I worry all the time, it seems. Or lament about my failures. Why am I not in a relationship? What is wrong with me? What type of person does this stuff? I’m stupid and ridiculous. I’m tired of it.
There’s this inner tension inside my heart—have sex, even if it’s meaningless, or be celibate and look for a relationship? I’ve had…maybe one ‘relationship.’ I was 17 and he was 25. It lasted a month after I realized I was not what he needed right now (which was a therapist.) I still miss our talks, though, and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. But as my mother says, “Do something right, or don’t do it at all.”
I started dating this guy in March, and I was into him. I loved the intimacy and the way he looked at me. I wasn’t crazy about him, though. I kind of knew it wouldn’t work because he and I are so different. He’s in a whole different sphere of creation; music. And I need someone who understands and appreciates my creativity. No, who urges my creativity and supports it. We need to have a shared passion. I remember going to Julianna Baggott’s reading a few years ago, and she said something so inspiring, something like this:
My husband doesn’t just tolerate my writing; he says, “Go write, you need to write.” He understands that I need to be creative, and that’s the man that I fell in love with, that I am still in love with.
I need that. I need someone creative, intelligent, adventurous. I want to dive and climb and eat and race.
In all the time I’ve worried about this stuff, I could have been on adventures. I could have written novels. I could have gotten to a better place and fallen in love.
Even though I know he doesn’t care about me, that our small connection has trickled and vanished… I’m still hurt. I cared about us together, even if I didn’t really like him in a deep way. If you like someone, you
- ***brag about them***
- reference them randomly
- in fact, make excuses to talk about them
- or see them
- think of them and smile
- love the stupid things they do
- ***value their opinion***
- tease them
- get nervous around them
This is just a bit of stuff I came up with on the fly. Thinking about this stuff, I realize I did tease him. I did get really nervous. I did always want to talk about him, because I was happy in those few weeks we saw each other. But that was before I knew him better. Sometimes it just happens that way—it’s not that they’re a bad person or they deceived you. It’s just not a good fit.
And I think that’s why I’m hurt. Because I miss the intimacy and vulnerability (nothing is so sexy as vulnerability. It’s so wonderful when someone opens themselves up to you). No one’s ever held my hand like it was natural, like they wanted to. No one’s ever kissed me in public before.
I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you, readers. I guess it’s a comfort that there are so few of you out there and I may rant as I please. I’ll leave you with some Jane Austen:
“The last few hours were certainly very painful,” replied Anne: “but when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.” Persuasion
I am unaware of how my life must seem to others. Is it fulfilling, is it youthful, is it prosperous, is it naive, is it desperate? Yes. Probably. But often times I forget to look at other lives. I forget that we are all intricate creatures, that one person prefers blueberry jam, and another prefers blackberry. That’s a weird analogy. I sometimes am baffled by other people. And I become hypocritical. It’s like I think everyone should be made in my image and philosophies.
This past month, Indiana has been a hotbed of controversy. Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act became a law, and people started freaking out about it, left and right. I personally see how much harm it’s done to our reputation, and worry that this will give religious organizations freedom to discriminate. I am an LGBT and reproductive rights advocate–I’m really annoyed by the people that decide they can refuse service because the customer is doing something against the person’s moral code.
This post got me angry:
This is a post from a customer of mine at the coffeehouse on campus. I Facebooked him after cashiering one day and realizing I wanted to have him on that counter right then and there (sorry, Mom). In other words, he is the hottest thing since hot fries and that Nymphomaniac scene where Shia LaBeouf goes down on a chick. Wow. I just watched that scene after typing that and I’m breathless now. Aaaaaannnywaaaaay, the point is that I was lusting after this guy until he wrote this. Then I deleted him.
He came into Starbucks yesterday. My breath caught in my throat and I didn’t know how to act. Should I bring it up? No, that wouldn’t do any good. So I was distant. And he wondered at it, I could tell. Then I thought, “Is this a good enough reason to cut someone out of your life?”
Am I a hypocrite? Am I only accepting of others if they fit my lifestyle, my liberal, feminist, queer-rights lifestyle? Yes, I think so. I don’t think I’m a tolerant person anymore. I think I’ve changed.
Dear readers, I’ve been in a Funk.
Ever since January, actually. Since the beginning of the semester, a cloud has hung over my head. I hate that cloud. Fuck the cloud! If I could, I would rip it from above and stomp on it. It’s hurt my writing, my opportunity for friendships, my health, and my self-esteem. Sometimes I feel like a dried-up piece of fruit. Preferably an apricot or a fig—they’re kind of tasty, don’t you think?
Anyway, here are some signs of The Funk:
Your sleep schedule sucks
Seriously, it is, like, the worst. You go to bed at 4am, but have to go to work at 9am, so you take a nap at 4pm before pilates at 6pm, but then you skip pilates because you’re exhausted. And you wake up at 7pm to do work but can’t fall back asleep, so fuck it—you go to sleep at 8am. And it’s all totally messed up.
This is basically me. When I was in high school, my mother forbid naps. Now that I’m in college, I take naps all the time. And it’s bad!!! Very bad! Some people can do the 20 minute snooze, but not this chick. Nope.
You eat poorly
Food is either a tyrant or a small obligation. You eat a lot because you’re bored/upset, or you don’t eat at all because it doesn’t matter anymore. The responsibilities and the pain is still going to be there. And it’s not just quantity—it’s quality too. Crappy food can give you temporary satisfaction, but your energy level will be nonexistent. Believe me, I know. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a salad.
There’s no motivation—even for things you (used to) love
“Nope. Nope. Nope. Not doing it today.” That’s the only reaction you have to pretty much everything. Even the things you love. Or used to love. Now all you love is food and money and sleep. Maybe alcohol and sex. Mostly food and sleep. And when you try to do the things you’re passionate about, you can’t. You are detached. Sometimes I try to write poetry, and nothing happens. Maybe it’s because poetry is supposed to be organic, but I really believe that I am being drained when I try.
You don’t exercise
Some people are naturally averse to any physical activity whatsoever, but usually when you don’t get any exercise, it is because of The Funk. Sedentary people are always at risk for depression—exercise releases endorphins and those make you happy. There are so many benefits from exercise; it’s important to incorporate just a simple activity such as walking, going up a few flights of stairs, or doing yoga.
I could go on and on about depression and suicidal thoughts and decreased libido, but if you’re old enough to understand all this, you’ve probably heard it all before. I don’t want to sound like a Zoloft commercial. What you need to do is:
- Eat more fruit and veggies. Drink more water. Energy is bae.
- Get on a good sleeping schedule. Try to do something relaxing, like reading or doing a word puzzle.
- Hit that gym (or the sidewalk, if you exercise outside). Even if it’s for a little bit, just being out with other people and nature is super helpful.
- Engage in a little self-love. Better yet, find a partner and get it on 😉 Orgasms=happiness
- Talk to yo’ doctor. They will find the best solution for you.
Be happy, be strong, and try to get out of the funk!
When I got my new phone, I was really excited for many reasons.
- AAANNND TINDER!
I know I shouldn’t have been excited about the last one–I mean, Tinder never works. It’s a hook-up app, and everyone knows it. But I wanted to be in the know. I wanted to have people think I’m sexy and flirt with me. So I downloaded the app.
I was on there all the time. It was weird every time I got matched with someone, and I was so happy every time. 12 matches… 25… 36 matches. Yay 🙂 People like me! I am a Tinder goddess!
But it got old pretty fast.
Between pictures of fish, dead deer, babies (and “this ain’t my baby” captions), dogs, and shirtless pictures, I was getting bored.
I did however get this guy’s number (NOT the guy here). Seems pretty amazing on cover… not sure he has the interest to actually call or meet me in person.
We will see.
I do not know why I wanted to cry. No. that is not true. I wanted to cry because i asked about his life and he gave me truth. and he did not ask much about me, except occasionally. he talked about his culture and lack of religion. we talked of race and religion and spirituality. i felt like i could sit on his lap and dip down to kiss him while holding his face. but then in his eyes i see genuine feeling mixed with a set professionalism. he does not want me as a close friend. he does not want to dig into my soul and sleep in it, like the little prince on the asteroid. and i want to cry because i do, i do want to tread on his soul and know it. i want to know it. i want to know everyone but i am afraid to let them see me. do i lie? do i only want to know men as a prerequisite to intimacy? if i could only see people’s souls from the inside out, hanging by their side like a heart or a fanny pack or a police baton, i would know them. and then i could decide to love them. and i would not feel bad, like that creeping maggot into your stomach into your heart and wrapping around your veins and i do not know.
I have stopped. am better now. its okay.
A Platonic Love
My friend and I were Yin and Yang. Or at least, I thought we were. We would hang out all the time, text or call regularly, and everyone said we were a perfect fit (Chloe+Zoe=Perfect, right?). Unfortunately, our love was not in the stars.
The Signs of Death
I knew we had our differences. I didn’t anticipate them to be such an issue, though. Looking back, we didn’t value the same things or share a similar disposition. I am a very passionate person who puts her family first and admires her elders. She…was not. She’d tell me, “You are too sensitive.” Or she’d say nothing, and act like I had a problem. I’d compliment her constantly. She didn’t even contact me after I had epileptic seizures in August.
The Breaking Point
She insulted my mother. Or at least, my mother felt very insulted, and said she didn’t want to be around her if she didn’t apologize. I talked to her, she got mad, I asked her to apologize, and she said she might. Then I didn’t hear from her again.
Now What the Hell Do I Do?
Nothing. Make new friends. Delete her number, profiles, etc. It’s over. You had some fun, but if she doesn’t want you…why would you want her?
Need some help breaking up with your friend?
Hey, y’all. I wrote this research paper about dating in the 21st century. Here is a (partially) condensed version.
A tension pervades all interactions between the sexes in dating and courtship—the need for emotional intimacy versus the desire for sexual contact. It is not just women who are perplexed by their role in the dating game; in fact their male counterparts arguably have a higher level of confusion because this tension breeds insecurity, a trait not tolerated in their gender binary. David Wyatt Seal and Anke D. Ehrhardt’s “Masculinity and Urban Men: Perceived Scripts for Courtship, Romantic, and Sexual Interactions with Women” touches on this tension, illustrating some of the heterosexual scripts at the cause of some of this inner conflict, and summarizing that changing societal norms have exacerbated this tension.
These gendered scripts can lead to confusion in courtship, sex, and dating, but technological advances offer even more bewilderment. There was a time when people interacted solely face-to-face. Nowadays, that concept is a joke—the “Technological Revolution” makes that very clear. Smartphones have certainly catered to society’s want of instant gratification—no one can argue otherwise. The market thrives on the now in a continuous torrent of social media updates and streaming web feed, which placates consumer and provider. And it would seem to the untrained eye that modern dating has benefited from this technology, what with texting, online dating websites and apps like Tinder that help the socially and romantically challenged. This is an illusion. In fact, modern technology and social media is hindering potential relationships.
Popular sites in the virtual community that is social media all serve the purpose of creating a connection. If the connection a consumer seeks is romantic, all one has to do is follow a potential partner on their social media profile of choice. Though this practice gains insight, it is not helpful in the long run. Every post, comment, ‘like,’ ‘tweet,’ and photo is a reflection of how a person wants to be perceived. But in any relationship, romantic or friendly, one should learn for himself or herself someone’s character away from the screen.
Text messaging is another easy way to communicate quickly with a relative stranger in hopes of developing a relationship. When it was first created, texting was seen as a less intimidating way to ask a female out on a date because it spares embarrassment in case of rejection. If one was accepted, they put away phones and met in person. Due to the development of smartphones, the text has surpassed this innocent custom.
Texting may be easy, but it sure is hard to build intimacy and romance through a device that does not analyze body language, sarcasm, or eye contact. Humans are mammals who crave companionship and proximate interaction, and technology that removes voice and facial features is not beneficial to us as instinctive creatures. Texting allows for deceit, avoidance in the guise of naïveté or accident, inappropriate conduct that is easier to perform, and ultimately confusion over a person’s relational wants and attitudes.
“Tinder,” a smartphone app loosely based on dating, altered the face of college campus flings forever when it debuted in September 2012. Tinder, and its homosexual, sibling app Grinder, follows a “hot-or-not” protocol when it comes to matching users in a specific region. Its online statement is vague, but the message is clear; “fucking and forgetting” has never been easier, especially in today’s hookup culture.
“Hookup culture” could be called a relaxed carnal urbanity that discourages any emotional bonding whatsoever. But for all it entails, this culture cannot be so easily defined. “Hooking up” was not a socially acceptable form of distraction until the late 20th century. One can find the hookup culture almost anywhere in urbanized America, but it dominates the college campus scene.
Fucking and forgetting. Banging and bolt. Screwing around. Getting some strange. The words and phrases associated with this scene are a transaction between emotional bonding and sexual gratification, effectively distancing one from the carnal act. While Freitas disapproves of this philosophy, journalist Hannah Rosin supplies that no-strings-attached sex frees young women to focus on their careers, instead of getting distracted by relationship.
Formerly I briefly highlighted the need for sexual versus emotional intimacy, and the mounting strain between these two needs due to shifting societal standards. A major source of these shifting standards is feminism, exclusively Third-Wave feminism. This wave directly challenges many of perceived heterosexual scripts Seal and Ehrhardt describe in their study of urban men. Feminists continually advocate female initiation as a way to establish equality from the start of the courtship sequence, suggesting, “You call him.”
Feminist theory also takes great offense to patriarchal attitudes of women’s place in society, citing them as hypocritical and oppressive (bell hooks). “Masculinity and Urban Men” exposes a highly hypocritical line of thought when the men condemn a woman for being too easy and not virtuous enough, though they already slept with her. For a movement that stresses equality between sexes, genders, and sexualities, this notion is disheartening.
It is not to say that technology has no benefit in our lives. On the contrary, technology allows us to achieve great things in a tenth of the time. We may speak to our Swedish pen pal half a world away by pressing a few buttons. We may learn quicker to become more successful in a highly competitive job market. We may tell our children we love them when we cannot meet any other way. However, there are significant problems that arise from these technologies, which more often than not alienate us from the outside world and create a false sense of intimacy among strangers and social media.
Just as there are several problems with modern technology, traditional dating and courtship customs reinforce gender roles that both guide and confuse young men and women seeking partnered relationships. Sexual education teaches children and young adults how to have safe sex to combat sexually transmitted diseases; it also discourages romantic relationships, because academic success is more important. These added pressures lead Generation Y to escape through hookup culture, a scene that solidifies the gender roles feminism hopes to partially strip away.
Society is in a continuous war between old and new, tradition and modernism, heteronormativity and feminist/queer theory. The freedom obtained from embracing a liberal view of sex, gender and dating—combined with the knowledge of traditional “courtship rules”—provides a healthier and longer relationship. The only way to win is to compromise, because all perspectives provide cultural benefits that are here to stay.
Generation Y is sick of dating. Here’s why.