I’m feeling anger and frustration around the dating culture today, what I might presume to call the “nature of the game”, which I don’t believe but I see it all around me.
I’m annoyed with our pre-occupation with our cell phones and the perceived dispensability of our interactions through Apps like Tinder.
I’m also disappointed that sex and dating were not well-taught in grade school – though I cannot blame the system as it was a different time back then – nonetheless, sex was taught as something to be feared and as something dangerous (STDs, etc) as opposed as something positive.
Maybe I’m just pissed off because I haven’t yet developed the courage to buck the system and start playing the dating game by my own rules. That is, to stop walking on eggshells around women, being “polite”, “safe”, not offending anyone; assuming monogamy and marriage is the only path forward in dating and relationships. Maybe it’s not?
I, frankly, believe that biology still lives at the root of our beings and of our desires, that at our core, men are men and women are women. And we will respond to and act from our nature.
I believe men have, at their core, the desire to conquer. And women, at their core, have the desire to be conquered. Of course, this is a narrow look at men and women and this isn’t true all of the time nor is it true for everybody.
But for me, I am at my best, my strongest, when I am acting from my natural core, acting with resoluteness, power, and decisiveness. I am attempting to scale a mountain in full awareness of the possible pitfalls but I am doing so in spite of the pitfalls, driven by a stronger will to overcome, to conquer.
This is how I imagine dating today: it is going after what I want, regardless of whether it’s “safe” or considered the “right thing to do”. It is reconnecting to my core and getting out of my head.
(It’s important to state, too, that going after what you want is not a license to act with disregard for the other person. A basis of respect and proper consent are assumed and pre-requisites. This should go without saying).
I also believe that, in a lot of ways, we are confused about ourselves or simply do not have a deep enough connection to ourselves. Many of us have created negative associations to sex and sexuality and repress our desires around sex (more on that in a later post).
The result, then, is that we allow ourselves to be swayed by the tide, the cultural swells. Complacency takes over and we never take the time to look inside and to discover for ourselves our own nature and the nature of our desires.
We need only honor our own desires and commit to living in alignment with them.
But it’s so easy to fall in line, to settle for less than our real wants and desires. We lack the courage and grit to disrupt the status quo or the resolve and willingness to ask ourselves the tough questions.
I think we are starved for real connection and honest relationships. We are afraid we are not enough. We don’t put ourselves out there. We stay in our comfort zones, noses buried in our smartphones, dating over the internet, connecting with each other half-way – or not at all.
Please don’t take anything I say as true or false. It is simply my opinion but it has grown out of the echoes and grumblings I hear and feel from speakers like Esther Perel and Dan Savage, who speak of our tangles with issues of the heart and of our issues around desire in the modern age.
Ultimately, I believe it is up to us to “know ourselves” and then commit to living a life of integrity in our lives and in relationships, by living our truth however painful we imagine the consequences to be.
Consider what Seneca said:
We suffer more in imagination than in reality.
We bury our hearts and heads in distraction. Instead, clear away what is layered on top. Live by your heart. Have the courage to create your own rules and honor your desires!