What do I think of dating?
Well, I think the whole system is set up for failure! I think this so much, that any successful relationship to me is at best a miracle and at worst, being held together by a thin thread on the verge of breaking!
But wait! Hol’up!×2. Such a grim view? What happened to you as a young child to leave you so bitter? Well, since you were so kind to ask, albeit sarcastically, I’ll be gracious enough to answer.
I’ll start my story by imploring you to take a look at the world today, within the spectrum of relationships of course. It will take you less than 5 seconds to see that our world is filled to the brim with information about relationships. You can bet (don’t!) that the relationship-information-advice industry is a billion dollar kind of industry. Little wonder you’ve got relationship experts, expert matchmakers and everything in between, and of course since everyone owns a blog these days, these “experts” proceed to delight us with listicles.
Ahh, listicles.. You know them, the internet is awash with them;
- 9 things to look out for in your ideal woman before a relationship
- 12 things every woman must do to keep her man in a relationship;
- 10 things to do help you smooth right back in after a relationship..
On and on and on, they never seem to end! I mean, you would be forgiven to think that being humans;
with all our tech,
and space sojourn,
and brain surgeries,
we would have evolved so as to have figured out something as mundane as dating.
However, dating happens to deal with humans and not just humans, human emotions in their abundant complexities and I think it is these complexities that makes it so much more difficult. Yes, this is also an opinion piece and no, this will certainly not give you all of the answers. But it will try to make a case for itself for being on the internet. To do this, let’s take it back to the beginning:
The fundamental flaw of all this dating quandary is the belief that somehow we are different.
Venus vs. Mars, isn’t that the message put out there?
Haven’t we all come to believe this message ourselves?
And this much-touted dichotomy goes on to influence gender expectations within relationships.
Bollocks! Utter and complete cow dung!
Firstly, gender is a human construct. By that I mean, what we term man and woman, boy or girl is totally of our own making. You disagree? Alright, where would you place hermaphrodites?
Or the gender dysphoric people? Once you can internalize that, then the next question you ask yourself is this; If we are no different, how then does it seem that our wants seem to vary so disproportionately? (in the context of dating/relationships of course).
- Everybody wants to be loved.
- Everyone wants to feel like they are unique in someone’s eyes.
- Everyone wants to feel needed.
- Everyone longs to hold hands and take long strolls in the park with their beloved.
- Everyone, if moved, wants to be free to cry at movies (this is not a listicle by the way though it may look like one) .
Who is responsible for the great divide?
The thing is that our society/environment has this uncanny habit of telling us what we want without us knowing about it. I call it is societal programming, and if you look at it critically you’d see that we are all within its scope of reach directly or indirectly.
It tells me: “You, boy!”.
Tells you: “You, girl!”..
Then it proceeds to shoehorn us in these roles for the rest of our lives. From a very young age that “boy” is programmed non-stop to ’Man up!’
‘Tough it out, keep it inside’
And if he does not, “boy” is constantly barraged with; ’‘Crying like a little girl’
After years and years of this systematic deconstruction, invariably “Boys” become “Men” who have mastered the art of stifling all sensitivity, lacking in basic empathy who will rather go out and hang out with other “men” on the weekend for fear of being teased as “henpecked”.
These actions form a vicious cycle; “men” raise “boys”, and then those “boys” go on to become “men” who raise “boys” too. Someone has to hack that programming. We have to be aware of the need to break it for only then can we be free to have ourselves be ourselves; and the task to do so is not gender based.
You know what, I remember back in university at the height of all this faux machismo, there was this guy, cool guy, quiet guy. He had a girlfriend and they were together from the very first year. We teased him to no end. We made fun of him when he wasn’t there. News flash! We gossip just as much but we successfully brand it as “gisting” or “guy talk”.
But you know what? Looking back now, that guy was the happiest of all of us.