I re-entered singledom just over two years ago, when dating apps were at the height of popularity and every other person I knew was whiling away their evenings swiping right and eagerly showing everyone their plethora of new matches.
Having spent the past ten years in long term relationships my only prior encounters with dating were a few hours tipsily spent playing on my single friends apps (you know, sending ‘hilarious’ messages to poor unsuspecting dudes, come on we’ve all done it), so to suddenly find myself rather unwillingly catapulted head first into the world of dating, bombarded with apps such as tinder, happn, hinge, POF and countless others combined with well-meaning friends and colleagues desperate to set me up, I was left SERIOUSLY confused and totally out of my depth.
I felt rather like Alice after she tumbles through the looking glass and lands with a bump in Wonderland. “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked – I feel you Alice, I feel you girl I really do. I didn’t want to end up here either. But guess what, here I am. Here we all are; and whatever you want to call it – benching, ghosting, flaking, whatever –the majority of people stuck in the dating world are seriously half-assing it.
Dating today is the equivalent of shoe shopping, because no matter how much we like the shoe and how well it fits; we just HAVE to see how we look in something else. There’s no real commitment made to any one and we know that. We literally give no sh*ts if one date doesn’t work out as we have another four lined up, another eight matches to talk to, four more apps to swipe through and Barbara in accounts knows ‘JUST the person’ for us. On the Human Interaction Stock Exchange, our words - when it comes to dating - have lost almost all their value
That is, until that can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, World Series kind of stuff comes along, slaps us in the face and literally drags us out of our indifferent dating stupor. When you meet someone that you really like, I mean REALLY like, when that feeling hits you, quite simply you would do anything to be with that person. ‘A thousand miles seems pretty far but they’ve got planes and trains and cars. I’d walk to you if I had no other way’ hell, a person who’s really into you would swim, cycle or crawl. If someone wants to be a part of your life then they will make the effort – no ifs, no buts, no excuses. People make their priorities, well, just that – a priority.
“Every movie we see, Every story we’re told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs” and most of the time that sign is so glaringly obvious it may as well be lit up above our heads in neon fu*cking lights. They take days to reply? They drop off the face of the earth for weeks at a time? They constantly cancel dates? They ONLY text you after 11pm? They STILL HAVE DATING APPS ON THEIR PHONE? Sweetie, you need to face the cold hard facts – THEY. ARE. JUST. NOT. THAT. INTO. YOU.
But actually, so what? So what that one particular person isn’t that into you? So what if it seems like the last twenty people you’ve dated just aren’t that into you. The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them. If you’re in the grey area to begin with, you’ve already lost. You don’t need someone who’s indifferent, on the fence, or keeping you on the bench. You don’t WANT someone who isn’t that into you! You don’t need to prove your worth to anybody.
As Carrie Bradshaw so eloquently explains, “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” Being alone means you’re available for something amazing – for real love. “Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love”.
So to all the guys and girls that are ghosting and benching us – thank you.
Thank you for ensuring that we don’t settle for anything less than butterflies.