Isn’t it Ironic?

Jun 11, 2015 by

          A couple Fridays ago, I visited a friend from Corporate Hell on Earth. As we caught up on the balcony of his new apartment, he told me about a girl he’s interested in but doesn’t want to date.

          “If you like her, why don’t you want to date her?” I asked.

          “Because I’m not looking for a relationship right now, and I don’t think I could date her without it going there,” he said.

          “Hold on,” I grinned. “You don’t want to date this girl because you think she’s relationship material?”

          “Yeah,” he smirked at the obvious irony.

          I laughed in disbelief that I might have been right about my own situation. “You know,” I said with an amused smile, “I thought I was crazy for thinking this, but I used to think that’s why I got rejected. There was this guy, and I used to suspect that he wouldn’t date me exactly because he thought I was worth dating. After hearing you say that, I don’t feel so far off,” I told my friend.

          I had this strange feeling that I was being saved, strung along until he was ready. I felt insane that my head went there. Could I be grasping harder at straws? Whether I was right or wrong, in hearing my friend talk about this girl, my speculation felt rational. So guys’ heads go there too, I thought to myself.

          “I guess it’s that I know I can have her,” my friend said matter-of-factly. His statement wasn’t cocky or smug; it just was.

          “You think she’s interested in you too?”

          “Oh, definitely,” he answered. “We flirt all the time.”

          He explained that because he knows the attraction is mutual, he feels like he has time. That’s not to say that he’s oblivious to the risk that she won’t be there when he’s ready. Before I could even point out the possibility, he asked rhetorically, “But how often do you meet a girl that cool? She’s not going to stay single.”

          “People have expiry dates,” I nodded in agreement while I contemplated the impact of hookup culture on the way people think about dating.

          Our generation is characterized by such fear of commitment that there are actually cases in which people don’t want people because they want them. How did exclusivity become such a scary concept that it’s turned into reason to avoid connection? How did the word dating get phased out in favour of vague terms like hanging out? How did the illusion of having a multitude of options created by social media and dating apps stop people from wanting something real? What I find most interesting is that much of the very generation that prioritizes sex over relationships doesn’t want it that way. We crave genuine connection, despite all fear of it.

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