My Dating Allergy

I know I’ve mentioned a time or two before that I am violently allergic to dating. It just seems profoundly unappealing.

A couple of months ago, I talked about my relationship status, and came to the conclusion it could best be defined as “friend”. Or, if you prefer, “independent”.

I’m watching a few of my real life and online friends go through the process of dating again, and frankly it looks unpleasant from the outside. Dating sites, uncomfortable dates, miscommunication, friends with benefits, bad sex, good sex but no call, and just generally playing the game.

New (but sure to be longtime) friend and kindred spirit Frances writes about this in her post hilariously titled Men Want Sex. And My Refusal to Become a Moose. She says, ” A few of us hold out, thinking that reason and humor and genuine affection is really what the “good” ones want.” Damn straight, I do! Oh, wait, she was talking about men. ;) Seriously, that’s *me*, too. I don’t play hard to get, I have no clue about the game and I opt out!

Not to mention that as I see it, of the couple of hundred adults I know, it breaks down like this:

  • 70% or so are married or in long term relationships

  • 10% are gay or lesbian, and see above
  • 10% are hot, brilliant, funny, interesting women who are either looking or not looking, variously
  • 9% are attractive, brilliant, funny, interesting men who are completely uninterested and even actively avoidant of women, relationships and commitment (although some aren’t averse to sex if they can get it)
  • 1% is open to a relationship but the night nurse at the psych ward won’t let him use the phone to call Courtney Love anymore

Seriously – many women remain eternally hopeful, but I only know one or two men who have not pretty much given up and become hermits. These are not good odds. :)

As I’ve said, I find the concept of dating bizarre from my mid-life perspective. I don’t have the patience for it, the capacity to play the games, or any tolerance for idiocy. I’d much rather spend a wonderful, comfortable evening with good friends of either gender, sharing good food, drinks, laughs and camaraderie and go home alone, than spend an awkward, painful evening with a near-stranger that might or might not end in uncomfortable sex and a nearly negligible chance of a call back in the future.

In the process, I build a life that I love with people who are my family of choice. If by chance I happen to stumble over a friend that surprises me, who makes me think about romance and a different kind of relationship, that’s an added bonus. I’m not looking for it; I’m not averse to it. (I’m probably way too busy for it!) Either way my life is enriched by great friends and time spent being truly myself.

11 Responses to “My Dating Allergy”

  1. Anne C. Says:

    Me too, Jeri.

    I think the part that bugs me about “dating” is that everyone involved (including myself) starts trying to apply expectations of how it might/should/could go. This gets in the way of seeing the real person instead of as a label (marriageable, ****able, pitiable, etc.). It’s sad and freak-out-inducing at the same time.

  2. Frances Says:

    YES… but sex toys can really only satisfy me to a POINT, demmit.

  3. Janiece Says:

    The Smart Man and I have determined that we will stay together forever and die within a month of each other simply to spare ourselves the incredible horror of facing dating again.

    Works for us…

  4. WendyB_09 Says:

    Frances, I totally agree with you.

    Considering I’m in the perpetually single and not really looking category, it may be awhile before I get the real thing again. Seems the ones I’m interested in I can’t have and the ones I can have I’m not even slightly interested in.


    My last few relationships were pretty platonic – one roommate and a couple of travel buddies. Lots of fun, no action.


  5. Jeri Says:

    I have some excellent and valued male friends who I admire and adore, and hang out with regularly, either in groups or one-on-one. Totally platonic, great hugs, and while we banter, flirt & joke, there’s nothing more. Frankly, I’d much, much rather have them as awesome friends than as potentially disastrous, fatally-flawed ‘relationships’. (self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone? ;) )

    And Frances, sex toys are incapable of useful post-coital snuggling, dammit. Which is at least half the fun (for women).

  6. WendyB_09 Says:

    The funny thing was when roomie got engaged and then married, took us a while to convince wifey we’d just been roommates & travel buddies all those years! :) Hell, I was the one who suggested an uber-romantic proposal during a trip to NYC!!

  7. Eric Says:

    I just feel obligated to point out that Cort and I came to a mutual decision: on her side of it, she felt a need to focus on her career and staying clean and to apply for the restraining order as a formal sign of her commitment to a new focus on living, which I totally applaud her for, and on my side of it I felt that it was the right thing to do to give her the space she needed, to which end I reduced the number of times I call and hang up during any given week and I now make it a point to only check on her from the perfectly public road beyond her gate.

    Also, let me just say that regardless of what you might have heard or read, when the police unfairly detained me in what they falsely and erroneously described as “inside victim’s [their word, not mine] house while victim [again], a recording artist [as if that suffices to describe the greatest musical talent since Beethoven!], on tour, subject found in victim’s bedroom sniffing victim’s [arrgh!] underwear,” all that was happening was that I was getting samples for urinalysis because I was afraid Cort was possibly using again and she didn’t respond to my letter directly asking (I was afraid she was hiding something–I’m happy to say she wasn’t and she’s staying clean).

    Honestly, I don’t even see why you need to bring it up at all.

  8. Tom Says:

    17 years alone, didn’t know what was wrong with me. Many friends, no relationships. Oh well.

    Then I had a nice relationship, where we did a lot together, spent most every weekend together, including nights. Sex was mostly avoided, but cuddling was good. Unfortunately, she wanted me to love her, I didn’t. She wanted to know where we were going, I didn’t know. She wanted to be my one, I didn’t know if I had a one. So she left. Probably best for us both.

    Love is all well and good for others. I’m not sure I’ve ever known it, and it’s getting pretty late. I may never know it, and I’m good with that. Friendship, intimacy, comfort, these define the interpersonal relations that are important to me. But no one else I know has given up looking for love. I don’t need it. Like is good enough for me. But lonely now, and mostly, while I’m looking for like, sure sucks.

    My on-line friends, male and female. Always available, will listen, give hugs, won’t hesitate to tell me I’m wrong. Nice. And when met in person, better hugs! Thanks, pals. :)

  9. Vince Says:

    “Dating” sucks. I refuse to do it. But I have had several romantic relationships since I divorced. I’m still friends with one of them, one died in a car accident, one got frightened and left, one I left because I don’t like controlling people.

    I can only speak for me, but my relationships have almost always worked better when we were friends first – a mistake I made with my last two relationships and won’t repeat. I like being in a romantic relationship, and would like to get married again, but I won’t rule out other types of relationships involving romance.

    The best thing, for me, is to be open to possibilities, and define those possibilities fairly broadly. This is helped because what I look for in a romantic relationship is pretty much what I look for in friendship.

  10. Jeri Says:

    Eric, it’s mostly just that I worry about you, standing out on a snowy Manhattan street for hours, wearing nothing but a trenchcoat, running shoes and a red ribbon. You’ll catch pneumonia that way!

  11. Jeri Says:

    What’s interesting here is the broad range of what folks are looking for – and whether they let their ‘looking for’ wishes interfere with being happy with what they have now.

    I like what Vince says, about being open to all possibilities. (Although I’m not sure I’d *notice* possibilities, I’m so busy and distracted most of the time.)

    Personally, I’m actually not looking for marriage again. I already left one and wore another out. :( Seriously, though, for me, why? I don’t need security, partnership or full time companionship – and I really do like my independence a whole lot. Still, I can understand why it is important to many.