How often do you read or hear something that resonates in your very core? It sparks a flame or strikes a note (to be clear, my heart sounds like this). You take it in. Take a pause. Think about it again, then force yourself to get back to, I dunno, creating a life sized gingerbread house or working on your Tuvan throat singing cover of The Smiths’ Frankly Mr Shankly, or whatever you do in your spare time. Hours later you’re having trouble keeping that brilliance from playing over and over in your head (the thing you heard or read, not the Tuvan Mr Shankly. Though that would be brilliant). For me it was four simple words:
It’s not a new idea, but it’s new to me. Self Help guru/writer Mark Manson put together the aforementioned article way back in 2013, before gay marriage was more widely legalised. Back when Trump was a punch line of a reality TV star (he’s still a punch line, but I’m having trouble accepting that he’s a reality). Back when I still lived in New Zealand and had zero idea how to really date. I was just about to leave home for the northern shores of Canada and my latest liaison was a confusing and stark reminder of how clueless I was (and in many ways, still am) about how to connect with someone in a mutually fulfilling, enthusiastically consenting intimate fashion. I mean, I was using words like “liaison” instead of “dating”.
“Fuck Yes or No” is exactly what it sounds like. If you’re not hooked, pumped, excited or any other word that’d fit into the lexicon of a late oughts Black Eyed Peas song, why are you there? I guess I could spend the rest of the entry paraphrasing a considerably better written article, but why don’t you just read it for yourself? Here’s another link in case you’re too lazy to scroll up. Don’t say I never give you anything.
It took me a long time to realise that I’d internalised this mindset. Rather than letting it sit inside, I’ve decided to be mindful and actively recognise when it’s happening. Over the past three years I’ve been on more dates than I had in my previous 26 combined. On one hand, it’s because my novelty accent is somewhat of a commodity here in Kanata. On the other, it’s because trial by fire forced me into putting myself out there or elsewise wither away of loneliness. I’ve been on many dates, I’ve had a few relationships, but very few of these have eventuated into something substantive. Why?
I haven’t buried the lede or anything. Which article do I keep quoting here?
If you’re dating someone and the best adjectives you can come up with when a friend asks how it’s going are “fine” or “well”, then either you need a thesaurus or a paradigm shift. We all deserve to be happy, but better than happy we deserve to be ignited by the people we entrust with our intimate selves. Sex doesn’t even come into it, but if you’re in a place where you feel safe to share the chewy centre under your hardened candy shell, you bet your candy ass you should be excited about it. If they’re too cool to let you know how they feel, maybe they’re not the right fit. If they’re reticent to set concrete plans, or you’re sitting across the table thinking about the conversation structure instead of actively conversing, that’s a “No”.
Look for your “Fuck Yeah”. As local Toronto comedian Jess Beaulieu wrote in her excellent piece, Date Someone Who Thinks You’re Fucking Amazing. Be present with people who want to be present with you. Furthermore, turn the lens around. Look for those people who amaze you. Those people whose wit lights up your every synapse. The people who are kind without ulterior motives. The people who say things that make your heart play the Super Mario Bros theme on xylophone. The people who make every part of you say “Fuck Yeah”.
Or just don’t.