We all can’t help but whine like Charlotte York, “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen. I’m exhausted. Where is he?” (The fact that she ended up with that wonderful bald man, Harry Goldenblatt, is the shred of hope that helps me persevere on my journey.) Today’s dating world is downright scary. There, I said it. I have one friend out of at least ten who finds dating “fun.” Fun wouldn’t exactly be the adjective I’d use, considering my dates could be viewed more like an episode of Law & Order: SVU. But for kicks and giggles, let’s sum up what fun looks like today.
1. Swipe ‘til you can’t swipe no mo’
I will literally develop carpal tunnel syndrome before I meet my husband. And the worst part is sometimes I’m so busy swiping left that I miss Mr. Right by a preemptive swipe and I can’t get him back. That one guy who appeared normal with loads of potential – gone, filtered back into the algorithm of the emotionally damaged unemployed Peter Pans of the dating hemisphere. I sure do hope they discover life on other planets soon. One point NASA.
2. Cyber stalking
Dating requires research. It’s legit almost a second job. Social media has provided us a platform to track potential dates. We should probably use this tool to our advantage. I, for one, could stand to vet more future dates. Personally, I feel social media has made me more antisocial, and I hardly post anything or care to see what anyone else is doing or snapping, but some friends run full DNB’s and background checks before even one drink. From their experience and my own, I’ve learned: Do not go in blind. It’s risky territory in poker and in life. This is the new generation, folks – posted, liked, or storied.
A.K.A. Casper’s angry cousin. Is there anything crueler than ghosting? I recently tried to explain this phenomenon to my mother and even she was dumbfounded. She said, “Don’t give up the ship!” And I simply replied, “Too bad. It’s sinking.” I actually think the men who ghost to end relationships are the biggest cowards of them all. Have the decency to tell a woman you are no longer interested. We get it. Believe me. Odds are we are no longer interested in your childish behavior either. We are all human beings; let’s start treating each other as such.
This is the ultimate tease to someone who constantly tries to avoid carbs and any refined sugar. #epicfail. Stop making us salivate like Pavlov dogs with your droplets of interest. (Cheers to Psych 101.) The “I miss you” or “Thinking of you” texts. Please, actions speak louder than words. Translation: I miss your attention and I can’t find another shiny new toy to fixate on. Sorry, Toys “R” Us closed, but this store is no longer open for business either. Try Amazon. Oh, and you think we’re not catching onto the other end of the spectrum, the “I’m so busy—Work is crazy” routine. Relax; you don’t work at the Pentagon. We read He’s Just Not That Into You and saw the movie like a million times. Thanks, Captain Obvious.
5. Love Bombing
I like to think of myself as a smart, well-educated, mindful individual, but even I got taken like Liam Neeson. I fell hard and fast for a man who promised me the world and instead delivered an empty bottle of Coke Zero, and I loathe carbonation. I was ‘future faked’ into believing he wanted to marry me, I was his soulmate, and we were going to live happily ever after. Yeah that glass slipper cracked and shattered everywhere. For the record, I’m fine now. I cleaned up the mess he made. Word to the wise: Don’t make us fall in love with you if you don’t have any intention of loving us back and it’s purely a selfish attempt to boost your narcissistic ego. Go get therapy like the rest of us and work on yourself before you inflict harm on someone incredibly undeserving.
Alas, I propose one solution to the dating pitfalls of today, thanks to Baby in Dirty Dancing. I figured there has to be some universal way to avoid or at the very least diminish the pain and suffering dating can bring.
Enter: The Watermelon Trend.
Imagine just uttering one word and your dating questions, answers, and nightmares could simply disappear like bell bottoms in the 90’s. Watermelon: delicious juicy fruit best enjoyed on a perfect summer day, or a word you can freely use to end a date when you know it’s not going anywhere with the other person. Think of watermelon as your dating safe word. It’s an unspoken agreement that one person can say to alleviate wasting both of your time without offending the other party. This can also be done via text messaging or dating app. (Examples: “I had a really great time with you, but watermelon. Best of luck in the future!” Or “We seem to have a lot in common, but watermelon. Hope your presentation at work goes well!”)
I refuse to let my dating woes make me lose faith in humanity. I still believe in the universe, positivity, and trusting your intuition, but you can’t knock experience either. According to the laws of probability, there have to be some good ones left! Perhaps we can be a little more civilized when it comes to dating in this generation. I will hold out hope for that and a Harry Goldenblatt. In the meantime, watermelon for everybody!