Millennials. Non-committal flakes that they are have invented a new type of dating. Hookup culture. Dateless dating. Netflix and chill. Other annoying catchphrases. Essentially it’s a world in which no one makes a plan. Meetups are casual almost accidental. The will they won’t they question infuriatingly leaks into every weekend. No one really knows where they stand. Romance is dead.
I’ve never been one to enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette type shows. I had enough fairytale fodder with the help of Gary Marshall, Nora Ephron and Richard Curtis, I never needed to jump the shark any further with highly produced, “real life” Cinderella stories. Or, maybe, the fact that I am a hopeless romantic is what turned me off to the idea that anything resembling love could come out of a scenario where a multitude of women compete for the affections of one man.
It’s been ten years since The Game exposed/extolled the world of manipulative men known as pickup artists. A nice, round anniversary around which Strauss carefully timed the release of his most recent book The Truth. He’s been running the regular promotional circuit, podcasts, magazines, etc., for the past few months. The entire thing seems part a return to respectable journalism and part apology tour. Though, to be fair, he’s had plenty of journalistic success in the intervening years. But, that’s neither here nor there as he goes on to make yet another buck off the lessons he’s learned at the expense of countless women.
My chosen career (and the fact that it’s 2016) means I’m often immersed in talks of big data, analytics, A/B/ testing, etc., etc. Unfortunately I never took the time to test out my marketing data learnings in my dating life. Well, maybe not unfortunately in a grander sense because things worked out okay for me, but if I had applied my professional data skills to my online dating experiments, they may have turned out differently. Or at the very least I could have gleaned some insights more interesting than “men on Christian dating sites are bizarre.”
A couple years ago I became fascinated with the story of two friends who challenged themselves to date for 40 days. Cynics accused them of angling for a book deal or a way to showcase their elaborate word art and Target-esque video aesthetic. I looked at my then shitty relationship and thought, maybe I’d been overlooking love salvation in one of my own friends for the past 10 years. Timothy, the leading man in this experiment resembled a lot of the men I had dated, broken by a less-than-ideal relationship with his father, aloof, creative. And I found Jessica, the leading lady, to be entirely relatable embracing hopeless romanticism despite a string of failed relationships.
I failed you last week. For the first time in since June I wasn’t able to post. I do have a valid excuse. I was doing field research. It wasn’t intended to be as such. It just sorta happened. The Dude and I decided we were going to buy a home. And because we tend to make a major life decision and then get it over with as soon as possible (hence the six-month engagement), we dove in hard and fast.
When I got married all of 9 Months ago, people were full of one question. Surprisingly and thankfully it was not “When are the babies coming.” Because that’s annoying, invasive and very well established as not okay. So stop it, mom. The real question everyone kept asking was “is it different?” The short answer: nope not really, but there are a few things that have changed. For me specifically. They may not change for you.
When I finally got mawiaeeed, there were a hundred reasons to keep my last name. Despite fueling immeasurable torment from immature boys, it had been oh so very mine for 30 years. It tied me to a family who had been by my side, dusting me off after boy after boy after boy after boy after boy after boy after boy after boy was gone. (I think I got ‘em all.)
I thought for sure after I had gotten married I would be rescued from the judgment of smug married people (SMPs) after all I’m in the club now. I’m an SMP! Huzzah! I can’t wait to be insufferable and offer wisdom-filled gems to the poor singles of the world, like “when you stop looking, you’ll find love” and “you really have to love yourself first,” and “you just have to open yourself up to love,” and “he didn’t deserve you.” Okay that last one is always dripping with truth, so I get a pass when I say that.