When I was about fourteen, I decided that by the age of twenty seven I would be working the job of my dreams, living in a modern apartment with my long term boyfriend and our dog, and thinking about taking the inevitable plunge into married-with-kids life. Being that twenty seven is only a few short years away, I now consider my fourteen year old self somewhat deranged, because at just twenty three years old I can confidently say:
I have had enough of the dating game.
I’m sure you’re thinking that at this age I am in my dating prime, or that perhaps I am just prematurely bitter after being subjected to a plethora of terrible first dates, if you could even refer to them as such. But my explanation is valid and rational, I promise you.
The way in which my generation goes about dating is a far cry from the courting rituals that my parents, and their parents before them were used to. Long gone are the days of being asked to dinner, or a movie, or a picnic in a park. We have now entered an era of “Netflix and chill”, where dinner is takeaway pizza and the entertainment of the evening is the latest episode of Vikings.
Everything about the dating game these days is based around low commitment and low effort. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am always, always down for pizza and there’s something intimate about spending time with someone in their natural habitat rather than in a fancy restaurant where they’re putting forward their best-dressed self. What I am not down for is the mixed signals and the constant confusion that goes hand-in-hand with trying to figure them all out.
I’m talking about the constant catch-ups that are seemingly only being planned so that they can be cancelled at the last minute. The “I really like you, but I’m not ready for a relationship, but I also don’t want anybody else to have you” discussions. The 4am “I miss you” texts, when your attempts to see them were unmatched and almost completely unheard.
This type of “dating” is something I don’t wish to romanticise, nor do I wish to be a part of. I don’t want to keep glancing at my phone, hoping for a response text. I don’t want to have the “what do you think this means?” conversation with my friends. I don’t want to spend more time trying to allocate a time to spend with someone rather than just actively spending time with someone.
I want to come home from work and know that I have someone to complain to about my most ridiculous customer of the day. I want to brag to my friends about the sweet text I was sent that I’m pretending to laugh about, but secretly I’m gushing over. I want someone who wants to eat pizza and watch Nashville with me as much as I want to eat pizza and watch them play that stupid new playstation game with them.
Feelings are to be discovered, not deciphered and until I find someone who won’t compromise my heart just because they are unsure of their own, it’s a pizza party for one for this girl.