Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Jenna: Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands
When I first moved back to the city after college, for MONTHS, I had not been on ONE date. I've always found it difficult meeting guys I want to date for reasons that never seem clear to me. I've been told that I have standards that are too high and little sense of adventure for diving face first into the world of random dating and meeting men at bars. My defense here is that I have very little patience for people I don't like and can't find a good reason to be around. Thus, I don't think it's really worth the free meal if it means I have to spend 3 hours hanging out with someone I can't stand. Even if you get a really good story out of it. Mind you, this may sound extreme, but I like and get along with MOST people so this shouldn't really be that much of an issue. It just seems when romance is concerned things get very complicated, very quickly. I say that a lot don't I?
I'd been seeing this guy since August that was a strictly friends who fool around scenario. Every few weeks I'd develop guilt about this situation, thinking that I should be seeking more from my interactions than a late night movie, a few shots, and strictly physical satisfaction. According to society, I SHOULD expect more from both myself and others. However, this situation was completely workable in terms of my life right at that moment, especially considering the gentleman in question, with whom I have just enough in common to entertain us both during our brief trysts, but very little interest in beyond that. We all know what people say about relationships like this, how one person starts feeling differently and things go wrong, blah blah blah, but this was really not the case here. I wish more guys believed that sometimes, women are REALLY only in it for the sex. Things can't continue on that road forever, unfortunately and eventually two people in that situation tire of one another and decide that it's best to go there separate ways. No harm, no foul, but no fireworks either.
So aside from various welcome casual distractions, I haven't really been in a position to meet/date new guys. My free time is spent doing things of a theatrical nature, so, like in college, my circle of new friends remains limited to a certain "artsy" demographic. The rest of the time I'm generally serving Italian food at a family style restaurant in Park Slope in a remarkably unattractive get up. Not exactly a hot bed for singles.
Whilst lamenting this lack of opportunity to a friend, he brought up how active his dating life had been since he'd moved to New York after going to school in Boston. He'd put up a profile on some sort of internet dating service and has had at least a date or two a week since he's lived here. He seemed shocked to find that I have had the opposite experience, considering I'm a young, able bodied, fun loving, lady in our fair city who isn't all that difficult to look at and even less difficult to hang out with. He suggested I do the same and start experiencing some different people who I could be compatible with...or at least new restaurants in this bustling metropolis. Here's where all of my excuse-making comes in as I claim to lack the patience to deal with the "many duds I will meet before finding a stud" as my coworker, Jana (a success story of Match.com) so cleverly and cheesily puts it. While discussing this with Jana, I came to a stunning realization. As far as dating is concerned, I expect the perfect guy (or perfect enough) to just waltz right through my door without my having to make any kind of effort at all. Essentially, I expect to have a functional relationship and thrilling sex life to be handed to me on a silver platter. When I compare this nonchalant attitude to my commitment and perspective regarding my acting career, I realize what's going on. I work on my acting repertoire and go on auditions ALL THE TIME. I submit headshots and resumes for things that are good or bad, things that might work out, or things I don't have a shot in hell at getting because it's all part of the experience and you never know when something might pay off. I spent months doing a show I didn't like because I needed and valued the experience. And I do all these things, and bust my butt mind you, because I care about finding success in my art. In whatever form it manifests. And I realize now that this is how some people feel about dating. Because it is their top priority and so they work hard in hopes of finding something great because it really matters to them.
So I'm proposing a dating renaissance (for me at least). Perhaps the reason I've been hanging out with so many jerks of late, is because I'm not putting the appropriate effort into seeking someone better. I shall take these lessons that I've learned and create a new set of standards, then look for people that fit these standards. I think the shenanigans I've gotten myself into of late have brought me to this need for something better. At least something that I can honestly say that I enjoy. Plus it's the summer time! In New York City! And there are so many fantastic things to do, it's a great time to start dating on the internet? Right? Right!? If it sucks, you never see this person again, plus you have the option to do some serious weeding out of people you're not into, beforehand. So hopefully from the pool you do you have to choose from, there should be some folks to have some fun with. Plus it's the summer, so nothing really matters anyway.
So who has some good, free suggestions for dating online? What's there to know? Believe me, I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about it once my foray into this adventurous world begins, but any advice would surely be appreciated. My friend Carly mentioned that half of these services you pay for are kind of bullshit because the people you're interested in contacting generally don't pay for the service themselves. Plus, I draw the line at paying to find people I like on the internet. I thought Facebook meant that we no longer have to do such silly things. Even though it's totally creepy when someone you don't know sends you a message on the Facebook. I clearly have a lot to learn. But I'm ready. The sun is out, and this girl is on the market, so watch out New York City. It's about to get serious, for this girl is taking matters into her own (very capable and feminine) hands.
It IS too bad that the whole package, the guy who is fun and mentally stimulating enough to hang out with and also wants to have mind blowing rolls in the hay all the time isn't just waltzing into my little cave apartment on Avenue V anytime soon. I do so love to sit at home and wait for things to happen to me. But I guess you can't have your cake and have sex with it too.