I’m going to preface this piece by saying that I am only speaking for the straight, cisgender experience here, and I hope things are better in other gender and sexuality paradigms. I’d like to think that other demographics are a bit more evolved than mine, and they need to be.
Straight dating nowadays is bullshit. It’s in the whiny, milquetoast dudes with bad hygiene and worse communication, who gaslight ‘crazy’ women for not being as dead inside yet as their so-called men. They mumble, grumble and long for their glory days (both of them), all weak and lazy despite having every option to combat their waning testosterone, and seize a second prime in life. Bitter at the world, their growth ended, these snotbags spend two thirds of their life longing for yesteryear, when girls were young and dumb enough to tolerate their nonsense. So loudly they decry the changes in gender standards, because they can only ever win at rigged games, and even then they usually lose.
Just as bad are the sociopathic revenge feminists, who play power games from weak positions and treat all men as the same, regardless of true intent or behaviour. They punish the sins of the fathers by torturing innocent sons who never approved of such behaviour, and likely have suffered those sins as well. These girls (not women, they are still just girls) will prod you to open up, only to expose vulnerabilities, then attack you for the slightest variation in confidence, tone, or cadence. Likely then cutting you off mid-sentence to frame your responses out of context, all to fit the narrative they have already decided on, regardless of facts. They light fires, then run away and take all the extinguishers with them, and still have the nerve to wonder why even the most open men often lock up or shut down to such a dangerous extent in their 30’s and later. Some will permanently.
The traditional gender paradigm of male pursues female still exists, somehow. It’s heavily perpetuated in mainstream pop culture, which typically is the last to change, and the first to take ALL the credit for fake ‘wokeness’. So many songs about making someone love you, like a bloody hostage situation. So many dating competition shows that are completely detached from actual, viable partnership dynamics. They objectify people by treating them as attainable objects to compete for, as if true love is some kind of tournament, or a war of attrition.
There is NOBODY on the face of the Earth who deserves to be chased, fought over, or to be wilfully high maintenance. Or deserves anything really. Things are earned, and the expectation of me chasing a woman is as offensive as me expecting her to have my dinner warm and ready when I get home. If you are trying to attract anyone with that kind of time to waste, you’re already aiming low, and you’ll get the weak people you deserve.
The second someone expects you to chase them, they place a higher value on their time and energy than yours, regardless of how much either party has, or how they use those resources. It’s not romantic, it’s desperate and sexist – both ways – and frankly, it’s a large part of why romance seems to be on the decline. People blame hookup culture, but really there’s less thieves and liars in that world than traditional dating. At least the cards are on the table.
Every girl or guy I knew who bragged about people chasing them had (and as far as I know, still has) three things in common: Deep unhappiness, awful time management, and a total lack of success in love and life. Some of those I dated didn’t expect to be chased in the early stages, as most were meant to be flings that led to me being ‘ultimatumed’ into relationships they were never truly ready for.
All of the above are single, miserable and poor now, despite having every opportunity to work, date and prosper long after me, or whoever their victims were. Of course, seizing opportunity would require them to get out of their egos and off their socials, but that will never happen. Who needs lasting affirmation from genuine sources to permanently boost self esteem, when you can get a bunch of likes and follows in seconds, right?
Now when I say chasing, I don’t necessarily mean romance or sex. I mean fundamental communication and time management, with respect to most folks having jobs, hobbies, friends or family. The chased one expects to be the sun in your galaxy, but they’re really space junk or an asteroid floating in the orbit of a planet that holds life beyond their limited understanding. Very few of these types seem to have a lot of interests, let alone full time work, and think that blinking prettily at someone a couple times a week should be sufficient to maintain interest. They’re too lazy to go on actual dates, yet complain about never getting to do anything. They’re not really bored and tired as they always claim, they’re just boring and tiring.
The truth is that people should meet on level terms, or not at all. Love and lust are not meant to be hard sells – if I have to convince you to want me, then I’m either not worthy, or you’re just not interested enough to warrant the effort of my approach. Were we to date, you would always have leverage, and the emotional imbalance that started the relationship would likely define the rest of it.
As someone who needs to be wanted, and doesn’t want to be needed, I could never get the idea of wearing people down into dating or sleeping with me. When I’ve pursued a lady and been shot down (which is plenty), I’ve lost interest almost immediately. Rejection sucks, but not THAT much, and certainly not like being in an imbalanced relationship. To keep throwing yourself at the unwilling reeks of a desperation that attracts predators, and in the male case, is an ugly byproduct of rape culture. Take the loss, and move on. If you’re older than 20, it really shouldn’t hurt for long, and if it does, you have big issues to address before you even think about serious dating.
I tired of the traditional monogamous gender dynamics a while back, thinking polyamory would be better. It’s even worse there: Instead of the sales pitch of emotionally committed people with solid time management, it was mostly drama llamas half assing multiple flimsy relationships, always giving the attention to the person who chased or acted up the most – as in, the weak link. Now instead of just worrying about a partner fucking up, one gets to worry about their partner’s partners ruining everything. The proverbial rotten apple has spoiled many a harvest for me, and my only regret is not being harsher and far more impatient with those expecting infinite kindness and patience. Nobody deserves either of those things by default.
It’s tragicomic how the most ‘woke’ folks in the polyamory that I’ve done and seen always fell for the most blatanty sexist abusers while treating kind, honest partners like shit. Of course, later on there’s ‘startling revelations’ about the scumbags being what everyone else always knew they were. Almost inevitably, they’ll blame it all on gender tropes instead of their own myopia. These lazy low energy types will always expect high energy ones to lower to their level, leaving proverbial Ferraris to rust untouched in garages while they go crashing dirtbikes, then wondering why the sports cars act up months later.
I fully support poly lifestyles, but it seems to me there’s a dozen absolute horror stories for every success. The experience turned me from being an emotionally charged romantic to a cold blooded aromantic, mostly devoid of emotion. If you knew me when I was younger, then you know it could happen to literally anyone. If it weren’t for a truly awesome marriage, I’d have quit dating for good from those experiences. Monogamy can be very complicated, but only so many things can go wrong. Poly is often like having one bad passenger who isn’t even qualified to travel grounding (or even crashing) a full plane, and acting like we should be grateful they didn’t make more of scene.
This isn’t a woe is me thing – I’m glad things didn’t work out for me with my ex’s. I’d rather be disappointed after a few weeks or months than waste years on a diva. I have, in my teen years, been that disappointing diva. I’ve also seen the sanest and kindest of folks reduced to insanity by these bogus dynamics, and swear that it’s normal, likely because it’s all they’ve ever known. See in Western culture, being high maintenance is an aspiration now. It’s one thing to have issues to work around, as most do, but to expect special treatment because you wish to be difficult means you’re just an idiot, and the opposite of special.
Your shitty childhood may deserve some consideration, but it’s not a crutch you can lean on past your teen years, let alone at the ages I see people doing now. It’s not one’s job to solve people’s mommy or daddy issues, except maybe in the bedroom. Sorry if that seems harsh, but so does wasting adult years on childish behaviour, especially for those with short life expectancies and heavy adult trauma. You might be ‘figuring out your shit’ on someone else’s last roll of the dice, and past a certain age, you either just do the damn thing or you don’t, excuses be damned – almost all of us have them. So if you start a relationship, it’s already too late to pull the “I wasn’t ready” for it card later on, as I’ve seen countless losers do.
If you’re a person who asks “Why are all men/women a certain way?”, congratulations, you are the reason. It’s not one gender’s fault, even if the patriarchy may have started it. If you have to say “Not all men”, then you’re a douchebag who disrespects every decent male you ever knew, and you deserve their contempt. If you say ‘You know how women are’ it’s because you gave them no choice, and you deserve loneliness. Stay dating within your own gender, or shut up.
I wish I could be more positive about this kind of stuff, but the reality is that most people are better at the casual/hookup level than real dating. Hell, a lot of my flings were more emotionally rewarding and validating than the relationSHITS that followed – even when they came from the same flings! Too many people focus on relationships being about people having to tolerate them at their worst instead of giving their best. It can’t always be optimal, but it shouldn’t suck all the time either.
The right person or people for you may not be who you expect. They may not come at the right time. Life isn’t fair like that. Timing is everything, and passion is often madness. I’ll take realism over the dying art of romance.