I prefer to do most of my writing in the world of wacky theatrical commentary, but this article by Christopher Hudspeth caught my interest all over my friendtwittergramspace and it bummed me way out. I felt it my new and unofficial responsibility to have a loud and mostly ignored problem with it all up in here. So we’re doing a DATING TRENCHES THING! I’m going to pick the original apart point-by-point (his article in italics). Please enjoy.
1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.
The person who cares less is the most manipulative. You are not the slave of another person’s whims. If they don’t show any active interest in making time for you, there is no earthly reason for you to make so much time for them. You’re going to anyway, but you should probably double-book that slot so you can have something awesome to do when they inevitably flake.
2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun.
If someone doesn’t text you back within hours, you are within your rights to consider severe personal incapacitation, outlandish misfortune or the worst of all contingencies, the flat battery. If it takes them more than a day to get back to you, they are not worth your attention. They got your text. They then texted no fewer than three other buddies or family members about incidental things. It’s not like their thumbs were cut off, and if they were, that motherfucker would call.
3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing [. . .]
This is a bullshit exercise and nothing at all more than a waste of your time. If somebody pulls this kind of play-it-cool bullshit on you, you let them know you have a garden party with the Queen and that if they want to reach you, they can send a telegram to Buckingham Palace. Tell them you have a beer summit on Mount Olympus with Dionysus, Buddha and the Spectre of Ronald Reagan (you didn’t send the invites, you just showed up because IMPORTANT BULLSHIT IS HAPPENING). Tell them you have to go ride robot unicorns to Saturn’s moon of Titan. Best of all, don’t tell them a damn thing and put your energy into following up with someone who isn’t wishing when they should be washing.
4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. [. . .]
Making phone calls is a fucking inconvenience. In the immediate history of telecommunications, the increasingly slim bricks of plastic and polymers we carry so close to our cancer-prone flesh have evolved away from the relatively simple task of communicating via voice between people. Human beings do not make phone calls anymore, so if you get a ring-a-ding from a sweet honey, you’ve caught a fairy by the filthy slipper.
If you don’t get a phone call, be cool about it for a hot second. Some of us have grown up jobs that preclude stepping outside on a whim for vocal rendezvous. We’re locked away in towers of ill reception or dank holes of quasi-employment, desperately hoping to touch base but denied all but the most transient of communique. Forward an instagram of your fucking lunch if you think it’s so important, but for fuck’s sake, be cool. You’d rather talk face-to-face than try to come up with bullshit conversation over the talkbox anyway, right? RIGHT, ASSHOLE?
5. Set plans are dead. People have options [. . .]
Truly awesome people have a spectrum of commitments every day/night of their lives. To even be considered is an honor. You may not fully appreciate the depth to which a Person of Interest has programmed their waking moments, nor will you ever until you get a little closer to them. Truth of the matter is, would you rather spend your time with Johnny-I-Don’t-Do-Shit or Benjamin-I-Have-A-Fucking-Life-But-I’ll-Make-Room-For-You-When-I-Can? Hint: The more interesting person is the one you can’t see every waking hour. Deal with it.
However, if you get to three strikes of someone giving you a soft yes and canceling at the last minute, bail. You’re obviously too available and that means you are not living an interesting enough life. Go wrestle bears or wander the desert for an immortal shaman for a hot second, nerd.
6. Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. [. . .]
Someone who hurt you may never meet their just desserts. They will always seem to be invulnerable to the ravages of their own asshole machinations. The simple fact that true assholes never show when they’re bleeding insures that you will never have the satisfaction of knowing when they got their comeuppance. Your mistake is entrusting your satisfaction to the inevitable acknowledgement of the universe of the weight of their cumulative malfeasance. You are free from their petty indiscretions now and that means that you will forever and always be winning.
Somewhere deep inside, they know how much of an indefatigable fucksplatter they are. Their whole life is lived at odds with this fundamental self-knowledge. You used to find that cute. Rise above.
7. The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all.
This one is, unfortunately, super fucking true. So take some time to look at how bangin’ you are. In the quest to be the person you are, you undoubtedly let some shit slip. Identify the most easily correctible things and fix them. Get awesome. Hunker down, examine yourself and then get more awesome. No time spent improving yourself is time wasted. Don’t be surprised if, thirty pounds lighter, two marketable skills and one new language later, you’re suddenly attractive to your crush. Now it’s your turn to spurn, and spurn with sick joy.
8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” [. . .]
Sex is a good and natural thing that happens between consenting adults. It sucks that we (as an American population, at least) are seemingly incapable of asking someone to participate in it or be receptive to an earnest request to engage in the same. All told, the delicate game of inference and suggestion helps to weed out awkward fumbling with socially incompetent fuckwits, which is a benefit. Don’t hate the players, hate the game. If you really want to change the world, call someone on their coy bullshit, but for Christ’s sake, let them know you’re down too. The sex will be better when everybody knows how enthusiastically interested they are.
9. Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. [. . .]
Sometimes, people have a sexual relationship that lasts for months before they develop romantic feelings toward one another. Sometimes, that doesn’t happen at all, but you both had a hell of a ride getting there. There will be a perfectly obvious point where you will have to have a conversation about what you are feeling and what you are hoping that interaction could develop into, which you will know by analyzing the amount of time you spend talking in bars to your friends about said relationship.
Once you pull the trigger and discuss these terms of engagement with your sweet honey of who-knows-how-long, you are officially trading away your enjoyment of a couple dozen nights of good times for a possible deeper connection. Your sweet honey is under no obligation to double down and engage the deeper connection you have offered, at which point it is your duty to yourself and your long-suffering, dear friends to end the arrangement in the interest of pursuing a different person. It sucks. I agree. I feel for you. Now grow the fuck up and get back on the horse, there’s even better things waiting for you out there.
Oh, I’m sorry, were you still the person who was hanging out, trying to decide if you were going to spend the night with someone that didn’t want a relationship? Let me help you. Do you want to? Do they want to? If the answer is clearly yes, do that. Then do that until it gets old. Then read this section again. You’re goddamn welcome.
10. The text message you sent went through. [ . . .]
Once in a while, text messages do not, in fact, send. This has happened and it shall happen again. With that said, you are permitted a grace period of twenty-four before sending a followup text. It should be apologetic, claiming that your device has been malfunctioning and NOT AT ALL enquiring as to whether or not your targeted recipient received your first communication. Simply inquire in less pressuring tones as to their availability or interest. If no response is received, move on. There are seven billion people in the world, or something. Who has time.
11. So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship [. . .]
You are a lion. Roar for me. Look in the mirror. Repeat this phrase: “Hey, sorry but I have to ask: what are we?” This will be your Excalibur. Slay the worthy and unrighteous with it. If that gorgeous motherfucker is stringing you along, they will shrink under the light of your holy aegis. Leave them and their chiseled form behind; they are comfortable existing in the nebulous realm of stasis that defined all of your prior dalliances. Hit the gym to up your endorphin count and go on with your bad self, clad in the finest armor of Camelot. If your knight will not swear fealty to you, then he is clearly not worthy of the Round Table. Which is what you may now call your booty. You have my permission.
12. Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. [ . . .]
You do not ever want to be caught in the position of obviously mistrusting your sweet honey to the point that you are suspecting their idle chitter-chatter on the webbernets. I’ll say again: if you don’t trust someone to be into you enough to close the phone/tablet/laptop/desktop/phablet/augmented internet device long enough to have a conversation with you, you are well in your right to take up the Excalibur of #11 and slice through your meager non-committal semi-relationship. Chances are, they were too insecure to offer you the best version of their self anyway.
13. Social media can also create the illusion of having options [. . .]
Every goddamn person will scope hotties on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Linkedin/Soundcloud/Myspace/Reddit/Imgur NEED I GO ON. If they have an OkCupid or Tindr account hot and live, you can take umbrage, but sometimes people will scope hotties. It doesn’t mean they like you any less, it just means they’re on vacation. Prepare something special to catch them off-guard and remind them why you’re so damn into them. Chances are, as a human being living in the complicated world of working all of the time for poor compensation, you were doing a shitty job of letting them know how much of exactly why you’re stuck on their groove. The world would be a wonderful place if we regularly took more time to let the Most Important People In The World To Us exactly why they earned their title.
14. You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. [. . .]
You’ll get to a point after the Wild, Reckless Boning phase where you start to see what an impossible asshole the person you’re with actually is. It’s up to you to identify exactly how much of this you can handle, and what lazy aspects of this personality are not permissible. You will never completely change a person, but you are well within your rights to identify the boundaries of an undesirable relationship and articulate these to your partner.
It is not your partner’s responsibility to agree to these terms, and if they don’t, it’s your God-given job to deal the fuck with it and bail. If they’re on board, it becomes their job to follow through. It’s still on you to decide if they haven’t followed through enough.
15. Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. [. . .]
There is no forever or forever-broken-up-with. Don’t be surprised if you have a wild night of passion with an ex or catch yourself signing divorce papers with the absolute love of your life. People change. Worse, people change along every axis, leaving the philosophers among us to wonder just how compatibility could ever occur between two wildly mercurial entities in the first place.
(Pro tip: the answer is relish the journey.)
16. [. . .] a person is more likely to post a Facebook status [. . . ] while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you.
Ain’t nobody got time for vaguebooking. Rise above and ignore anything not explicitly directed toward you. YOU ARE A LION, GODDAMMIT.
17. There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll [. . .] get to ‘em.
If you are with someone who can be easily drawn astray by a smooth-talking fuckbastard, you are, by the Commutative Property, yourself with a fuckbastard. Allow them to be drawn astray if need be. If you did your due diligence letting them know how amazing you believe they are, it’s on them for having a broken commitment bone. Know inside your heart that nothing so easily lost is so easily kept and it is only a matter of time before they stray again. Take solace in your luck for being liberated before shit got worse.
18. If you get dumped, it’s probably going to be pretty brutal. […]
I’ve had plenty of phone breakups and a couple text breakups. I’ve doled out plenty more of both. If you’re on the receiving end, it’s not your fault. Think about it for a hot second, asshole: somebody who thinks you’re pretty damn cool doesn’t want to deal with the full-force trauma of watching you crumple into a snotty mess when they tell you that you’re just not what they want to whatever with. It sucks big style, but have a little compassion. That was a hard thing to do, and it was brave of them to even communicate clearly with you. Thank them for their candor, cut all communications and meet at the support group. They’re called “Ben and Jerry’s” and you may find them in the freezer section of your local supermarket.
If you’re the person calling/texting a breakup, fuck your fat face, you classless bitchbiscuit. This was worth so much more to you. Worth more to both of us. I thought you had class. You couldn’t even just meet in a park somewhere? You hayfucking chickendick donkeyslut. No, don’t send an e-mail “clarifying” your position. Your position is located directly between your buttcheeks, and you can feel right at home hunkering down right in there. Why not passionately make out with your own asshole and then live your life knowing everything you ever say to the people you most want to impress is colored by the taste of your own shit? Die in obscurity.
If you’d like to hear more of my dating advice, OH GOD WHY?