Modern Day Dating: Is Monogamy Dead?

I thought maybe after college dating actually happens and my new guy had given me hope that it in fact does exist. We did things together, planned to do things together and followed through with those plans. Our seeing one another consisted of more than a “maybe I’ll see you at bars” or “you out?” at two in the morning. It wasn’t just going to his place to hang out for a drink and some sex. I thought maybe there may be hope in the dating world for us folks who aren’t A. insanely religious or B. military chasers. But, one conversation with my new guy and these hopes were shattered. I realized that, in an environment where hookup culture and binge drinking are not only accepted but celebrated, boyfriends do not exist for the majority of us. 

As I drove in my car and fought tears, I felt a little hopeless. I watched my silent phone for a sign that he cared and received none. He had been an utter asshole to me. Sure, I acted immaturely, but that doesn’t warrant that level of douchebaggery. 

Was I really so desperate that I would wait around for a guy who said so flippantly hours earlier that he “couldn’t promise me he’d want to date me?” 

Was I really so lonely that I’d rather be a warm body in a bed of someone who didn’t seem to be fully replicating my sentiments? 

Had I sunk to that level? 

I have sunk to that level before, but I thought that I had put those days long behind me. Or at least I’m trying to. 

I continued to drive and try to tune out the callous conversation that was playing on repeat in my head. Then, I felt the switch flip. That morning, my perception of him changed. My feelings, too, began to shift and change. When he spoke to me about how he didn’t know if he wanted me to be his girlfriend. I felt betrayed. I felt tricked. I felt like, yet again, I’d been lured into bed with a guy who promised me follow through and then ran at the slightest sight of commitment. I had wanted to cry and beg him to change his mind. But, that’s where the problem started. I actually thought I could change his mind. What he didn’t realize was that he had changed mine. 

A couple weeks before that I had felt guilty for sort of sleeping with my ex boyfriend. My ex boyfriend with a beautiful accent and a penis which didn’t even have to try to rival my new beau. Because I thought, well ya know, since we were going on real dates and kept doing that for a month it kinda meant something. Little did I know he would freak out when I mentioned the dreaded “monogamy.” 

It’s funny, because, at least if he was honest with me which I believe he was, he actually has been monogamous with me and I haven’t. He doesn’t want to declare monogamy, but he isn’t pursuing other people. Meanwhile, if I don’t have declared monogamy, my insecurities make me want to go out and find two other guys to string along as security. So, he’s officially given me license to do whateverthefuck I want. Even though I’m positive that if he knew I was sleeping with other people he would be upset and possibly not want to see me anymore. 

What is it with guys these days? Is dating dead? Is monogamy a dream? We millennials are surrounded by guys who refuse to commit because they have a world of possibility at the click of their fingertips. Why go on dates when you can sit in your sweats on Tinder and find a girl who will come over and bang you in exchange for a glass of wine?

I thought when my “not my boyfriend” got back in a couple weeks we would have an epic reunion, but that conversation changed my mind. I thought that I would miss him, but I know now that I don’t and even honestly think I can’t. With his cool words he cascaded slowly into the reject pile where I cast all of my not quite ex-boyfriends. Scattered on the floor with all the others, where dating goes to die. 

The Grey Area Between Hooking Up and Dating

In the land of post-grad life I’ve been attempting to build my focus and procure something I haven’t had in awhile- a healthy monogamous relationship. In college there’s hooking up and on the rarest of occasions there’s dating. Usually “dating” is reserved for religious people and the rare “nice girl” so, it’s really just a  land of limbo and games. I thought that the real world would be different. But, it seems that limbo wears a new name now: “the grey area.” Or at least that’s what I found out this morning as I choked back tears, apathy, feelings and attempted not to vomit while I had the most hungover non-DTR-DTR of my life. 

So you go on real dates a couple times a week where he pays for everything? 

Now you’re getting to know each other and you keep wanting to see him and he keeps asking you out, score! Three dates is the formula for wifed up bliss in SATC, right? You can smell a relationship on the horizon, but don’t get ahead of yourself now, you’re still just getting to know one another. 

So you didn’t sleep together for a solid couple weeks of real, legitimate seemingly adult dates and you talked about it beforehand? 

Because you’re used to shitty college guys who use you for sex, so you wait. Then, he makes you feel comfortable and is willing to wait to have sex. Then, you tell him that you’re over hookup culture and shitty guys and ask for reassurance and he gives you that and more. 

So he says he didn’t want the first time he had sex with you to be drunkenly? 

Wow, in the land of college that sure as hell would be more than a compliment. Guess he likes you and actually wants sex with you to, like, mean something? Is this what the real world feels like?

So he invited only you and his best friend out to celebrate his birthday? 

Wow, we haven’t even had sex yet and he’s clearly trying. He likes you enough he wants to see you on his day of birth, but don’t read into it. He probably just wants birthday sex. But, alas on your period, so looks like a birthday blow-job. His dick has neither length nor girth so it’ll be a piece of cake (wish it were actually a piece of cake and not a penis, sigh). 

So he texts you at the end of the day to let you know he indeed has not forgotten your existence? 

Well, there’s some consistency here. He maintains interest and keeps touching base when you aren’t seeing one another. It seems like he’s trying to get to know you better. Good sign, right? 

So you’ve been seeing one another for over a month? 

Made it over the first hump! Over a month and he’s still taking you on dates. Still making effort. Maybe this could lead to a relationship.

If any of these sound even remotely familiar then you know they’re the building blocks to monogamy. Dating, seeing one another regularly, communication, consistency, effort, affection. But, if it looks like a relationship, feels like a relationship, smells like a relationship and tastes like a relationship, is it a relationship if you don’t say “We are boyfriend and girlfriend, let’s be monogamous?” 

If you learn anything from reading my blog, know that monogamy DOES NOT EXIST unless you both state out loud and agree that it exists. Know that no guy, no matter what the signs are, is definitely your boyfriend and even if the signs point to the fact that he basically is your boyfriend GOD FORBID you bring up that cold, cruel word “monogamy” because it will make him squirm. 

That’s what I learned, yet again, this morning. As I was told, there’s a “grey area” that exists between hooking up and “dating” in the real world. Well, no fucking shit. I know relationships don’t happen overnight. I know it’s never a guarantee that going on dates will lead to a relationship. In the “real world” things are different than in college, but to me it sounds like just giving a new name to the same story.

Let’s just play it by ear, let’s see where it goes, I’m not sure if I want a girlfriend right now, I can’t guarantee you that that’s where this will lead. They’re all empty, meaningless string alongs. Followed by a cold goodbye, a peck on the lips, the slamming of a car door. Tears threaten yesterdays mascara and your roommates ask if you need a hug and you don’t even know what you need because you didn’t get broken up with, but you also received no resolution. So, you float on into limbo land, unsure of what to do and feeling just as empty as you did when you were deeply assimilated into hookup culture. Alone, but not alone. Dating, but not in a relationship. Having sex monogamously, but not officially stating that you are monogamous. Same old bullshit, but now it’s called the “grey area.” Whoever said dating in the real world was easier never tried dating a grad student. 

 

College Dating: The Game of Who Could Care Less

I’ve graduated college, but since I’m still in my college town it seems my dating life hasn’t quite graduated with me. After spending the beginning half of my summer banging long-haired stoner dudes on Tinder, it seemed everything was taking a turn. Then, I met a nice guy at bars, we kept going on successful dates and he even made a concerted effort to wait to have sex with me until, get this, we actually knew one another. I felt like I finally was moving on from the slutventures of my college youth into the world of real life dating. But, the guy I’m seeing, while he is older and seems mature, may not be on the same dating page as me. Sure, he’s in grad school, but I think he may still be in the college state of mind. As a friend recently said, in college dating is like playing a game of who can care less and it seems once again I’ve been dealt those cards. 

I could tell the moment I saw him at the bar that something was off. He seemed surprised, yet slightly happy to see me. He hadn’t texted me back about whether he was out or what his plans were so I went on with my night not expecting to see him. In fact, I had decided I hoped against it. I had the lingering remnants of a UTI and all my wine induced haze yearned for was pizza. But, there he was, so it seemed my fate were not to make sweet love to a cheesy slice. He had friends there and a lot going on and for some reason drunk me took offense to it.

I thought, given that he hadn’t texted me back, maybe he didn’t really care to see me. I felt sort of silly and weird and wanted to act like I didn’t care that he was there. As I tried to play it cool, I saw him talking to another girl. Okay, fine, talk to girls. Hell, I live in a house of predominately males and was at the bar with only guys, so talk away. But, I felt in my gut that something about this interaction was different. Maybe I was overreacting. Maybe I was misunderstanding. Maybe the Chardonnay was making me a crazy, jealous bitch. 

I woke up the next day still drunk and only vaguely remembered a moment of drunken, crying babbling weakness between he and I. I couldn’t remember what I had cried about or how much I had said. But, I knew it wasn’t good. Shit, that’s not playing it cool, I thought. I sent him an apology for what I could only assume had been drunk me creating boohoo white girl problems and waited anxiously for his response. I thought I had probably ruined our relationship by being so college, so ridiculous. Then, as his response that I had nothing to be sorry for binged into my inbox, it all came washing back. The girl, the flirting, the things he said about it all on our walk home. As these memories flooded back, I felt immediately stupid for apologizing and even more stupid for crying. In the game of who could care less, I definitely wasn’t coming out on top. 

Is he over her? Did he really flirt with another girl right in front of me? Did I really apologize to him for crying over it? Did he really not apologize to me for it? These were all questions I asked myself as I trudged to a morning work-shift much earlier than what I could handle. 

I don’t know what their status is or whether I misunderstood things. Our conversation on the walk home has all become a blur. I don’t know if we’re together monogamously or if, depending on what the nature of his relationship with this girl is at the moment, I even want to be. 

In college, it was all about acting nonchalant. Lines like “do you maybe want to hang out at some point sometime?” or “you’re pretty cool, I guess” or “I hope I run into you at bars” replace people being up front about their feelings. But, is that even dating anymore? 

I haven’t talked to him about what happened, and I’m not sure how that conversation will go, but I am sure of one thing. I am done with playing the game of who could care less. I am done with acting coy and carefree. I am done with guys who would rather get hammered and flirt with the endless possibilities at bars rather than just be content with me. I hope that my new guy is done with the college dating game, too, but if not it’s on to the next one. 

A Space to Share your Casual Sex Stories Anonymously

I’ve been a bit MIA recently do forgive me readers! I’m currently couch surfing and life is really up in the air so I haven’t had much time to post. I’ll be sure to let you all in on how things are going with my new guy though! Yep, two weeks later and it’s still going…strong I guess? 

But, first I wanted to share a link to something I stumbled on through HuffPost today. I don’t have time to comment too much but I feel like all of you all will appreciate reading about it. Had any of you heard of the Casual Sex Project? Thoughts? Do you think hookup culture is destroying our ability to actually date? Do you think hookup culture can be positive for women? 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/the-casual-sex-project_n_5380023.html

http://thecasualsexproject.com/

I think what the woman behind The Casual Sex Project is doing is amazing! Having casual sex should, if it is happy, consensual and satisfying be something people, especially women, should not have to feel shameful about. These stories should be able to celebrated and also heard so that others can understand the realities of hookup culture beyond just mere heresay. 

I’m Broken, But I Don’t Need a Repairman

I’m broken, but I don’t need a repairman. I don’t need a guy who thinks he can fix me. I’ve been trying to fix me for years now to no avail. Guys who think they can fix me are too aggressive or worse too passive. They think I will change because they need me to change. They’re afraid of my flaws. So, they try to erase them like I currently am erasing the scuffs from my walls with magic eraser so I can get back my security deposit. But, there’s no magic formula to cure layers and layers of heartbreak scar tissue. What I really need isn’t a fixit guy, but a guy who will stay with me even though I am broken.

I need a guy who will bring up the hard conversations. I want him to say things outright. I am insecure about a lot of relationship stuff most people take for granted. Like “are we monogamous, exclusive, are you my boyfriend?” I know after three serious dates in the real world that almost becomes assumed. But, in the pervasive hookup culture at my university I’ve been lost in a sea of guys with bad intentions. So, now, I don’t know if “relationships” last more than a month. I don’t know if there’s not that title “boyfriend” stamped on a guys forehead if he will just pull a fade out of my life like half of the guys on my sex list.

I need a guy who will look me in the face and say “I can see that you’re broken, and I know it hurts and you’re scared. I’m sorry those people broke you and I know I can’t change how it’s changed you, but I’m not like those people and I know that your baggage and insecurities just scare most people away but I’m not going anywhere.”

My newest guy seems promising, but he’s so mature, so grounded that I wonder if he can handle my baggage. Will he try to fix me? Will he run away? Or will he stay and tell that it will all be alright? Will he see through all the scar tissue and times I get cold or defensive to the heart underneath?

When I went to his place after three weeks of successful, real dates this past weekend, we finally had to deal with the subject I’d been dreading- sex. I’ve had a terrible year of sex. I had a guy date me for a month to use me for sex. I had a guy be so against using condoms I almost felt like I had to go on the pill. I had a guy who couldn’t last more than a minute. So, sex is a subject that scares me. Even though, with him, it shouldn’t. On all of our dates we actually had to talk, actually had to get to know one another. And I could tell he was really trying to because he wanted to. I can honestly say I’ve never dated a guy who was more straightforward and honest in what he wants. But, after fooling around for about an hour in his bed, I could tell he was frustrated and so he asked me about that dreaded three letter word.

Surprisingly it was actually a mostly productive conversation. He wanted to know if I just wasn’t comfortable with him yet, because that’s what he’d been trying to do. He said that’s why he set the dates up the way he did, so we could actually get to know one another. He said he’d been avoiding me on the weekends because he’s often drinking with friends and doesn’t want the first time we have sex to be drunken. I can’t remember a time when I’ve heard anything remotely similar to that from any guy in college- ever. In that moment, I realized how serious of a guy he was. I realized that maybe, in time, I can let my guard down with him. Move over all you BobTheBuilder guys out there, it seems I have a serious contender in the works.

 

Settling: Why It Really Means Enabling

Settling. Girls say it as often as “I lit-rally can’t even” and #flashbackfriday these days. You hear it in sentences like “I feel like I’m settling,” or “I’m settling for him, but I’m okay with that.” But, recently a reader commented on my post asking what it really means. I think the meaning on the surface is obvious because we all hear it all the time. It means lowering your standards, expectations or desires for a person. It means choosing to be with a person who isn’t what you really want, because it’s better than being alone. It means overlooking those standards because you like a lot about that person. It means thinking maybe they will change, maybe you will change or maybe the things you do like will override the things that make you feel like, deep down, you’re settling. But, when I read that comment I started thinking about what deeper implications settling may have and realize it goes much further than what’s on the surface definition. 

At the root of settling is another word: enabling. Enabling? How is settling the same as enabling? There are likely a multitude of ways, but I’ve narrowed it down to what I think are two of the most negative effects of settling. In settling, you enable the other person to be with someone who doesn’t fit. You keep them from finding someone who would work better for them. You are enabling them, effectively, to settle and maybe they don’t even realize it. 

But worse, you are enabling yourself to be static. You don’t push yourself to grow, change and find someone who fits. You don’t get to be in a relationship which challenges you in a good way. Settling means your okay with being a person who settles. You’re okay sacrificing what you truly want just for the sake of being with someone. Just because they’re nice “sometimes” or you think maybe they will change. You are enabling yourself to be the kind of person who won’t go out into the uncertainty and fight for what you really desire because it’s easier. 

Desensitizing Condoms: Do They Help Him Rise to the Occasion?

Condoms can be a really tricky subject to master with your partner. I’ve encountered guys who “can’t feel” anything with a condom and so they went limp when I put one on them. I’ve had a guy say he had never used condoms before (RED FLAG ALERT). I’ve had a condom slip off and get stuck inside my vagina during sex (fun times lemme tell ya). I’ve even had an ex boyfriend demand to have the box of condoms he bought to keep at my place because he didn’t want me to use them to have sex with anyone else. But, when I went to buy a box of desensitizing condoms, I found myself oddly more nervous than I ever had before. I stood in the aisle and felt sort of ashamed for my partners deficit. Worse yet I wondered if people thought I just wasn’t satisfied with sex that lasted a normal length either way I went for it.

what-are-condoms

Condoms can look pretty silly, right? The Performax condoms do not come in fancy colors they look more like the below pic

31JMsCnr9hL

Nothing on the packaging will even suggest to your partner what’s inside. They are so stealthy!

I held onto the condoms for a solid week before I got the guts to use them. I wasn’t sure if it would help or hurt to have a conversation about them. I wasn’t sure how to whip one out at his place instead of whatever kind he had in his underwear drawer. So, I waited and lost out on sexual pleasure and every-time we had sex I just hoped it would somehow magically be better. I thought that with time it just had to be different. But, with no change in sight I became frustrated.

I went out on a date last week after turning down hanging out with StonerBoy. I felt genuinely bad for going on the date, but I had affirmed it a week in advance and was curious about the second date with this new guy. As much as I like StonerBoy for reasons I’ll never be able to explain, I knew that I deserved a chance at something normal, something simple and easy. But afterwards fueled by the drinks from my date and a prior non-committal promise of maybe seeing him later I texted StonerBoy to come over. He came quickly, which should have been sign of the events to come.

In a final act of desperation I whipped out the “Prolonged Pleasure” Durex and crossed my fingers. I wasn’t sure if he would go limp, if he wouldn’t feel anything or if worse yet nothing would change. For 16.99 a pack I shouldn’t have expected Viagra level magic, but I was hoping to at least get a chance to orgasm. I’d read reviews, I’d procured the goods and decided to just go for it. I was shocked at the results.

We lie in bed breathily grasping one another until I reached for the little container I hide condoms in on my bedside table. I unwrapped it and felt to make sure I wasn’t about to put it on and partially numb my vagina. Then, I went for it. I was excited as he pushed inside of me to finally get the chance to feel him. To finally get the chance to have him thrust inside of me for more than five seconds.

It came as a surprise to me, naturally, that he came just as quickly. I had hoped for thirty minutes, an hour, hell even ten minutes, but as he muttered “I’m about to come” I felt the same frustration, resentment and let down ripple through my body. I wanted to yell at him and tell him “did you really just come in a minute with a fucking desensitizing condom on??!” But, instead I lie there in bed pouting as he went to the bathroom to disrobe his member. I no longer felt bad about going on my date as I came to the realization that he will never, in any facet, truly satisfy me.

That morning as he walked out my door, I kissed him goodbye for good this time. I’ve spent too much of my summer feeling guilty for wanting to see other people. I’ve spent too much of my summer hoping that things would change. I considered keeping him around in case this current guy doesn’t work out, but I realized there’s no point. Not only do we not have good conversation, but we can’t even have good sex. I don’t know if it would have been different if I had told him, maybe it would have given him a confidence boost, but I’m over giving him chances. I’m on to greener pastures and new penises now.

 

P.s. Sorry about the delay in telling you all about this- I’ve been sans computer for over a week now. I got a fair amount of messages asking how it went and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone not only for your curiosity, but also for your support and advice in not only this but all of my ridiculous love life endeavors.

xx,

Heartbreaker

Is it time to lock it down?

It’s that time of the summer where I am overwhelmed not only by the increasing heat of the weather, but also the increasing influx of males into my life. I’m still seeing StonerBoy and despite my roommate’s assertion that he is not at all right for me, I have a real soft spot for him. He’s kind and thoughtful and when he holds me at night I can’t help but break out in a smile. So, if I like him, why haven’t I locked it down yet? Is it still fair of me to see other people?

I do like him, but at the end of the day he hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend. I want to be. Deep down, though many people don’t seem to understand it, he makes me happy. He may be a little simple at times, but he’s not an idiot. He may be a little ambition-less, but then again so am I right now. When I hug him, for the first time in a long time I want to hold someone as tight as possible. But, for some reason I can’t bring myself to ask him or tell him that we are or should be monogamous.

I think if he brought it up, I would say yes, but until he does for some reason, despite truly liking him, I can’t help but be distracted by the world of possibility that is popping up around me. CasualSexBoy of days past has started trying to get me to hook up with him again. The other StonerBoy recently booty called me, although I didn’t end up doing it. But, the sex with StonerBoy isn’t satisfying me at all, so I can’t help but find the offers enticing.

In addition to the recent influx of sexual propositions from hookups of yesteryear, I also got asked on a legitimate date. This guy is super cute and seems pretty witty. It’s something to get excited about and honestly I am a little excited. But, I can’t help but feel like I should feel guilty.

Last night, I finally talked to StonerBoy about our sex problems and I do feel some resolution, but only time will tell whether it will actually improve.

So this is where I am. Going on a date with a cool guy. Seeing StonerBoy but still entertaining the idea of banging other people. Overwhelmed and perhaps even lightly paralyzed by indecision of what and who to do.

I just got back from my date and I’ll admit to all of you here that I didn’t feel guilty in the slightest. He was a great conversationalist, attractive and seems more like a real person than StonerBoy could ever dream of being. I’ll tell you more about the first date and all the jitters later.

So, am I settling by still seeing StonerBoy? Would locking down with him hold me back? I guess I’ll have to wait and see how the next date with this other guy goes, first. Here’s to another summer of boy juggling.

What is the relationship between love and desire?

Take a listen to this TED Talk- she hits on a lot of points I write about and it will really make you think about the complicated relationship between love and desire- two entities which contradict one another in their conflicting needs for novelty and comfort.

“We think love comes with selflessness, and in fact desire comes with a certain amount of selfishness in the best sense of the word…the ability to stay connected to oneself in the presence of another. This need to reconcile these two sets of needs- we are born with that. Our need for connection, our need for separateness. Our need for security and adventure. Our need for togetherness and autonomy”