Regardless if you're straight, bisexual, homosexual or any shade of sexuality, you will find that dating can and often does really suck. For me, I avoided dating and relationships like the plague for the last three years for several reasons but the two largest involved being terrified of trying again (my last relationship met a worse end than the Titanic) and having zero time to even think to about that aspect of life. Fast forward to the beginning of this year and I finally felt I needed to stop hiding and embrace the dating game.
What did I find when I embraced dating? I FOUND THAT IT SUCKS! It's emotionally and mentally exhausting. You have to take the time to get to know someone, go out with them more than twice and possibly even become slightly invested in them before making a decision on whether or not to pursue an actual relationship with this person. Not only that, but the other person might just up and walk away without so much as an explanation because it is "just dating" and "nothing serious." Seriously, who the hell thinks like that? It's just frustrating.
Dating in the current era is even more frustrating than any generation before us because this generation, those under 40, suffers from instant gratification expectation. What does that mean? It means we are so use to having everything instantly like googling a recipe, ordering Starbucks from the app so you don't have to wait in line and knowing what someone is doing most of the time because of texting, snapchat and whatever other social media a person uses on a daily basis. There's no room in many people's heads to cultivate anything.
What do I mean by cultivate? I mean, really get to know someone. I'm talking about understanding what makes another person tick, what they fear, what they like, what they are indifferent about or what they absolutely despise. I'm referring to the fact that many will walk away from something because it is "too hard" or requires "too much effort" because there's a minor roadblock such as a misunderstanding via text. How ridiculous is that? Do people not realize how valuable it is to be able to deal with minor things for the sake of relationships of every kind?
I'll give you a real life example: I met a guy I've know of for a few years in March at a party my ex-employer hosted. He approached me because I was chatting happily with his father and he was curious as to who was this young female talking with his father was. As soon as we began talking, we clicked. I'm talking he pretty much was at my side the entire party discussing anything and everything and he seemed more than interested. He asked for my number, he asked me out for a drink or lunch the next day, he texted me the next day good morning and so forth. If you followed me on Twitter you probably saw several of our text message exchanges because he was such a breath of fresh air. He called me, he texted me, he wanted to know about me, he FaceTimed me because it made me happy.
Continuing further, from the time he wasn't working until the time he eventually passed out, we were in communication whether it be texting, snap chatting, on the phone or FaceTime. If he didn't respond readily, longer than a few minutes, he was apologizing and explaining his absence. He was thoughtful, he was kind, he was clever, he was funny and, most importantly, he loved all the things that many see as weakness about me-my assertiveness, my sailor's mouth, my demanding nature, my loud mouth, my perverted mind. He tended to tread lightly around things he wasn't too sure about because he didn't want to turn me off and I loved the attention and finally felt it was okay to like someone.
Push comes to shove and a minor roadblock happens and he takes off. He tells me how he realized he can't give me what I want or give me the kind of relationship I want. Funny thing was we were just in that dating mode where we were feeling each other out and I had yet to even know what I wanted other than the continuing down the path to see where this led because for the first time in years I genuinely liked someone. I was frustrated, I was hurt, and I was angry. It was like I wasn't worth it so it was best to walk away.
Dating is usually the precursor of a relationship which means you have to constantly put yourself out there, be vulnerable and hope for the best. It's draining, it's frustrating, it's ugly and there's more bad than good. The reason this cycle from Hell continues is because we see the happy couples, we read the romance novels, we watch the romantic comedies and we all have this hope that we can have the happy ending. While dating sucks, we should always remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and that the ultimate reward cannot be reaped without first taking a risk.