Let’s talk about short-term/casual dating. What exactly is it? How does it work? Is there a difference between say, dating exclusively and being in a relationship? What level of emotional investment should be placed in it? It inherently contains a lack of commitment, right, so does that mean it’s okay to be sort of ambivalent about it from the start? Is it, objectively, a good idea or a bad idea? Is it anything other than pointless to date someone who you know you don’t want around for very long, who is cute and sweet and fun but not your “type”? [Is cute and sweet and fun and interested in me not enough of a type? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?] Is any
relationship social interaction ever really entirely pointless?
The sitch: So there’s this guy I’ve been talking to. We exchanged a few messages, then numbers, which led to these awesome really long text convos we’ve been having for the past few days. We’ve been talking about doing things like going on actual dates and cooking for each other. He’s decently attractive, taller than me, sweet, cutesy in the way I’m trying to never get caught up in again, into learning even if he didn’t go to a great school, and he is easy to talk to. I enjoy having conversations with him and he makes me smile. Oh, and he is arguably very very interested in me–texts everyday and has expressed his desire to “pursue this further” multiple times.
Doesn’t sound like a bad situation to be in, right? So why am I so hesitant?
When I was telling K about this guy on Monday, I was halfway through my description when he interrupted me and said, “Maya, he is not the one for you.” I gave him this look like, Well duh and said, “Yeah I know, but…”. He thought that was hilarious, that I was fully aware of that fact but still trying to meet this man for a date on Saturday. And ever since then, either inspired by or unsilenced by this exchange with K, a part of me has been wondering what the fuck I’m doing with this. Am I wasting my time? Or am I arguably just having fun?
I wasn’t looking for any kind of “further-going” when I started this. It’s flattering but… how much of this is me liking him and how much is me liking the attention? I am deathly afraid of liking being liked more than liking the person doing the liking. He is not by any standards my “type”, though some
would argue have argued that the standards one must meet to be my type are too elitist-ly high. I feel like it would be really easy to get into a dating–>dating exclusively–>somewhat like a relationship type thing with him…I just don’t actually feel like this is something I necessarily WANT. I don’t necessarily strongly NOT want it either. I’m kind of ambivalent. But this is not the place for ambivalence. (Is there ever a place for ambivalence?) As I know all too well, people’s emotions and interests and affections and desires are NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH. I don’t wanna be triflin’.
I like this. It’s fun. I’m enjoying everything that is happening right here and now. Maybe I should for once in my life make an active attempt to stop worrying so much about silly projections I’m making that may or may not have any relation to my life’s actual events. Maybe I should “go with the flow”. But going with the flow is what recently got me and someone who was once near and dear to my heart into so much trouble. As a result, going with the flow kind of frightens me right now; going with the flow can get people hurt. But only if you go with it past your comfort zone, right? Only if you go with it to places you know you shouldn’t/don’t want to be? So as long as I don’t MIND what’s happening, as long as it’s putting a smile on my face, can I just chug along? What about the fact that he seems to WANT this so much more than I do? Am I being fair?
Maybe in light of recent events or maybe just in light of being who I am, I am not sure that enjoying something is a justifiable justification for doing it. But why not? Why can’t the fact that i think i would enjoy something be reason enough to do it? Girls just wanna have fun. WHAT ARE THESE STUPID MORALS AND WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM?! What separates doing something like this from doing something like my I-suppose-you-must-call-it-a-relationship with J? (A few thoughts: I was using J mostly for physical attention, whereas this guy is entirely emotional crack [for now, at least]; I established an end-date for J before we started, whereas I just have the feeling that this won’t last; this guy is 1000 times closer to my “type”.)
I have an overwhelming desire to want to do things the right way. I don’t believe that all is fair in love and war. I do believe that I could enjoy spending time with this man as much as I enjoy conversing with him, which is a good amount. I do believe in the value of reciprocity and in living my life with integrity, which includes being unselfish in my interpersonal relationships. I don’t believe I’m giving as much as I’m getting right now.
…Then again, we haven’t met. Case in point: when I told F I was thinking about ending things with this guy, he replied that things haven’t even started. So I guess I’ll text him when I get off work. And I guess maybe we’ll have ourselves an actual date at some point. And I guess I can make up my mind then? It can’t be fair to shut the door in his face when he’s only halfway inside, I suppose. I suppose I’ll just have to make it very clear that, as excited as he may be, I’m just seeing what this feels like. I suppose I am learning to take chances.