We were in the kitchen. My mom was preparing a salad when I mentioned that a friend kept talking to me and interrupting my thoughts about my Houston post. She looked up at me while cutting tomatoes (props to her): “Ruxi… you’re not interested by him? Not even a bit? Have you considered him?”
I stared at her, speechless. “No,” I finally declared.
“Not even a bit?” She repeated, “you don’t need to be super into him yet, just enough curiosity to keep you going.” I shook my head. She insisted, “Wouldn’t it be nice for you to have an intimate friend? Look at Mirela… And Doina.”
“Sure, but it’s hard to find someone today.” I said while I glanced at my phone – just an hour earlier, I had messaged a guy. He hadn’t answered yet.
“Well, have you ever considered any of your friends that you might have overlooked?”
This post about dating has been brewing in my brain for about two weeks, when I couldn’t sleep one night and ended up recording a 10-minute rant about today’s dating culture and assumptions between people.
Our entire lives are dictated by the relationships we form – business and personal alike – and those we choose not to nurture. As social animals in an overpopulated world, we tend to thrive in duos. It’s perfectly normal to want to seek that one other person.
Obviously it is something that I seek as well. The fact that my mother asks me about it isn’t surprising; she has been asking about a special friend for the last 8 years – when I started university.
A close friend and I were having drinks and food not too long ago. She’s against the institution of marriage, and, until she met her current boyfriend, she was convinced she’d be alone. This solid relationship and dynamic she found changed her mind (for the better in my opinion).
“I’m not saying you need to jump into anything or that it’s a NEED but… it’s definitely nice to come back home and have someone you can rely on. It’s just nice. And comforting.”
I can’t disagree with her. And I didn’t. The fact that she would say that kind of blindsided me. It had the same effect on me as when my sister told me that “finding a partner is as important as working on your career and you shouldn’t overlook that.” It shook me because these statements came from the least suspecting people.
I can count on one hand my close friends that are still single (it’s less than 5 by the way). Clearly it doesn’t help that my two closest friends are dating each other. That’s minus 2 already.
My other friend hit 26 not too long ago, and with that came despair about her love life. “I’m going to end up alone – let’s face it, Rux. We’re old, we’ll never find anyone. It’s over for us. If not now, when?”
At first I told her I was very A-okay with the realistic future of having a Dry Martini with 3 olives for supper, with a side of a solid strong career. She kept up her drama though. I told her to calm down – we ain’t that old just yet. And even if it happens later in our lives, it’s fine.
So one side, she’s playing up her mid-20s love crisis. On the other side, my other friend panics every time she texts the guy she likes. Every single second he answers, or doesn’t answer, is a clue to her as to how he’s feeling.
I’m in the middle like “what is happening and where am I going. What is life. And how do you flirt with people anyway.”
I gave up on dating for a while because I was focusing on myself and work – as per usual. So I recently sat down and decided to get at it again – amidst friends telling me “it’s impossible that you’re still single.” Because your friends praise you all the time, so you think you’re the bomb. Goddamn it, you’re like the best piece of Heaven prancing around and everyone wants a piece of your cloud and sunshine.
So you think, “Yeah, ok. I’ve got this. I don’t even need to play games anymore. I don’t do games. I am the game and the prize.”
Somewhere along the line, things changed. Maybe because we’re older now, the people you meet come with that much more experience, hope and fear. At the same time, as we get older, we tend to be more ourselves. What a fun contradiction.
We also don’t meet people physically anymore. There are so many guys I’ve talked to online and that somehow, we just never met. And I’m not talking about the guy who messages you once and then, at 10 pm, asks you to meet. Clearly, I will not come meet you in the middle of the night in a city I don’t know.
I’m talking about that person you talk to for days and then bails or can’t make any meet. Or, they message you, so you think they’ll ask to meet, but then they don’t. And the conversation just dies. (BTW, that’s called benching.) Well, what was the point? Spare me the texts I’ve been sending you please. Have I forgotten how to play the game? Did I ever know how to play the game?
Maybe I never knew how. I’ve been told that I’m a flirt. Why? I am a cheerful bubble. I appear caring at times – and apparently that means I’m interested in everything that moves. **
I was on a movie set years ago. The director asked to meet with me apart. He went on to tell me that pretty much ALL THREE ACTORS I was working with thought I had a thing for them. I did not like any of them. If you all have that impression, maybe, just maybe, that happens to be my personality. Am I not allowed to smile? Or to make jokes? Or to play along with your jokes? Does that automatically make me interested in you?
This brings me to my next point: the assumptions and dynamics between people.
Recently, a guy friend told me he didn’t believe in platonic relationships between guys and girls. I firmly disagree with him. I have a lot of close guy friends – and nothing’s ever happened between us. And they currently are all in serious relationships (breaking news: none with me).
It kills me that so many guys believe that. And that will play into how they act with me, and when they choose to speak to me and see me.
At the beginning of the year, this guy I met two summers ago messaged me to let me know he was visiting Montreal. It’s a common understanding to believe you’re going to meet with the person if they’re telling you they’re visiting. So I excitedly told him that I couldn’t wait. This is a guy with whom I could talk about everything. We had great conversations and a great connection. I was genuinely happy at the thought of seeing him – a friend – again.
Now, I get where he’s coming from. We didn’t meet in the purest platonic form. Our relationship has always been zig-zag-ing that line. Can you tell where this is going? He came to Montreal. We both knew he was here – I sent him a message to enjoy his stay. He never messaged to meet.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not angry at his not wanting to meet. That’s more than okay. It’s the grudging idea behind why he didn’t want to. Did he assume I wanted to jump him? Odds are that would not have happened. But he didn’t know that because he never asked. He just assumed I wanted him. And that bothers me even more.
Like, my pride, puh-lease. Who you?
Then, there’s this other side. I love raunchy jokes. I love talking about sex. I love sex jokes even more. It’s funny. It’s interesting. And it’s literally the one thing that connects absolutely everyone. Everyone has embarrassing sex stories.
Maybe some people misinterpret this side of me.
There’s this friend I used to talk to on an almost daily basis in Ireland. We used to play “truth or dare” on Snapchat; “I dare you to talk with an English accent in the pub;” “What is the weirdest stuff you’ve done while having sex?” Stupid stuff.
We did talk about pretty much everything while playing video games. It was awesome.
Back in Montreal, we evidently stopped talking as much. Came his birthday. I wished him well. He messaged me back a “truth or dare.” I laughed. I was in the middle of work so I absent-mindedly answered “truth.” He was probably drinking since it was late evening in Ireland. The conversation rapidly turned sexual – and not in a general way. In the specific “what-about-me” way. That confused me and made me uncomfortable.
He was heading out, so he ended the conversation leaving it for “next time.” Next time never came (pun not intended). In fact, we haven’t spoken at all since.
And this reminds me of my ex-boyfriend who would message me only on his schedule when he needed comfort and entertainment – after we were broken up. I would laugh off his clumsy messages and attempt to divagate them. But I guess I’m the stupid one for entertaining the conversations at all. I thought I was being nice but was I?
Am I a one-stop shop when you just feel like something or else? “She goes along with these jokes, so I’m just going to slide this in here.” There’s a context for these usually guys. We’re either hanging out together in a group, usually drinking, or really close. If that’s not the case, refrain. But again, maybe I’m the stupid one. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong.
So because of how I know people used to perceive me (trust me, my “flirting” ways have very much so diminished), I got accustomed to being intensively straightforward. You can’t not know that I’m into you. I will tell you. Straight up. “Hi, you’re cute. Want to hang out?”
And unless your name contains either Damian or the syllable Kyu somewhere in your name, rest assured that I am not crazy about you.
So in between guys who I do like that think I’m too crazy and/or bench me, and guys who think I’m crazy about them when I don’t have the slightest interest in them, how am I supposed to find that “intimate friend” my mom talks of?
S.O.S. because I’m perfectly content with that Dry Martini with 3 olives. (And my friends agree I’m well on my way to that wonderful future.)
P.S. About the sentimental comment: I've been known to not get attached to anyone. Should be a huge consideration I guess. But I swear I've been getting so much better at letting people in.
P.P.S.: The guy did answer, but then I texted back and he hasn't messaged since. So... that's that?