I lost track (a great thing), but eventually I realized that it’s now been over one year and counting since I’ve sent or responded to a message on a dating site. It feels fucking incredible to be disconnected from those dehumanizing, lying cesspools disguised as self actualization. #offthegrid #readarticlesnotbios
My recommended ads involve vibrators, jumpsuits, and Target. It’s like internet algorithms knows me better than I know myself.
Someone recently said to me the world would be better if women were more open about what they want and what they didn’t. The observation certainly calls out a fault with current/evolving gender roles and expectations as well as social norms. Our culture frequently supports donning a positive demeanor and being open to others’ requests at the expense of our own selves, like southern hospitality run amok. To ask for things is greedy. To expect that your standard be met by someone is selfish. I realize that many things in relationships need to be a negotiation, but your basic principles need not be. We shouldn’t surrender our own needs to please others, whether they be family, colleagues, friends, or romantic partners. Sometimes displeasing another can ultimately be a service to you both, forcing the readjustment of expectations. To circle back to the initial comment, people can’t really be happy unless they start feeling more comfortable admitting out loud what they want and what they don’t.
In the spirit of committing to being my truest, happiest self this year I’d like to openly think about and consider these categories.
In Life: WANT
- Travel adventures: From European metropolises with cobblestone and old houses that are too close together, to snowy national parks where I can camp under the pine trees. I want to traverse busy streets and watch the northern lights and lounge on gulf beaches and climb pyramid ruins. If I can’t afford to leave the country this year while I work on my credit debt, I’ll plan circuits for national park tours and lodges.
- Fitness: I want to do more than fall in and out of fads and quick fixes. I want to make my fitness strategies a regular routine. Living alone now, no one can interfere with my progress except myself. There are no more scapegoats.
- Continued financial growth: I don’t want to be rich. I’ve never wanted that. My goals for financial growth are to make enough to be comfortable, do the things I want to do, and never have to stress about funds. The ability to put money away for a rainy day would be great too.
- Cultivate experiences: I want to continue what’s been an amazing decade of cultivating happy, memorable experiences, both on my own and with friends or partners. Experiences and happiness over things, always. Say Yes to indulgence.
- Peace of mind: I need to focus on my own happiness, progress, prosperity, and nature. Never get lost in the petty details, and never give excessively of my time to the nefarious siphons of others. Take care of myself.
Pinterest mosaic of my 2018 aesthetics
In Life: DON’T WANT
- Kids: The stresses of childbirth, care-taking, and family building. At least, not this decade while there’s still so much independent life to live. Maybe later ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- A breached inner sanctum: Poor choices for friends and acquaintances that are toxic, controlling, untrustworthy, or altogether bad influences on my time, priorities, and emotions.
- Uncomfortable workplace environment: It may be easy to win a battle, but it makes the war unbearable. I need to be a team player at all times, avoid shining at the expense of colleagues just to be the one that was “right”, and never try to take someone down. It’s just not worth it and puts my goals in jeopardy.
- Irresponsible habits: As I fight down my debt, I’ve done a great job excising a few old habits that added zero value to my life but monopolized resources. Good riddance, I say, and let’s continue fighting those urges in 2018.
In a Partner: WANT
- Expressive and outgoing: Let’s face it: I’m a lot. I want a partner who can keep up with my energy and spontaneity (dare I say, my capriciousness???)
- Amenable to change: Strong principles are important, and I do value those. But it’s also important not to take your rigid positions to your grave. When new evidence presents itself, one must be willing to adapt one’s perspective to include that evidence and accept a change in perspective.
- Tender: Has feelings and is not afraid to tap into them. This is connected to good listening skills, so I’ll include that here also.
- Responsible: His maturity and independence must reflect his age.
- Live and breathe humor: Life is a comedy; nobody gets out alive. We need to be able to laugh together, always.
- Socially aware and empathetic: His thoughts on immigration should be more educated and critical than a few paltry, black and white talking points that sound like “just come here legally”. He should be thoughtful, empathetic, and open to the concerns of his fellow humans.
- Geeky AF: And, here’s a hill that I’ll die on. At the same time that he’s geeky, he needs to also not be a pretentious gatekeeper about it. How can you love me if you simultaneously question my authenticity; if you think my identity and hobbies are nothing but performance? Let’s share our hobbies and hope we perk the others’ interests in new things! Explore geekdom together! There is room for everyone, and endless new fandoms to discover.
- Lumberjack aesthetic: Not required, but it sure helps.
The future hubs right here. What up, John Cho
In a Partner: DON’T WANT
- Narcissism: Now that I’ve developed a radar for this personality type, at least I can avoid it in the future.
- Emotional problems: I can’t get sucked into any more caretaker roles. My personality demands that I give, and boy… do these people take.
- Indoorsy: My interests lately seem to revolve around nature: national parks, regular parks, beaches, and/or roughing it. He needs to want to live this life with me, not just put up with it. Snow, rain, cloudy, or shine–let’s go out in it!
- Triflin’: At the first sign of a conflict-oriented demeanor, I’m out. My lifestyle goals don’t involve petty quarreling and losing ourselves in the details.
- Endless dietary restrictions (and won’t manage their own diets, if they have an issue): I love to cook. Don’t be a pain in my ass. And if you do have a special restriction, manage it for yourself. I’m not your in-home caretaker.
- Religious and serious about it: Being atheist affects everything that I am–my values, my priorities, the way I process experiences, and the way I plan for the future. My outlook on life just doesn’t jive with those susceptible to faith.
- Gender Fluidity: Unfortunately, I was successfully indoctrinated by societal gender norms. I’ve learned through trial and error that I do, in fact, require a man to have more body hair than myself and to wear less makeup than I do. My own jealous nature requires exclusive rights to the feminine features and accouterments. And, as it turns out, I need a man to be more interested in my ass than his own (mild shock).
- Hobbies that c o n s u m e: Hobbies are great. They accent your life and add to your general happiness. They should not consume you to the extent that you go weeks without speaking to your significant other. They should not become your sole identity trait. They should not drive you to think of your friends and loved ones as mere vehicles for praise of your work. And, most poignantly: I should not have to take on your hobby just to get your attention.
Accepting injections of live diseases from the developing world for science.
Sound self-help words for 2018 from The Magicians:
Be regal, miscreants.
I have no time for a man who still doesn’t know who he is by his late twenties/early thirties. I don’t want to have the same conversations now that people had in high school about finding themselves. The privileges of our advanced, relatively safe society that prioritizes the pursuit of happiness also lead to the prolonged infantilizing of men. I can’t believe how many men my age still have these same youthful questions, like:
- What do I want to do for a career?
- Should I pursue more school?
- What kind of relationship would fulfill me?
- What sort of partner would be compatible with me?
- What traits do I like in a woman?
- What are my own hopes and dreams?
- What are my own interests?
- Do I have ambitions, and what are they?
- How does a crusty dish become uncrusted?
- Who takes care of the home that I co-rent and live in?
- Do I even like women after all?
- Am I even a man?
- Should I date cishet women but also be a secret trans lesbian woman and also be an anal-obsessed camgirl on a fetish site for funsy comments and likes? (This sounds weirdly specific but ok)
The point is, men require the most delicate support and maternal nurturing that seemingly never ends, and it is exasperating.
Yeah no. I’m about to log into all my old dating profiles just so I can delete them.
Another Monday, another exciting evening ahead of me driving for Lyft. Important mysteries with which man hath toiled since the dawn of time await me on my starry night behind the wheel… mysteries like
- Where will I stop to pee?
- Where will I park while I pee?
- How much will my pee break cost me in parking garage fees?
- What must I purchase at said location to earn my right to pee? and
- How much grief and/or sexual harassment will I encounter on my mission to pee?
Aside from the plague of bodily functions, other exciting queries might cross my mind, such as
- Will a passenger be “running really late” yet vexingly not be ready and standing outside when I arrive?
- Will I get to smell the stench of unwashed line cook from a seafood restaurant?
- Will I inadvertently traffic minors across state lines?
- Will the passenger “clue me in” by literally reciting the route that I’m already following via GPS, turn for turn? and
- Will driving, navigating, the District of Columbia, my own job(s), and the very nature of work in general be mansplained to me?
It’s true what I noticed of my mother when I was a child: adults want services for Christmas more than things. Things are transitory… services are indulgences that stick with you emotionally.
I’m not actually intending to do anything for myself for Christmas this year, but as an exercise I was trying to think of anything I might possibly want for Christmas, and the list ended up looking like this:
- professional manicure–pedicure
- interior/exterior car detail
- money to put towards extra loan payments
- money to put towards fancy coffee indulgences
If this isn’t the spitting image of adulthood, I don’t know what is.
Saying the words “it’s my choice” does not make that choice yours, although it does help you cope with it better.
Transitioning from life as a unit to life alone was emotionally trying. I never denied it. But there is so much more to a life apart from someone than just emotions. Even after emotions settle and lives go back to normal, the ghosts of partnered life take many forms: being unable to share the burden of errands, the deafening silence of sleeping alone, the uneven meal preps, the loss of human interaction on weeknights, the discomfort of sharing each other’s friends and not going on the same outtings anymore.
But most aggressive of them all is what I’ve spent a year running from; the reality I ignored for as long as I could until all my debts, habits, and loans came crashing in with thunderous fury.
Living well was just simpler with two incomes.
Dating in your 20s
Men: I don’t want anything serious.
Dating in your 30s
Men: I’m married.
It speaks to my simple and caustic personality that my favorite sage life advice comes from the plucky ladies of pop:
Take a chance, you stupid ho. – Gwen Stefani, What You Waiting For
You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work, bitch. – Brittney, Work Bitch
There’s a glass ceiling to break, uh-huh, there’s money to make. – Lily Allen, Hard Out Here