Dumpster diving for desire

Memorial Day weekend was one of the first weekends where I actually did something of note, which is saying a lot. Generally, it’s me engorging myself on BBQ and remaining a recluse. Still partial to that, mind you. No, I decided to drive 150 miles Northwest to check out Grand Rapids, which admittedly, is a very cool place. I also got my AirBnB stripes. Turns out the service is actually good, well my host was anyway. Another Cali kid transplant such as myself, go figure. But it was a much needed trip for some perspective and for me to really put myself in the hot seat in regards to what exactly is “the next move.” What move you ask? Well, you know what kind of blog this is, friends.

I won’t lie, I was lowkey feeling a way during this solo retreat. The legions of couples and PDA eventually wore me down y’all. The lack of a honey dip was real palatable when the comedy club guy was looking mad confused when I said I was a party of 1. But those feels didn’t come from a place of vanity or validation. It was more along the lines of “damn, I’m doing all this cool shit and it kind of feels a bit wasted not to share the experience with someone close to me, romantically.” Then I subsequently started gagging because the very thought I re-entering the dating scene is nauseating.

In classic oxymoronic fashion, I downloaded Bumble (again) and Coffee Meets Bagel a few days later because I’m clearly a masochist. In my defense though, I’m limiting myself to 30 minutes a day of fishing for something substantial in the toxic dump of insecurity, vanity, and lack of ambition that is the dating pool. I know I sound super judgmental and jaded, but it’s just the state of things. There are a handful of people out there just looking to unload what they are refusing to deal with on someone under the guise of “love.” In a lot of ways, that was me some years ago. So I can shit on that frame of thinking because it’s selfish.

Another reason I decided to give this shitshow another shot is because I’m in such a better spot now in all facets of life: mentally, physically (relatively), and spiritually (in regards to my worldview). Last year, during my last stint, I was not in a good spot which I’ve mentioned. I genuinely was not happy. So I started looking for women that would help distract me from such a thing. Granted, I was actively trying to better myself and a lot of them saw that. Which is probably why I had moderate success; I had that fire (still do). But I wasn’t established, didn’t have my own spot, or any semblance true “adult” independence as compared to now.

Some might disagree, but there are key differences between men and women when it comes to finding a mate. These differences seem to be in the prioritization of people’s attributes. From my experiences, I’ve noticed that the women I tend go for, (independent, highly driven, open minded) very much value stability and the ability for a dude to not only provide for himself, but also be able to build something with said woman. Totally on board with that.

So, it’s easy to imagine why I was such a hard sell, despite having a lot of the qualities they valued. Being open-minded, wholesome, witty, and fun to be around (their words, not mine) isn’t going to fund a trip or get the bills paid at the end of the day. The first two “dates on the couch” are cute. After that, it’s nothing but side-eye and resentment.

Clearly, “established or useless” is frustrating and it’s a stigmatization I’ve never liked about gender roles. The assumption that men have near null value without a job, car, and a home or that it’s perfectly acceptable for a woman to have neither of these things, but be valuable solely because of looks is endemically toxic to how we all interact with each other.

I’ve met and know people, men and women, that vary wildly on what they’ll tolerate in terms of this. Some want ready-made, microwaveable people, some don’t mind the crock pot setup. But neither choices are inherent in the sexes.

For me, a job doesn’t imbue value into a person. If they’ve got the will to better themselves and their situations while actively going for it, that’s good enough for me. Money is a tool at the end of the day. I’m definitely not Captain Save-a-Ho, but I’m not going to shit on someone without means, even if it’s of their own design, because that’s not my place.

What they do, how they do, and where they do is of no consequence to me unless I get involved, which invariably, is on me if I make that choice. Plus, shit happens man. Obviously, there are levels to this and I’m probably not going to give a high school drop-out who wishes to stay home all day as I bust my ass the time of day, but I digress.

I say all that to say, this time around in the dating game should be markedly different because I have the requisite and desirable “traits” if you will, when it comes to mate selection. On top of that, I’m noticing a stupid amount of career-driven women out here choosing their future over being an accessory to some guy via marriage and it’s awesome. That goes for men to.

Nobody should feel pressured assimilate their being into a marriage or relationship to feel like they’re growing. That’s old world thinking, especially with the opportunities now. It’s dope that people my age are doing big things and living it up. Not to shit on the traditional folks, do you. I just value freedom so highly that it feels good to see people living their best lives. Truly inspiring.

We’ll see though with this whole dating thing. So far it’s pretty trash, honestly. I’m already over it. But my approach is very laissez faire. The love market will correct itself.  Looking for love is like looking for a job: Even though it’s a crapshoot, you won’t get seen by that dream person without an application. I doubt this will turn out in the way one would assume. Or it might, who knows. But what I do know is that, ain’t nobody checking for shadows, so I’ll put one foot out into the light. That’s gonna be a really awkward tan.