuous and I don’t think I could put myself through it to be honest.

I appreciate all of you who have been readers and the feedback you’ve contributed.  It’s been an exciting process for me.  I discovered I really enjoy writing and I really enjoy hearing others’ stories and points of view.  I’ve also really enjoyed the world of blogs it’s opened me up to and I’ll definitely continue reading.

Since my shift into the dating world, the social and behavioral aspects of dating are things I’ve learned I’m quite interested in and passionate about.  The psychology of relationships has always piqued my interest (since my high school Psychology class – thanks, Mr. L!).  But for now I think I’ve exhausted my personal list of observations and complaints in this department.  I’d love to keep writing and, as I have experiences, I’ll check back from time to time.  I’d love to hear from anyone who has anything regarding dating they’d like to share and see in a post.  Please be in touch with me through social media or through the Contact link above.

So for the next while, I’m going on hiatus from socially inept men, booty calls and dick pics.  I know the ones I’ve received probably won’t be the last, but the break will be very welcome.

80s-Inspired (Ingrained) Stranger Danger

I remember when my sister and I were kids, my parents (and teachers) having conversations with us about not going anywhere with someone we didn’t know, no matter how nice they seemed.  I even remember role-playing scenarios.  It was the 80s.  Strangers were very scary in those days.  

We spent a lot of time in our neighbourhood without our parents and I remember it being a topic of conversation periodically.  We were taught to always listen to our ‘gut’ if something didn’t feel right.  And we had the right to be, what we perceived as, ‘rude’ if it meant we kept ourselves safe.

Thoughts about safety are often on the minds of women.  It’s something we’re conscious of most of the time.  I don’t walk around an anxious mess, but I do change my behaviour accordingly (like where I walk after dark, letting people know where I am going to be, checking in with friends if I’m out late or on a date, watching my drink in a bar).  I remember having to explain some of these things to my ex-husband when we were younger.  They made sense to him when I explained them, but they simply had never occurred to him.

All these things came to mind this week when a fellow blogger’s post mentioned men suggesting first dates take place at one of your homes.  I had to ask the women I know if this is a thing and I guess it’s pretty common even though it’s never happened to me.  I had lots of questions. Continue reading 80s-Inspired (Ingrained) Stranger Danger

Porn Sex

Warning: This week’s post may be too much information for some that know me.  Reader discretion is advised.

I was looking over my list of ideas and complaints about dating and came across this week’s idea, highlighted and underlined.  As per my post about Salt n’ Pepa, let’s talk about sex – porn sex, specifically.  I really think whole generations of women and men are missing out on the real intimacy, sensuality and sometimes, let’s be honest, just plain silliness of sex.

Continue reading Porn Sex

The Salt n’ Pepa Experience

“Mind your own f*ing business, Madonna!”

This was once spat at me by a boy I was kicking out of our hotel room one New Years eve during university.  I was kicking him and his friends out after they tried to take advantage of one of my very intoxicated friends.  How dare I?!  Luckily, nothing came of it. They left, but only after a few insults were thrown.  I remember laughing out loud at the time because it was such a ridiculous and cryptic insult.  In my not-so-sober state, it took me a few minutes afterward to figure out he was probably referring to the gap between my front teeth.  Apparently, being Madonna was a huge insult.   I might consider it one now (have you seen her new videos?), but at the time, I took it as a compliment.

Continue reading The Salt n’ Pepa Experience

Send Me a Photo

A friend shared with me this week one of the latest stories from her search. I’ve heard of and have experienced similar behaviour.  It’s one I could relate to.

“Send me a photo.”

I have a variety of photos on my account.

“Send me a selfie. Take one right now.”

I don’t do selfies on demand.  I don’t know you.

“Send me a photo.”

(Now just messing around) I’ll send you one if you send me one.

“I don’t have any on my phone.”

That’s convenient.  Take a selfie.

“I’m at work.”

Of course.  [Sidebar: This doesn’t seem to stop many other people, but whatever]

“Send me a ‘right now’ photo.”

Argh. Continue reading Send Me a Photo

The (Attempted) Set-Up

So, a colleague/friend of mine asked earlier this week if I would ever be open to being set-up by someone.  I told her, of course.  I think that’s actually better than meeting someone randomly because your friends know you and have a good idea who you might be compatible with.  My only problem has been that most of my friends don’t know many eligible single men.  Anyway, she told me she had a friend in mind that she’d adored and known for 25 years.  I was flattered that she thought enough of me to consider matching me with someone she liked and knew so well.  She didn’t tell me much about him in case we actually did meet, but she told me a little.  He’s about 10 years older than me, smart, successful in his (somewhat intimidating) career and she thought we had other things in common, so she said she’d mention it to him.   Continue reading The (Attempted) Set-Up