Nonchalance in dating
The night my friend and I double-dated with him and his friend to a Seton Hall hockey game, I walked ahead of him and only hesitantly accepted his varsity track jacket to keep me warm, quickly returning it afterwards.…And Why This Became a Problem Flash forward to adulthood and you can imagine how this might set me up with a bit of a handicap.Anything But Needy I’ve worked so hard to be independent, thinking that, as the anti-chick, I would need nothing and no one–and that men would somehow love this. I certainly don’t regret how feminism has served me: I’ve learned to be aggressive, tough, resilient, and have had many successes in my life as a result. The notion that some post-fem fallout is to blame, well, that makes sense to me.The very last thing on earth I ever wanted to be was a needy, awful girl. I never have let a man get in my way–are you kidding? But now I’m trying to unlearn some of that–to learn what it means to soften, not weaken, and to expand, not constrict. I swung really hard in one direction and am gradually finding my way back to a more balanced state.This new digital distance gives us a lot of space to excessively self-edit, imagine what isn’t, project fantasy, and ghost at even the hint of some small disappointment.While texting and swiping may appear to sidestep the initial discomfort and risk that come with vulnerability, they ultimately hold us back.So while everyone was up in arms over Suzanne Venker’s article on (in which she says, essentially, that feminists are to blame for the lack of marriageable men), I acknowledged the nerve she struck in me.
I’ve come a long, long way since the ensuing years of tense serial monogamy in my 20s, and have far to go.It’s that seeing and hearing a potential partner in real life involves a lot more risk, vulnerability, and humanity than a simple text or like. A The combination of texting and dating apps has created a profound change in courtship.Collectively, we’re already so immersed in it, it’s hard to perceive that change.Little did I know the inability to accept anything from a man–attention, love, a jacket–would become a bigger problem.I guarded my virginity jealously, well into college, up until the bitter end, in fact.
I returned to the safety of my friends and we watched him amble from one poorly lit corner of the room to the other, looking for me. I felt bad, but the way I see it now, not bad enough. When my mother got wind of what happened, she scolded me, pleaded–”What is wrong with you? But it was reinforced by the notion that men were something to be dealt with, but not at all necessary or required.