“Hiws [sic] your evening going?””
Honest response: Well, some unresolved trauma unexpectedly came up tonight around a sexual assault I experienced around five years ago, so I’m drinking a glass of wine and crying and for some reason recounting the whole story out loud as a rehearsal for whenever the next time will be that I have to explain it to a romantic prospect, a thought which terrifies me.
Actual response: Pretty good, yours?
“How do you like this site?”
Honest response: Come on. What do you really expect my answer to be? Is there any living, breathing human that actually ENJOYS these sites? At best, it’s a necessary evil because no one seems to talk to anyone in person anymore unless you know for sure you’ll never see them again, like at an airport or killing time at a Barnes & Noble in another state pretending you might buy something. At worst, it takes up a huge chunk of time and energy to respond to people I’m not even sure I’m interested in and most of the time I’m tempted to despair over the thought that maybe the digital infiltration into the most intimate areas of our lives has forever changed our ability to interact truthfully with one another and see each other as unique beings worthy of love.
Actual response: Hahaha
“How are you still single?”
Honest response: Well, it seems to be a complex interaction of a lack of self-worth stemming from childhood, fear of abandonment and the self-sabotage that comes along with that, including chasing after men I know are emotionally unavailable so that I won’t have to actually risk getting hurt, having had an emotionally draining job for a few years that left me no bandwidth for anything but the basic demands of life, and the general dating scene in LA where there seem to be unlimited options and no one is all that interested in commitment. Also, I reached the point in life where I don’t want to waste anyone’s time if I’m really not feeling it or don’t see a future with someone, because I am actually pretty content being single. I’ve worked to build a life that I love instead of being sad and bitter all the time, so I don’t feel the need to go on dates or get into a relationship just for the sake of one.
Actual response: I don’t know, I’m picky I guess lol
“So, what are you looking for on here?”
Honest response: You know those cute wedding pictures where the groom gazes at the bride lovingly while she looks wistfully into the distance, secure in the knowledge that she is loved completely for who she is? Dammit, call me basic, but I really do want that. Not just the picture, the whole situation. I want to wake up every morning next to my best friend. I want to talk about future plans over eggs and coffee, have spontaneous adventures where we discover the most magical hidden gems around the world, laugh for hours at our inside jokes, go out to an elegant restaurant and then come home to cuddle on the couch while we eat ice cream and criticize the annoying people on House Hunters. Someone who supports me, believes in me and my dreams, who I can throw all of my love and support behind and love with everything I have. Someone I’m not afraid to open myself up to because I know he is always there for me, no matter what happens, and we both put in the work every day to love each other better.
By the way, why is it that men can say “I have needs” and women feel guilty and fall over themselves trying to meet them but men get really scared when you start talking about women’s fundamental biological and emotional realities? I’m about to turn 35. Just about every single day my body reminds me that the thing it would absolutely love more than anything else in the world would be to house a baby. I’m not trying to pressure anyone into anything and absolutely do not want kids with the wrong person but damn, it would feel good for someone to at least acknowledge that this is something I’m not crazy for wanting.
Actual response: A relationship.
“We should go out for drinks”
Honest response: Should? What else are you going to tell me I “should” do? That I “should” go over to your place and bring you a pizza? That I “should” drop everything I’m doing because you decided that making out with me would be slightly better than playing Call of Duty by yourself? That I “should” forget about what you said to me regarding our future together because you’ve decided you want to move to the desert to make art installations that no one will ever see?
Have you ever thought about how women are essentially trapped in a web of shoulds from the time they are able to consciously perceive the world, because every damn body has an opinion on what women should be, think, feel, and act? That to be a woman is to be constantly bombarded with unrealistic images that we will never live up to, which transform into unrealistic fantasies men have which keep them from ever truly knowing and loving you? And life is an unrelenting tension between figuring out who we really are and who we think we should be and then blaming ourselves and feeling bad about it and analyzing every past decision we’ve ever made, wondering what we should have done differently?
Actual response: Sounds fun. How’s Thursday?