“I can’t wait until you start dating again. It will be fun.”–by BFF after I broke up with my ex.
Here are things other than the word “fun” that I would use to describe dating:
-The most awkward thing I’ve done since I had to kiss my long-time crush in our high school musical while simultaneously pretending that it was not my first kiss and that I was in fact an expert kisser and oh my God I got red lipstick right below his bottom lip, should I wipe it off or no????
Also, I’m in this situation where my last relationship lasted for over five years and I literally never want to mention that for the following two reasons:
1. Dudes will assume I want a relationship when I just want to hang out.
2. I will have mentioned an ex which I think is literally the worst thing ever because if you’re talking about your ex, then I don’t want you talking to me. (My rule of thumb for this has always been and always will be: “If your ex went horseback riding through Utah with Frank Zappa, then obviously I want to hear about it. If your ex styled her hair similarly to me, please don’t point that out.”)
But here’s the thing. The dating landscape has changed a lot since the last time I was single. Here are some things that didn’t exist the last time I dated new people and now are things I am quietly learning about:
-The term “ghosting;” “back burner;” “fuckboy”**
–Treatment resistant gonorrhea***
And then there’s having to deal with actual humans on top of all of that!!
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but humans are THE WORST.
And just when I thought I could take no more, I did the only thing I could do. I asked Tina Turner for help. But first, a little context:
Several years ago, when I was first dating Turd Ferguson (you guys remember Turd, right?) my godbrother asked me about him.
The conversation went as follows:
GB: Is he good to you?
GB: I’m not asking if he’s a good guy. I’m asking is he good to you? Do you understand the difference?
Me: (pause) Yeah, yes. I do. He’s a good guy and he’s good to me.
Pause. I appeared to be introspective. I wasn’t. I was hesitating. There were red flags I couldn’t define even then and I shrugged off that kernel of doubt. But you should never hesitate when someone you love asks, or better yet–you ask yourself, this question.
There are plenty of good people in this world. There are plenty of awful people in this world. The difference between the two types of people, in practice, is surprisingly oblique. So regardless of whether you’re just hanging out, just friends, or in a partnership with someone, you’d better be good to each other. You better make sure you’re giving your time to someone who is treating you right. No excuses.
In all seriousness, I first heard this song on an episode of Miami Vice. Admittedly, you can lose the significance of the lyrics if you’re sucked into the visuals of Gina and Trudy on shopping spree for undercover outfits, which is a thing that I am 100% sure all detectives actually do.
But this song is PREACH, Tina, PREACH. I’ve listened to it before and used it in the exact opposite way that it’s intended. I’ve been like “Yeah, you better be good to me!” and then felt emboldened to go right back into whatever crap situation I was in with a false sense of empowerment. But these days, I’m trying to actually practice what Tina preaches. Do you understand the difference?
P.S. In case you’re wondering, now that I’ve turned this into an occasional dating confessional that I very loosely tie to pop culture, no I do not mention this blog to potential suitors. I only mention it in job interviews.
It’s important to do this because I want to makes sure that all of my coworkers are weird as hell. It’s how I landed my current job! #NEVERGIVEUPONYOURDREAMS