I think I just had a date. Maybe. What even is dating these days? I don’t know. I had a conversation. Is that what a date is? An exchange of ideas and thoughts to see how they match with someone else’s? How does that differ from what you’d do with a friend? Obviously there are the intentions of intimacy and finding a connection that you’d like to take between the sheets. Really though, I’m starting to wonder about the things I’ve been conditioned to think.
Maybe it’s symptomatic of my whole not knowing how to flirt thing. For anyone who hasn’t read the archives or heard me express this thought in person, I don’t really know how to talk in a flirtatious manner. Well, there’s an addendum. I don’t know how to flirt with someone until after I’ve slept with them. Counter-intuitive, right? How do I ever sleep with anyone? They kind of have to take me by the hand, tell me “I want to do the sex thing now” and make it happen. Once it has, a switch in my brain flicks over and tells me “hey, there’s consent here. She actually wants you to interact in a sexually provocative manner”. Before the sex has happened though, it doesn’t really occur to me. It seems presumptuous, so I find myself incapable of doing it. Consequently, most “dates” don’t really play out in a typically date-ish fashion. They’re just like a conversation with a friend who I don’t happen to know yet.
So this has affected dating for me in conjunction with another development. I’ve gotten old. As I’ve aged, I’ve stopped caring that much about these things. If someone isn’t interested in what I’m putting out, that’s fine. I’m clearly not for them. I have zero interest in pretending to be someone I’m not in order to impress them. What would be the point? Why cultivate a persona in order to entice someone, only for them to inevitably discover it’s not who you really are? What, do you expect them to get over their disappointment that the person they’ve bedded isn’t really who they thought they were seeing? Do you think they’ll see past your veneer to uncover the heart of gold pumping beneath your skin? Fuck you, life isn’t Disney and that’s entirely disingenuous. Be yourself, not who you think someone else wants you to be.
Because of this, a date for me has nothing to do with trying to impress someone else. I want to see if there’s something in them that intrigues me and would cause me to want to get to know them better. Concurrently, I need to ensure that they’re gonna want to spend more time around me. I’m a weird guy, I know it. I’ve got quirks flowing freely out my wazoo. I say odd things and have curious views on things. If this would freak you out, we probably couldn’t get very far in a relationship. Isn’t it nice to know that from the start and prevent either of us wasting time? Thought so.
The strange flipside of this is that when I go on a date, I try to liven things up. I look for creative ways to lift the experience. I’ve had a scavenger hunt first date, bar crawls, mystery adventure dates, IKEA dates, ultra low-class themed dates and constantly seek to find unconventional ways to try new things. This all sounds like I’m busting my back trying to impress someone, but to be honest that’s not it. I’m trying to impress myself, trying to do things I’d enjoy. Rather than just going to a movie and dinner, let’s find some kind of interlinking theme between the two and really engage it. If I put effort into cultivating a fun experience and they’re not into it, it’s an easy way to disqualify them from future partnership. That’s the kind of stuff I like doing with a partner, if it’s not their kind of thing I’m probably not their kind of thing either.
That being said, I’d love to do this kind of thing with a friend. If any of my friends want to go on these kind of “dates”, I see it as a great chance to get to know them better in a different environment. If you go on an adventure with someone, chances are it’ll strengthen the relationship regardless of whether romantic ties are present. So what is dating then? Is it just friendship with the chance of fucking? Is it not possible to build up intimacy with friends, but not have sex with them? I’ve got friends I’m far more intimate with than past sexual partners. So what then makes my time with them less scintillating than time with someone I could potentially mash genitals with? Sex is one of my favourite things, but I feel like we’re a little bit afraid of it and how to interact with it. So we put it on a pedestal and treat it as something that has to be revered. I mean, sure it has implications for the continuing survival of our species, but rubbing your fun bits with that cute dude you met drowning his sorrows at Arby’s is hardly a massive life decision. Enjoy yourself, play it safe and don’t be afraid to find connection wherever you can.
Also, don’t forget that April 14th is Cake and Cunnilingus Day. Get ready for some sweet snacking.