(Originally written for my Rhetoric 440 Class)
I’m not what you would call an expert on dating. I’m more of an expert on sh*t talking about someone who, unbeknown to me, is standing right behind me or at finding the Jimmy Johns closest to my current location.
I mean, I’ve spent my fair share of time at bars and being sexually harassed by men both half – and double — my age …but the actual boyfriend-girlfriend “should we change our Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’ ” thing? Never.
Don’t get me wrong. I do have some expertise in the dating arena. It’s called “how not do it”. If you’re not like me and the 17% of other college senior girls who have never, ever been in a relationship, here are my tried-and-true tips for keeping boys at bay:
- Frequently use words such as “feminism”, “tampons”, and “I love you” around potential suitors. It’ll terrify them.
- While you’re walking home from the bars at 3 in the morning, drunkenly rant about how you’re being sexualized by every Tom, Dick, and Harry you saw that night. Never mind that you were wearing this 100% polyester piece of fabric you thought was a dress but later realized was a shirt that shows off your sweater puppies! (But hey…it made you feel h-o-t!)
- Hit puberty early and reach 5’11” early in 9th grade, all while sporting braces.
- Have this completely unintentional “resting bitch” face that says “I’ll kick your puppy if you talk to me.”
- Acquire the habit of stealing Reese’s Puffs from college house parties you go to…uninvited
These tips are all I’ve ever needed to keep me wallowing in single-girl despair. They’ve only failed me twice: on my one and only actual date, in which I forgot my wallet (sorry, Jesse); and the time I was told I’m “the one” by this kid on Twitter who saw me tweet about the McChicken five times in one hour.
And I have had guys tell me how “awesome” my personality is (Really?). I’ve managed to resist the urge to punch these guys and scream, “Hey! You can date me if you want! Hello?!” I just nod and smile as I’m being friend-zoned as the girl who appears to be in a long-term relationship with Taco Bell.
So why haven’t I put on my big-girl pants and changed my habits? Why do I keep setting myself up as this highly undateable girl?
The answer hit me like a (friggin’) freight train on Thanksgiving when extended family members asked, for the hundredth time, if I had a boyfriend. For once I didn’t struggle to think of a cute joke to distract my (now) slightly worried grandparents from the fact that no, I still don’t have a boyfriend. This time I had an “excuse”.
I explained that I didn’t have a boyfriend because I’d be going to grad school in Stockholm or London or Edinburgh or Los Angeles, even if Daddy has to donate money to build a wing in a library to get me in. By golly, ain’t nobody got time for a boyfriend! I’m a strong independent woman. I don’t need no man!
Grandma was already sleeping off the Thanksgiving turkey by the time I’d finished my speech. That’s when it hit me: I’m not too busy to date, I’m just afraid to commit.
Going to school in upstate New York, 900 miles from my Wisconsin home, gave me a good excuse to avoid guys my senior year in high school. Even my high school date for every major dance confessed he hadn’t asked me out because I was “leaving in a year.” Thanks?
Now that I’m a senior in college, I’ve avoided dating anyone because I knew I’d have to either break it off or do the painful long-distance thing.
Sure, I’ve seen people in successful long-distance relationships.
“It’s a pain in the butt,” says my sister, Alli, “but every time I come home it’s like I never left.”
My brother, Logan, and his girlfriend have been doing the LDR thing for a couple of years.
“Some people are worth it,” he says. “You don’t even think about the distance as being a problem.”
But I also know people who’ve had their hearts broken when distance became too much. And that scares the living daylights out of me.
So I fall back on my old excuse: Why date anyone when I’ll be leaving in a few months?
I could use that same excuse after grad school, too: Why date if I could be leaving for a job elsewhere?
Whoa. This has gotta stop.
They say there’s no sin in living, that there’s power in action.
I’ve watched people fall in and out of love. They all managed to live through it. Some even fell in love again.
So what if I fail at dating? At least, come next Thanksgiving, I could tell my family I’d given it a try.
PS: This article was written with the intent of giving perspective from a humorous angle…not to complain. Even though I’m the world’s best whiner, I wrote this to make people laugh all while self reflecting.