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Instant Gratification: Dating

The Mind Outlet

The Killers – Mr. Brightside | Archive

Instant Gratification: Dating

Being the 20 something single that I am, dating is not only on my mind but also the people I surround myself with.

Not necessarily even those who are single, in most cases it’s friends in relationships who try to live vicariously through my encounters. Most of our conversations are concluded by them accusing me of being a moron, I guess having the reassurance of someone at home gives them the confidence to make such statements. However, I can’t argue with them. I am a moron, or as I like to put it “relationship challenged”. I’ve been told that I need to be a little more PC so here’s my effort to make my disability sound as warmfuzzy as it could be.

“You haven’t called her back? Jesus, it’s been two days!” One of my ball n’ chain cohorts snapped.

“Two days…” I think out loud, “I haven’t even called my Mom in two days.” I say defensively as I glare back.

“You’re an asshole.” That seals the conversation. There’s nothing I can say that will change her mind, I might as well run with it.

“No, I’m a romantic. There’s nothing more alluring then stripping a girl of her self confidence and letting her neurosis run wild while waiting for the phone to ring,” I say as condescending as possible. “Plus, what makes you think she even deserves a call back?”

That pretty much sends my friend over the top at which point she mutters “moron”. The conversation changes gears but I can’t help but think about this quandary later.

To me, two days is nothing. Two weeks is nothing. Call me chauvinistic but I often miss the days when corresponding with woman took place by horse and buggy. After the Pony Express, dating became so much harder.

See, we live in a society of instant gratification. Are you hungry? Pop something in the microwave. Missed the weather report? Hop online. Lost? Hit up your GPS. Can’t wait to see the highlights on ESPN tonight? Bust out your cell phone. Can’t sit through a goddamn movie without gossiping with your girlfriend? Send a text message! Relationships have fallen somewhere between Paris’s last “newsworthy” exploit and Howie Mandel’s nightly Indian casino guessing game. My inability to conform, according to my relationship experts, has made me an asshole.

I’m okay with that. I’m still young enough not to feel desperate and fortunate enough not to have felt like I’ve lost the girl of my dreams due to my phobia of the phone. But what will happen when that day comes? Either day, desperate or twitterpated. Am I just too old fashion to be in a relationship? Is there no room for taking time to reflect upon someone or having a sense of absence to make the heart grow fonder? Possibly.

If women of today have taught me anything, it’s that waiting is inconceivable. It’s something that you do at Planned Parenthood or the DMV and is looked upon as the same such chore. There’s no Christmas morning with these chicks, no tropical vacation you’ve saved up for. According to them, for all intents and purposes, that is what a credit card is for. I don’t believe it’s solely their fault, however, they’re a product of their environment. Nothing in their lifetime has ever told them to slow down.

Somewhere between the first Iraq war and Al Gore discovering global warming, our government decided to raise the speed limits across most of the country. As these girls were entering college, a dial up internet connection seemed obsolete at which point Americans decided it would be faster to walk to the Starbucks on the corner rather than boiling water. Yet it amazes to see Carrie Bradshaw bitch about a guy who gets off in under ten minutes. You wanted everything in a New York minute baby, you got it.

Which leaves me on Island Time. I’m no Axl Rose sweetheart, but maybe all we need is a little patience? Let the butterflies turn and the anticipation eat you alive. Maybe I need to wait until my next paycheck before I can afford to take your ass out again. Or maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones and I’ll never call. After all, I am an asshole…


Update: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 – 40Y 11M 28D

Now I know I'm autistic and demisexual. I'm not sure what else needs to be said. Those two words pretty much explained this entire experience.

Naturally, at the time, I didn't know that I was wired differently. I didn't know there was an entire group of other people in the world who were also totally lost when it came to dating, or even liking someone. Taking an interest. Like, there's a bunch of us who struggle with this – beyond the 'typical butterflies and stumbled words. I'm bad at this when it doesn't matter and I'm trying. How awful do you think I am when it does matter?

I'm so socially oblivious – or determined not follow socially expected norms – that I can't even reach out during the commonly acceptable allotted timeline. Compounded, the deeper underlying issue to the entire thing is that I didn't feel anything with this woman. There was not a thing I could say wrong about her, but that I just wasn't attracted to her. I didn't know why. She was objectively pretty. A good person. Seemed smart enough.

Now, I understand, I'm simply not attracted to someone until we form a bond or relationship. She may have been the perfect partner, the perfect person – but she never got the chance. I never gave it to her. Or, it just didn't organically happen. Any good friendship I've ever had hasn't been forced. I never stayed friends with the kids your mom setup playdates with – I'm friends with my friends because we were forced to be around each other every day and we went through some shit.

At the time, ideally, I thought this is how all humans operated. You met someone who didn't repulse you, life makes you hang around them for a bit, you take an interest after getting to know the "real" them, you begin to like them, you fall for them. Only after you fall for them does sexual attraction happen. Wait, you got that, right? That's how I thought relationships worked, developed. None of the rest of the world operates this way... it's some naive, Disney story way of how love and sex are supposed to happen.

Thinking back, I just remember being horribly confused when writing this. Conflicted. Why wasn't I compelled to call this girl? What's wrong with me? The more I don't know about something, the more arrogant I become in my prattles. 



Hangout with people who get it.


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