Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 337 of 365: No, It's Not Weird

"I mean, you're not going to be weird about this, right?"

I've said it a lot and I'll say it again: I really, really lucked out in not having to deal with the post-college dating world. All the buffoonery that goes on in the college dating scene seemed to just spill out into the "real world". Including warning one to "not be weird about this" when they start showing signs of actual feelings.

I've been there, albeit before "not going to be weird" was a thing. He might as well have said, "Hey, I know we're constantly spending time together, going out and sharing dinners together, becoming physical and physically attentive -- but, I mean, you're not going to act on the emotions you are developing because of our time together, right? Because that would just be weird."

People in the dating world used to say, "Let's keep this casual." Now we warn people to, "Not be weird." We've evolved the decision to not be something more from a dual effort to you being flawed and not "getting it". We've stripped ourselves of the onus of understanding that there is a fine line -- that you cannot eat your cake and still have, that actions do have consequences -- or the onus of finding someone who wants the exact same thing from a dating experience. No, now we must wag our finger in front of the person we spent all night last night talking and cuddling and fooling around with and tell them, "Don't be weird," when they start acting like it could be something more.

You want casual? Go right ahead. The world is filled with people perfectly okay with obligation-free minglings. You want something a little more open? Go right ahead. There is a pot for every lid.

But don't you dare tell me to, "not be weird" -- because there is nothing weird about having feelings for the person you are with.

Do you know what is weird? Navigating a completely ambiguous dating world. Where people "talk" for months on end and you never know exactly where you stand. Weird is deciding a relationship is over and coldly avoiding contact until you think the other person has gotten the hint, leaving them to wonder what it was that brought things to an end, leaving them to assume the worst about themselves. Weird is withholding information, refusing to say what you're looking for in a dating partner, refusing to communicate when you're mad or falling in love or falling to pieces over their careless actions. Weird is pretending that everything is ultra cool and casual while still holding onto the option of it magically evolving into everlasting love or randomly ending with the person "ghosting" away.

No, the only weird thing is to go out for drinks, coffee, dinner, movies, cuddling, talking, sharing a bed, only to turn around and act like no one develops feelings after all those interactions.

Take a moment, when the girl next to you wakes up and rolls into your arms and you want to tell her that her natural feelings are unnatural. Or take a moment when you contact your ambiguous pseudo-significant-other, upset that they cancelled plans last minute, and they start venturing into "don't be weird" territory. Take a moment to realize what is being said when, "Don't be weird," gets flung about like the last grenades in the bag.

Don't be weird? Oh, I promise to stop being weird. And the first step to normalcy is to get out of this unhealthy situation.

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