Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Offical Resignation

My head may explode at any minute. And what could make my head explode at any minute? Well... in a word... dating.

Or lack thereof...
As a single (and as many of you singles can attest) we're always being dished out advice for what to do, what not to do, what DEFINITELY not to do, how to do this, when to do that, and warnings about things that lead to certain failure or certain matrimony. Mix in some (heavy) religious emphasis on marriage and family and you've got a rather high-pressured, mind exploding, downright ridiculous situation IMPOSSIBLE to maneuver no matter how skilled you THINK you are. It's a ruddy MIRACLE anyone gets married... or gets asked OUT these days! Forget marriage! When I try and put an image to my dating scenario... I think of me sitting in a little boat, an oar short, trying with all my might to paddle along with everyone else, and only going in a circle, over and over, and over... watching all the other rowers with two seaters going merrily on their way. My mind is in turmoil... spinning and twirling... trying to file this good advice in there and that thought I read in a book somewhere over there and then comparing all these notes to my real life experiences and NOTHING matching up ever... at ALL... AND.....


Oh... oh dear. There it goes. Excuse the mess.

I just. Don't. Get. It. Period. Books, magazines, church-talks, well meaning (but married young so really, stop there... stop now) friends, fellow-singles, daters and non-daters, males and females... it's all a jumbling attempt to put into some sort of perspective that which will not be perspectivized (it's a word now!), that which cannot be quantified or qualified. Something that can't be explained though we spend hours, days, weeks, a lot of money, trying to form the right theory, run the right experiments, and come out with the same cure-all, works everytime, home-run, conclusion. Alas, it just doesn't work that way. It can't work that way... because everything that works one way... doesn't work the other way. There's no right formula (and about a million wrong formulas) and no secret ingredient. It's Just. Plain. Hard. It's. Just. Plain. Luck. It's. Just. Plain. Ridiculous.

Here is a list of dating advice I've received over my many (10 years) of eligible dating status (see: starting 'ideally' when I was 16)... only 3 months of those 10 years ever being within any sort of relationship (hello world! This is me! A little pathetic!) and a lot of 'pseudo-what is this?' relationships (hate, hate, hate). So pay attention... and you'll start to feel that rumbley in your head like I do every weekend of my life, the rumbley of head-explode:

"Now listen... play hard to get. You don't want to make it tooo easy for them"

"Hey... this is what you do. You gotta be more open... more obvious... if they think you'll reject them... they'll never ask you out."

"Look... guys like the chase... let 'em chase..."

"Look, guys are simple. If it's too hard they'll move on to greener pastures."

"Ask a guy out! It's cool! We're not in the dark ages anymore!"

"Don't ask them out if you can help it - if a dude wants to go out with you... he'll ask!"

"Don't come off to eager..."

"Don't be too closed off..."

"Don't divulge everything on the first date... be a little mysterious"

"Just be open and be yourself"

"Just call him..."

"Don't call him... whatever you do..."

"Don't be available the first time he asks - you'll look like a loser"

"Make sure he knows you are available - or he won't ever ask..."

 "Definitely not!"
"Why not?"
I... wha!!!! Um... crap.

You see what I mean here? Does not compute. I've had a series of really really REALLY confusing and poor experiences, none of which I'd chalk up as 'realtionshiply positive' for me. SHORE I learned a lot of other really good stuff, patience, empathy, the value of COMMUNICATION, things of this nature. But as far as finding something meaningful? In fact, to even START something meaningful, I'm just as much at square one now as I was at 16. Strike that... I think I'm more confused now than I EVER was at 16. And that's saying something.

Dating is hard. It's confusing. And usually, it's total crap. And I can't (attempt) to bend my mind around it anymore. Some folks... they just aren't cut out for this stuff (raising my hand emphatically). Not cut out for any of it at all. I'm over the whole thing. Totally... completely... done.

(PS: Now would be the WRONG time to give advice or say something like "Oh deary... it's okay.. it'll happen for you someday..." because I can't promise I won't hunt you down and punch you in the throat. Think if that's a risk you're willing to take... cause so help me I'll do it).


Jessica said...

Andrea- don't worry, you're not an island, I feel every stab of your pain. Honestly, I'm at the point where I don't give a ....blank....if it happens or what happens or whatever. I just want a degree, a job, a house, maybe a dog, and a Marc Jacobs bag. Everything else is superfluous. (if it happens, that's great, if it doesn't, I'm not going to spend my days and nights prostrate in prayer begging for a miracle)

Just a thought... said...

I would have written something ...anything but I can't. My head just exploded after reading that list of "advise". Good grief are they all insane? Back in the day it didn't use to be so hard. Now it just doesn't make sense. I'm so grateful to have been married to my sweetie for 33 years, but I swear if he goes first ...I will never, never, NEVER even contemplate the notion of getting remarried!!! Course I couldn't even if I wanted to due to the exploding head and all! P.S. Please don't hunt me down and punch me in the throat. I'm sure it would aggravate my arthritis and who knows what else!!!

Crazy Walker said...

I love your honesty Andrea, and you speak the truth.

I'm totally not giving advice, just mentioning some interesting things I've been thinking about. For my human development class we were supposed to write a timeline of our lives, including when we die, graduate from college, and other important events (marriage, kids, buying a first house, etc.). The professor asked us how familial & cultural expectations influenced our timeline (both those things that had happened and hadn't happened yet). It was interesting to see how my life followed a certain LDS cultural expectation, and how at the same time it didn't. It's kind of amazing how there's this pressure to do things on this "traditional lds" timeline, when really that rarely happens, but we all feel guilty when not doing it on that "traditional" timeline.

You are awesome, and you always give me something new to think about.

And now, I'm going to walk briskly away, before I get punched in the throat!

Andrea Jolene said...

Jessica - amen. You gotta just plan what you wanna do and if something comes up... then great. If not... who cares? I'm just tired of everyone thinking they know the answer when clearly... there's no real answer!

Just a thought - yes, I believe it was easier back in the day. We've made if far to complicated!

Melisa - You best start runnin!!! Just kidding. ;)

Mike & Emily West said...

I'm telling ya, it's times like these that make for great trips to Scotland...or Tailand...wait, you already got the Tailand thing covered. So, bonny Scotland be callin' your name!

Craig Barlow B. said...

This is a test. I posted a comment, and then it disappeared. If it disappeared forever I'm going to go nuts.

Craig Barlow B. said...

Oh Andrea, I'm so sorry that this made me laugh. You can punch me directly in the throat when I least expect it. Oh boy, that was fun to read.
I have two very polarized dating advisers in my life. Most of my friends on one hand, and my family on the other. Without fail they offer me opposing advice.
For the last 23 and 6 months of my life I've had no dating enthusiasm. In the last 2 months I actually had a good deal of it, but I spent most of it on one person, and now it has waned a bit. Although it hasn't yet reached the lows I experienced for most of my life. Maybe when I get out of school in three weeks and I stop wondering whether or not I'm going to be homeless soon, then the spark will hit me again. I just don't know what to do with myself.

Andrea Jolene said...

Craig - it's funny because it's TRUE! I will hope for your spark to return. We all need a bit of a spark. Maybe that's the answer: Find spark. Immediately countered with "Spark? NO no... the spark is a myth. It takes time" Oy.

Jeanette said...

So... don't think I'm creepy, but I'm Emily West (see above comment :) ) 25 yr. old and single, little sister. I stumbled across your blog from her blog. And this entry?...there are no words. You are now one of my favorite people :)

Andrea Jolene said...

Jeanette - any relative of Ms. West is a relative of mine... or at least I like them automatically. Welcome aboard!! :) Glad you enjoyed (and I know understand) said post. Yep. What a world.

Just ME the MOM said...

Andrea - I look back and don't know how I lived through it all those years ago - and I've said a million times I sure wouldn't want to do it over again.

But with four kids, three of whom are married, somehow they eventually managed to hook up with the right person, and truly it was the right person for them. All those rules and regulations and advice just went out the window and they could just be themselves.

Some of them had to look for quite a while to find that person.

Don't give up! Quit looking - take that pressure off for a while. That's my only advice. (those are kind of oppositional - sorry!)



Andrea Jolene said...

Kristin - good advice :) I think I'll leave the country for a couple weeks. That ought to recharge the old battery!

Nathan Zacharias said...

So I randomly stumbled upon your blog and couldn't help but laugh when I read this post. I think every Mormon that makes it past the age of 21 single feels this way at least once. And those with blogs, blog those feelings (here's my version:

Good luck.

Andrea Jolene said...

Nathan - glad you blog stumble was worthwhile! I will take a look at your version as well.