May 24, 2023
It's a Little Unhinged!
To quote The Aristocats, “Everybody wants to be a cat.” Some days, I wish. More and more women hear phrases about being single into your thirties will leave them penniless, childless, lonely, and surrounded by cats. It will supposedly leave these women unfulfilled and empty.
Let’s be honest, shall we (yes, this is going to create a lot of up-cry)! Cats are adorable pains in the butt, for sure. But cats are also easier than childrearing and husband managing.
There is nothing wrong with either lifestyle. It’s the individual’s choice and both have pros and cons. But today’s focus is going to be the attempt of dating in late twenties to early thirties, from a woman’s perspective — and it’s not pretty.
Being a Woman
Society puts pressure on women to stay young, be pretty, be thin, be this or that… it’s never just be you. When will I get to become a swamp witch surrounded by cats and flowers?
I’m hitting thirty-two this year and I’ve come to realize a lot of things about my youth and growing up in my twenties. I was definitely never ready for a relationship of any seriousness until I got my health and life in order, but even then I question whether or not I was mentally ready for something like that given how things went.
Even now, I wonder if I can commit the proper time and effort and emotions to someone given that I’m still working on building a career and learning about myself.
But in today’s era, dating has sucked! I have gone on dates with men who get upset when I head home instead of their place. I’ve had conversations with men who think the only compliment a woman should get is physical, typically very sexual in nature. I’ve met men who hide their true natures very well until they think they’ve got you.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some wonderful men out there! You just have to dig a little. But what’s changing the dating field in 2023. Well, I’d say there’s a number of things.
All Those D*mn Podcasts
There are male podcasters that state they refuse to date women over a certain age. Often, that age is about twenty-five. Why? Well, the excuse is typically that older women have been “used up.”
First of all, tell me you want an object you can “train” without telling me. Personally, I think it’s actually because women over twenty-five have the wherewithal to not put up with their sh*t.
Secondly, why is the narrative that women are the ones who should abstain? Yet men expect sex on dates (as if it’s owed) but also expect purity of the woman they want to marry. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.
The women who the uphold this ideal, or their virginity, are then mocked, called slurs, harassed, embarrassed, and so forth. I recently heard a man on one of these podcasts tell a woman (24) she was being “hypergamous” for still being a virgin.
The definition of hypergamy is to marry/date into a higher socio-economic class, or dating up for short. The proper definition, from Oxford Languages: “The action of marrying or forming a sexual relationship with a person of a superior sociological or educational background.”
She is literally doing what these men have asked of women (abstaining from sex) and is then degraded for it! Talk about being unhinged.
The definition of an incel, via Oxford Languages: “a member of an online community of young men who consider themselves unable to attract women sexually, typically associated with views that are hostile toward women and men who are sexually active.”
What makes these men incels? Well, hating women is a great way to ensure they don’t want to interact with you.
Many incels have been heard saying that they “deserve” sex and that women are “withholding” it. Sex can’t be withheld, because it’s not something anyone is owed nor does it belong to them.
There have been a number of articles about incels attacking women on college campuses because of rejection. Women are scared to say no to men because they don’t know what’s going to happen to them, but that leads to coercion (which is not consent).
Women don’t know who is safe and who is not. It makes social interactions more difficult in general, without adding this cluster to the mix.
It’s common to hear men say they don’t want to approach women in public anymore because they fear allegations being made against them. It’s kind of sad, yet understandable. The problem is that, yes, many women don’t want strange men approaching them because they don’t know if they’re safe or not. Every person has to judge when, or if, to talk to someone else.
I would say approach and then respect their boundaries. It’s not difficult to accept to no as an answer (unless you view women as property you get to own).
The pandemic (2020-2023) has had a profound impact on everybody. Even those of us who were very social creatures prior to lockdown have started to become reclusive. It’s changed dating and meeting people. It feels weird to be surrounded by people again, after being secluded for so long. So, that’s three years of isolation that’s added to our timelines!
There’s a divide in society that stems beyond typical social norms (economic status, education, location, appearance, etc.) and into health reasons: vaccinated versus non-vaccinated. It’s actually an option to select on dating apps now.
Meeting a potential partner through friends is also on the decline as you approach your thirties. If you’re like me, most of your friends are married and having kids (or talking about having kids/marriage). That means many of their friends are also in those situations, which leaves fewer singles to mingle.
But even then, what happens if two singles pair up and then the relationship hits the fan? What happens to all those friendships? It’s a web with the potential for greater disaster than meeting someone online.
It’s a playground… of dung piles. A few of the top contenders are Bumble, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish. Generally, there’s a swipe option, left for no and right for yes, and then people can match. Once matched, chatting is open (except on POF, which allows messages regardless).
My own experience on POF left me with a terrible taste and a trip to the police station. I’ve never used that site again.
Tinder, however, is a different. About one quarter of the men state in their profile they are married and not looking to change that, but only want discreet fun (how encouraging). Another quarter of men leave their profile blank. A third quarter state they only want friendship (i.e. sex).
The last quarter is an odd mix of seeking relationships, emotionally unavailable men, emotional available men, and verified profiles (they proved it was, in fact, them on the app). Finding decent men in that rubble is a tangled mess. It’s like combing out long, curly hair that hasn’t been brushed in a decade.
There are some! I’ve met a few really great guys in that last section, but with timing, the pandemic, moving, careers, and so forth those interactions haven’t gone anywhere but great conversation. Which is okay! It’s good to know they’re out there.
Some dos and don’ts? Do have conversations where you find common ground. Don’t be someone you’re not. If you don’t want kids, say it. Wasting someone’s time is not nice! Do be honest, but don’t give them all your information. You still need to protect yourself.
There are some truly great people out there, but mixed in are the ones you want to avoid (male or female). Women can be truly nasty as well, let’s be real.
In short, despite all the negativity I’ve mentioned above there are some positives. Be yourself, be honest, and know yourself. Knowing yourself includes understanding the why. Some great questions to ask:
1. What kind of person do I want? (I.e. compassionate, patient, funny, witty)
2. How much time can I commit to this person? (I.e. I want to see this person once a week at minimum and I am capable of this)
3. What sort of sexual relationship do I want with this human? (I.e. I will not have sex until the relationship is official)
4. What sort of moral compass should this person have? (I.e. they should not agree with killing animals for food, they should not be a liar, etc.)
5. What interests should we have in common? (I.e. I’d like to be able to hike with this person, or paint with this person, etc.)
6. At what point will I know I want to be official? (I.e. when he does X)
7. What are red flags? (I.e. He speaks to his mother rudely, or he’s mean to the waiter)
8. What are green flags? (I.e. He has a pet that’s not scared of him, he’s had a stable job for X amount of time, etc.)
9. What are my deal breakers? (I.e. He smokes and does pot at all hours)
10. How will I know we’re compatible? (I.e. we agree politically, religiously, humour styles, can do a weekend trip together, etc.)
Those are just some brief examples and every person will have different questions and understandings. If you can ask yourself what kind of person you want and then understand why, you may lead to a greater knowledge of yourself.
I want someone kind, patient, compassionate, witty, funny because I think kindness, patience, and compassion are admirable traits. I value them because I feel loved and safe with people who exhibit those personalities. I want someone witty and funny because laughing makes me feel light and I like to see people smile.
It’s possible to find your match, even if the dating pool feel slimy right now. Being single in your thirties isn’t a curse or a problem, it’s just let you grow into yourself — regardless of gender or orientation.