Monday, May 17, 2010

things I've learned about dating by being single.

It's easy enough to write down some "things I know about dating" if you've spent your entire life in relationships and you are not a social goon. But even us awkward folk glean a thing or two, on occasion. Here are my latest ruminations on the subject.

1. The only reason we find Cinderella's story endearing is because she eventually stopped running away.

2. Often, the people around you will like it when you go on dates even more than you will. To them, a date is to a marriage proposal as a kiss is to your first child: one and the same.

3. They say you shouldn't try your hand at a relationship until you can keep a houseplant alive. I have yet to be successful in the latter, so I am avoiding the former. I may be alone when I'm 80, but hopefully by then I've managed to grow a flower or two.

4. My mom warned me that "boys are only after one thing." So did your mom. So did my Gramma. So did every dating advice column ever written by a woman. Either every single one of us is off the mark, or it's true.

5. Even if you don't want to play, you are in The Game by default. Are you breathing? Then you're playing. You may choose to sit on the sidelines or hide behind the water cooler in the mascot uniform, but you're still expected to know the rules. You are never, ever off the field. Unless you are dead.

6. Men like women who can cook. It would be nice if that statement could be updated for the 21st Century: "Men like women who are so busy they only ever eat fast food to-go meals in their car." Really? I'm all set.

7. If you are single for long enough, even mentioning a guy's name is cause for tabloid photos and unprecedented lines of questioning. Be warned; and maybe keep some things a secret.

8. Knowing who you are when you're by yourself is a good thing. Don't get so far gone into contentment-riddled-solitude, though, that you can't form sentences around cute strangers. Trust me on this one.

9. Chivalry isn't dead, but it is a sleeping beauty. Gents: a bit of valiance, a good amount of persistence, even more perception and a well-timed kiss can go a long way to waking that bad boy up.

10. When I was 9, I thought 17 was a good age to get married. When I was 17, I decided it would be better to wait until I was at least 21. When I turned 21, I realized that waiting around for anything that far out of my control was just plain stupid. Now that I'm 26, and all the coolest singles I know are at least 2 years my senior, nothing has changed: putting your life on hold until you find someone to live your life with is still just as stupid as it was 5 years ago. Go have fun. Take a trip. Kiss someone you'll never see again, just to say that you did it. Redefine luxury, status, and status quo. Start a rumor about yourself just to see how long it takes to get back to you. Go for a run. Learn French. Write a book. Become an HTML expert or pick up a totally useless but visually appealing hobby.  Speed date, cliff dive, or learn to knit. Take up archery. Learn a trade. Whatever it is, do something. You're at your most alive when you are living, not when you are hitched.


Sharelle said...

this is probably my favourite post you have ever written.

it's quotable my friend, and wise.

one thing i can promise you - you will never, ever catch me saying the phrase "we should find ashley a boyfriend". even if you want one. ha.

thanks for being one of the coolest single people i know.

Lindsey said...

Very quotable! You are indeed one of the coolest single people I know.
I have two single (Christ-lovin') brother-in-laws... ;)

Colleen Taylor said...

Don't wait for the houseplant thing.

When I was about 14 I vowed not to marry until I was 26 ... and have long surpassed that goal.

It can be a lot of fun kissing someone you'll never see again--except when you do see him again several years later and he's the owner of a funky used book shop in Winnipeg and he's married and you vaguely recognize each other and then you start talking and figure out your mutual connections (Oh yeah, we were at his and her wedding) and then there's awkward silence but you don't fill it with the REAL reason why you recognize each other. You buy a couple of books you've been looking for forever and some that hadn't occured to you until you saw them, then you leave the store feeling strangely smug and surreal for that tidbit of history and serendipity.

A good man is hard to find, but they're out there, and you might even find yourself choosing one in particular. But beware defensiveness, self-protectiveness. Even the good ones are sinners in process and I am learning to relax and enjoy instead of being all intense and scrutinizing.

afterthoughtcomposer said...

Colleen Taylor, I love you. By the end of this, I had little whimsical tears welling up in my eyes (ssh, don't tell). So much wit & wisdom in only 2 do you do it!?

LOVED the story about that guy, laughing out loud at my desk...hahaha...seriously, awesome. Good times. I feel the need to kiss a stranger, just so this might happen to me one day.


Mama said...

This is great, haha. But I often have issues with house plants. I had great plants at our first house, not so much in this one. I don't get it.

I love Colleen's story and especially the second paragraph. Reread it and memorize it, it's great advice for all of us in all kinds of situations.