A few thoughts on the ‘Plenty of Fish in the Sea’

For some years now, I’d been living under a rock when it came to dating. Recently, I shyly crawled out from under that rock, out into the daylight of today’s dating world.

Let me tell you something about this daylight.

It’s bright and irritating, and it hurts my eyes and beliefs.

I’m not here to bash Tinder and the like. (I’ve myself ventured into the online dating madness, but that’s a tale for another time.) It’s not apps I’m talking about. It’s the mentality of a whole generation. So much seems to have changed within the last years.

For example, dating advice from several friends I consider to be smart and worldly people, continues to baffle me. Let me give you some quotes:

“Don’t tell him he’s the only one you’re seeing. Men don’t like that.“

“I always write with several guys at the same time. So if one stops giving me attention, there is always another one.“

“He probably wasn’t serious about it in the first place, but – who is?“

I consider this attitude problematic, not only for moral reasoning but simply because this is a two-way street. If that’s how you see and treat people, consequently, that’s how people are going to see and treat you. You can’t be ’playing the field‘ while secretly hoping someone will see you as a serious life partner. (Or can you? I might be wrong about this. After all, I’m the person who just emerged from under the rock of oblivion.)

For better or for worse, I’ve always been an emotional all or nothing kind of person. I blame Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. All this time consuming waiting under a tree and all the elaborate taming has been my guideline for when it comes to relationships – pretty much my whole life.

But who has the time or nerves for guidelines like that these days? Why wait for someone when you can keep yourself entertained otherwise? Why make a commitment when you never know who else could be just around the corner? Why show someone who you really are because that’s scary as hell?

Instead, people keep fishing and throwing the catch back after only a short amount of time. Over and over. I’m not judging. If this is something that works for people, who am I to tell them how to live their lives?

But it’s not for me.

Neither do I want to nor can I be part of it. I’m simply not cut out for it and I don’t see it’s something I could adapt to either.

I don’t want to catch fish after fish.

I want to tame a fox and be tamed in return.

 

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