The Mysterious World of Dating

I am single in real life. Heck, I am single in all lives. It doesn’t bother me much, but I have those rare days where I feel lonely. Rare, but they exist. I used to believe that I did not need to kiss a bunch of frogs in order to meet Mr. Right, because a good man is made for a good woman, but oh how naive!

Dating is something I find mysterious. I don’t know what topics I should talk about on date 1 or  20. I don’t even know if I’m supposed to talk. Are we supposed to eat? Drink? Watch a movie? I also don’t think I’ve dated the same person 20 times in the past 4 years.  So because I don’t know how shit works, I will share with you a few things I actually know.

(Of course you might not agree)

(Especially when you are my mother, and a product of a different generation)

Online Dating

Last year I went on this app which would match me with someone new every lunch time. I found very little success on the app, as I did with every other dating app such as Tinder and OKCupid.

On Tinder last year I matched with a man and we hit it off. However, it’s really hard to sustain the interest through text because over time I’d run out of things to say (I GET BORED, BUT I HARDLY RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY), and it was obvious we would not meet. He wrote and published a book before we made acquaintance, and he would share with me the writing he had been working on. For a while the process was fun, because I too had wanted to write books. And then I got bored because he’s not as funny as he thought he was, and I couldn’t really bring myself to read his writing.

So online dating did not really work for me.

Actual Dating

Actual dating meaning we put clothes on and meet someone or ten. I suck at this because I usually don’t know what to wear and how to behave around new adults. I am OK with work friends and friend friends and my 20-something-year-old students, but put me in front of some guy I’ve never met and either one of these two things would happen: 1) I eat a lot because I don’t like the person, or 2) I eat a lot, because I like the person. 

Other Things I’ve Learnt

  • Everything is accessible with a few clicks. You can see photos. You can know information such as the industry in which they work, what they like to eat, drink, read, and fuck, and the math doesn’t lie; if you have similar tastes, chances for a match are higher. But this is where it gets challenging. Matches are based on answers you provide on the app. Sometimes people lie. Sometimes liking the same things does not equal to liking the person. Sometimes people don’t message back.
  • Dating is tiring. No elaboration necessary.
  • I cannot date someone who does not have interests or hobbies. I am all about ikigai, but I am mature enough to understand that not everyone is philosophical or wants to ponder about life or their purpose in life. I am not philosophical most of the time. However, if I ask what you do after work and the sorta stuff you’re into and you say ‘mmmm I don’t know‘, I find it difficult to want to continue talking.
  • I keep thinking it’d probably be easier if I lost a ton of weight and just looked pretty. But tough luck. I like to eat and be fat.

Current Reads

I am currently reading a book on how to trigger the hero instinct in a man. I am on page 48 out of 213, but I think it’s better I get to know more people before I actually continue reading the book. This is because currently there is no man whose hero instinct I want to trigger. Hahah.

Dating is still a mystery for me.

I’ll let you know when I’ve learnt more things.

 

Metamorphosis

I realised I now find blogging challenging because of various reasons:

  • I am older now, so whatever free time I have would be spent on reading, catching up on sleep, and meeting social obligations (I’m bad at this, but trust me I would make the effort sometime)
  • I am older now, so I try not to tell everyone what I’ve been up to on a real-time basis. This is why you hardly see me checking in to places on Facebook or posting photos of this and that. Simply because I don’t want you to know
  • I am older now, so I am starting to not care about irrelevant things. Irrelevant things such as who got married, who’s pregnant, who’s more successful, who got married again, who posted what-with-whom on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Having said all that, in the beginning of the year I told two friends I wanted to make improvements to my life. There were certain things I wasn’t happy with, such as my weight, my seemingly dull life, my overthinking, and my inability to sustain relationships. I no longer go for talk therapy, and I don’t particularly enjoy reading self-help books, and I don’t listen to anyone anyway, so I was at a loss. I didn’t know what to do.

But four months later, here are some things I have learnt so far, and the list might change (or grow) because life is always a work in progress:

  • Selecting what to change

I have to be realistic. I am approaching my 30s and my health should be prioritised because I hear stories of people suddenly dropping dead and I don’t want to be them. I also wouldn’t be able to do the thousand things I want to do in life if I were sick. So I went to a clinic for tests, I tried to find fun exercise activities to do with friends, and I consciously took note of my sugar intake. I don’t try to smoke less though, because that’s for 2018 (let’s be realistic, come on).

  • Stop victimising myself

This was a bit hard to do. In order to take control of, and improve my life, I need to stop assigning blame to my environment or other people, starting with my dad (I blame him for everything, especially my entire existence). Still working on this.

  • Overthinking or ‘decoding’ 

I worked in government service for almost 6 years of my life (which is more than half my adult/working lift) and maybe I was unlucky, or young, or both, but those jobs forced me to interact with people who weren’t forthcoming. As a result I had to decode body language and snark to understand what they really wanted, and I brought this habit into my current life. I would not say the by-products of those interactions were 100% negative, though. The experiences made me less naive and more wary.

In the earlier part of the year I liked someone from work and he did this thing I really didn’t like. When he didn’t agree with things I’d suggested he would keep quiet and hope I’d shut up. My brain automatically translated this into ‘lack of interest’ (on his part) and other negative thoughts. I talked to him a few times about this and to be honest I cannot remember even the gist of what we argued about but sometimes you have to trust your instinct. Also, why would I consider dating someone who cannot be honest with me? If you don’t want to go out with someone just tell them lah.

  • Sustaining relationships

I don’t mean just romantic ones. Even platonic or familial. I am so bad at this. I made the decision to cut irrelevant people out of my life and although I second-guessed myself a lot in the process, I think it turned out OK in the end. I did this not to be un-Islamic, but as a form of self-care and self-love.

A little note before I say bye

The decision to improve my life did not come randomly. The hardest part of the journey was to look the problems in the eye and ask myself whether I wanted and was willing to make those improvements. I think challenging experiences exist in our lives so that at the end of it all we come out as stronger and kinder people.

But of course we must do the work.