What’s the one thing about me that really annoys men? Is it my incessant need to correct their every spelling mistake in an informal text? Is it my casual and often misjudged approach to ex-boyfriend jokes? Is it my passive-aggressive correction of their table manners?
Surprisingly, it’s none of the above. Instead, it’s my lax and often cynical attitude towards them.
Having been more or less single for three years, my outlook on relationships has done a more impressive 360′ than one could muster up on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. In 2013, I was desperately searching for a relationship; wasting time with mismatched men, willing that they might distract from my fleeting boredom. And just 1,068 short days later, I’ve become so overtly blasé to the theatrics of dating, that a relationship seems more distant than ever.
A continual source of entertainment in my office, my dating habits came into question last week by the Graphic Designer; “You’re like a character from a rom-com set in New York. I’ve never known someone to date so much. Why is it you can’t seem to become attached to just one person?”.
It hit hard. Until then, my habitual single ways had only been challenged by my mother.
Binging on episodes of First Dates whilst demolishing a tube of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles, I pick apart the token girl who talks of her “emotional barriers”. Her long-term ex-lover left her for a club promoter called Candice and every man since has only been interested in her silicone pumped 30GG breasts. Unfortunately I can’t relate to her cup-size with my humble DD’s, but I suppose I too suffer from these cringeworthily cliché “barriers”, manifesting themselves in my apathetic attitude.
Although I’ve never been your typical ‘nice girl‘, there was certainly a stage in my teenage years when I would do anything to please. But having rejected the too nice men in the past, I quickly learned that sweetness is a sickly quality, and one that becomes unattractive in abundance.
After the death of organic dating, thanks to the likes of Tinder and Happn’, stumbling upon an emotional connection with someone is no easy feat. I’m not looking for the infamous ‘spark’ on a first date, instead I’m searching for someone with a dark sense of humour, an equal disgust in boot cut jeans, an obsession with funny animal videos and the ability to make me not want to fold inside of myself within the first two hours of meeting. And because I am rightfully so unwilling to settle for someone who ticks just a few of those boxes, my quest goes on.
For me, dating has somewhat hardened me. Reluctant to let myself get carried away with the man that does tick all my boxes (innuendo intended), I’ve developed an ability to pretend that I don’t care what happens next. As jovially as it started, my ceaseless eye-rolling and passive reactions towards men have become so ingrained in my routine that they’ve synced with my personality.
Regardless of whether or not you asked for it, the serial-monogamists enjoy nothing more than sharing their well-rehearsed stories of how love falls into your lap when you’re not looking; “I was literally just looking the opposite direction when I literally just walked into Dave outside Mahiki and we’ve been literally inseparable ever since.”
Personally, I think that’s a load of bull. And if it were true, it would be my luck that my one-and-only lives in an Ethiopian tribe that I’ll literally never be walking into. I believe that you need to be active in your search for someone who doesn’t make you hate the world. Our influenced society, however, dictates there’s a weakness in admitting that you’re actually looking for something more than a one night stand.
So where does that leave me? Do I finally let go of my ‘unemotional’ status and chance heart-ache?
Well, at the risk of sounding meek, I may have finally reached the end of my tether. No longer am I prepared to play my part in the facade of ‘casual dating’, which has ironically proven to be more emotionally draining than a committed relationship.
Is this the day my mother and the Graphic Designer have been waiting for? Am I finally softening?
Images via Giphy.