The dating/couple/partner issue has come up a lot recently. So I thought I would address it here, privately. As fate has it, the I get to squeeze out some time to right this on the night after Valentines day.
Basically, on my trip back to CA I was grilled pretty heavily on the dating issue. Being the social butterfly effect theorist that I am, I was more than willing to listen to every one’s opinions and pipe up when I disagreed. But still, there is a lot of advice out there advocating a lot of approaches many of which seem to counter balance one another. Let’s start with beliefs that are in the consensus.
- I should be dating now: Yes, even I have come around to this point of view. Finally. Seeing where being single gets me, it is time.
- I should expand the set of whom I am interested in: I actually beat most folks to the punch on this one.
- Light dating is part of “the game” before finding a serious partner: Not something I am particularly interested, but I agree it is likely needed.
- There are institutional barriers to dating: The friend group in Austin, the amount I am out of town, how busy I am with school, and the amount my family visits all pose significant difficulties towards meeting new people where I live and getting out (around here) more.
Ok now that we all agree on that we should talk about the things there are a wide range of opinions on. A while back, Julie posted a thing on her LJ that was a list of qualities that she would like to see in her partner. Rather than doing anything like that, or a more advanced version with some sort of point system, I am just going to talk about what people told me.
Definitely the biggest issue of them all is that of my deviance kink. (After some introspection: I am renaming the Short-Hair Fetish to the deviance kink. I was raised in a very “Its Normal To Be Different” way. So Rather than latching onto the normal stuff, I latch onto the different stuff. Short hair on women signifies many possibilites, but all of them imply a level of independence and deviance. And it is totally obvious without even having to talk to the person.) Not that by any means I am attacted to all deviants or all types of deviants or exclusively to deviants. However, there are serious doubts in my mind that I could be happy in a long term relationship with someone who didn’t challenge to social norm.
So this is why, to all those peeps who have told me/thought that I should to give up/expand the short hair fetish, I got so indignant. I took it as asking me to give up this very central aspect of my personality. Which under no circumstances am I willingly renouncing. Because it is convenient, lets take the hair thing again. I am very attracted to some people with long hair, but these gems have something to sweeten the pot. Like LARPing or, being a hot goth or punk or metal chick, or hell, even being Jewish is deviant enough. And I am open to other forms too. In summary, many people think I should drop the 20% of girls and go after the 80% that are more normal and play the numbers a bit better. I disagree.
Additionally, the dating strategy I should employ has had several different recommendations. Shawn suggests bars and clubs and parties. My cousins suggests vigorous online database lurking (though with different methods). Basically everyone agrees that my chances would be better in Southern California though. I really don’t know what strategy I am comfortable with. Bars seem sleazy and online only seems lazy. And the magical third option of doing various activities to get out more and meet people is impacted by time constraints. I will likely have to implore all three.
The acceptable range of personality types people also disagree on. I don’t really know what I want here either. I think I am more interested in someone who is extroverted so that I can be introverted. And someone who is artsy and/or academic, though these are not deal breakers. My personality is so fluid that it is possible that the recommendations that people give me are based on what type they perceive me as. There is absolutely no consensus here. What is really most important to me is that they are attracted to me and my many sides, not a particular projection.
There is more that I could talk about that people disagree on. Should it be requirement for me me to think my partner is hot (and is this a female or male trait) or is that just thinking with my dick because appearances will change over the long haul? Is it important for the partner to get along with my family? Friends? Are some fiends opinions valued more highly than others? Am I attractive enough? What does that even mean? Am I to the people I want to date? Am I confident enough to approach them? Am I deviant enough? What the hell happens when I get out of school? Do leagues (eg ‘outta my league’) even exist? The problem gets insurmountably hard.
Even though a series of light relationships is not what I am looking for, they may answer some of these questions. On some level this is resetting me to square one, which is rather humbling considering all of my past relationships. I thought I was past this stage. I didn’t ask to be sent back here. But there is no point in being bitter at life. A series of light relationships is better than being in no relationship, I just need to find them.