I remember what it was like after my divorces. Getting back out into the dating scene was daunting and in some instances, downright weird. The dating-scape and rules of engagement of the past have changed DRASTICALLY. Here’s a list of comments and questions that I have encountered on my dating quest. Some are funny and others are just downright bizarre.
Before I start, here’s my disclaimer for would be trolls that feel the need to comment on what could be considered as generalized statements. My frame of reference is that of a heterosexual woman in my late 30's, living in the south. I am also a proud feminist and with that is my desire to practice equality. Anything that you read could easily apply to another gender. Humans are humans, and that means that regardless of how one identifies, we all have common traits and the ability to take similar actions while dating.
Just like age; gender, locale, socioeconomic standing, education, etc., most definitely have an impact on how people interact with one another.
Now that I’ve made that public service announcement, shall I begin?
I don't have children or pets. I have two plants and a bit of a green thumb. (Just for the record-I mentioned the plants because I DO know how to take care of living things other than myself.)
I’m in this weird place when it comes to dating for multiple reasons. First, my hair is about 50% gray. (“Silver Foxx” –get it!) What would have made me look older a few years ago, makes me look like a “hipster” now. (So I've been told.) Since dying hair gray is a current trend, I am often asked if my gray is real. I used to spend money coloring my hair; now I get questions about how to contact my hair stylist. (I don't have a stylist, by the way.) People stare at my gray hair like a man would stare at a busty woman. I get confused looks then a statement like “You don’t look old enough for that much gray hair." With that, the idea of looking older because of gray hair is now a thing of that past. That leads me to the next reason.
Younger men are attracted to me and have no qualms with making their intentions know. I have been told that I don't look or "act my age", so most of the men that approach me are younger, and in some instances, considerably so. Never a woman to be ungrateful for compliments, or signs of interest from potential suitors; I don’t question a younger man’s taste in women. (Why would I when I know that I am one heck of a catch!). One of my most rewarding relationships was with a man 7 years my junior. However, topics like kids, marriage, travel, music, etc., tend to look very different at 27 than they do at 37. The age difference isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it is something that should be considered strongly.
Here’s a list of some questions and comments that I have encountered that will give you an idea of why I say that dating sucks. These aren’t made up. Everything that you will read is from actual conversation and interactions that I have had while attempting to date.
What “he” says: Why is a woman like you not married or in a relationship?
What I’m thinking: A woman like me? What is that supposed to mean, exactly?
What “he” says: Why did you get divorced? (Check out the variety of questions that follows.) What’s wrong with you? What was wrong with him? Whose fault was? Did he cheat or did you? Are you crazy like Halle Berry? (Yes, this is a concern for some guys.) Do you like women now? Was his sex bad? Was your sex bad? Did he not know how to please you? Did you not know how to please him?
What I’m thinking: Wait? Am I supposed to be flattered or offended by this line of questioning? You threw Halle in there, but not really in a good way. I can’t take the mention of her as a compliment, especially with the word "crazy" in the same sentence. Plus, it appears you are questioning my ability to practice fidelity and good judgment. Nice.
What “he” says: Wait, you don’t have any kids? Didn’t want any? Do you not like kids? Is something wrong?"
What I’m thinking: Is something wrong? Presumably, you’re referring to my possible inability to bear children or that I am incapable of family planning on my terms? Better question: After this line of questioning, do I like you?
What “he” says: I’ve got kids. Is that going to be a problem?
What I’m thinking: Now, that is a loaded question. Think about my possible perspective: Are your children or your children’s mother a problem? That's a better question. I don’t know too many women that are jumping at the prospect of dealing with some Bebe’s kids and a crazy ex. Drama need not apply.
What “he” says: What type of sports do you like?
What I’m thinking: Ah, assumptions. This question is also a passive/aggressive attempt at putting me on notice. Thanks for warning me that football or basketball season will be like a house guest for 6-8 months out of the year. Sports are a big deal for you and if it’s not for me, things might not work? I have a question; What type of yoga do you like? What's your favorite Pilates movement? More than likely, that is what I'll be doing while you watch games. Look at it like this; My I'll be toned and fit season coincides with you sports season of choice.
What “he” says: How’s your relationship with your father?
What I’m thinking: Thanks for assuming I have daddy issues off the cuff. Is this the moment when I should expect you to pull out a card of a therapist, or for you to plug directions into my GPS to a place of worship for prayer; you know since I need some help…with my daddy issues?
What "he"says: Can you cook? Are you a good cook? What kind of food do you cook?
What I’m thinking: Why yes, I do cook! I cook food because eating is essential to life. Why does that matter? My ability to cook has nothing to do with the food I cook. But it does mean that I’m capable of cooking. What’s your cooking game look like?
What “he” says: Do you smoke (weed)? Do you drink? Prefer light or dark liquor? (In some instances, the guy will start to rattle off his favorite spirits, wine, beer or even show pictures of themselves with a bottle in one hand and a blunt in the other.) What I’m thinking: I really should be thanking you for this line of questioning. Everybody likes to have a little fun; maybe even toss in a little alcohol or recreational substances to boost their party game. To each their own. There is, however, a thin line between a party boost and substance abuse. I may have just dodged the drunken arguments at 4 am, regular visits to a bail/bond spot, and AL-ANON meetings bullet. Good looking out!
Last, but certainly not least
What “he” says: Where are you from? Are you not from here? You can’t be from the south.
What I’m thinking: Ok, I’ve been told that I don’t have a “southern mentality” Apparently, my appearance and personality leaves an impression of me as "fast-paced, progressive and trendy". The strong-willed, independent woman that I am could take this as a compliment or as an insult. I was raised in the south, so am I to assume that southern women are unable to have these attributes?
Ultimately, all of these scenarios don't define my outlook on what a healthy and happy relationship looks like for me. Going through them hasn't left me jaded or hopeless about finding my Mr. Right. On the contrary; I look as these interactions as hedges of the labyrinth that makes up the quest to find my mate. The destinations is just as important as the journey.
Maybe you’ve experienced some of the same things that I have while dating. Leave a comment in the comment section if you have a "Dating Sucks "experience you’d like to share.
Also, stay tuned for “Dating Sucks: Pt. 2- The Risqué list.