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..."
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).