Everywhere I’ve ever been, there’s always been at least one other Amy. Elementary school: 1, high school: 3, student-run theatre scene at Carolina: 5. That’s right. Long about ’94/’95 (why did I just want to write that ‘niney-fo/niney-fi’?), there were five of us Amys treading the tiny, crappy boards in the basement of Graham Memorial. And I must say, every last one of ‘em: awesome. I was honored to be amongst that fine group o’ thespians.
I reconnected a couple years ago with one of these Amys, and I promptly co-opted her as my dating guru. This particular Amy is single as well (inexplicably, IMHO), but she just looks at everything with an eye I wish I had. For example, last night when I shared an article on Facebook called “Why You’re Not Married” and posited that I was reasons 2, 5, and 6, she commented, “this article is so full of shit. i know plenty of married women who are 1-6.”
So, without further ado, for your dating edgumucation, I present to you a post by sometimes commenter, always badass, and now guest-blogger amy a (a.k.a. Shot-of-Tequila-and-a-High-Five).
DATING IN ONE’S 30′S: A GUIDE FOR THOSE WHO DON’T FUCKING HAVE TO DO IT.
1. decide if you want to date a guy or sleep with him. the minute you fool yourself into thinking you can do both right away, you are doomed. dating in your 30′s is NOT, i repeat NOT, a john hughes movie. the dudes do NOT decide they’re really all about you later even though they originally wanted to just have sex with you because they need to get over their ex-wife. mostly, they have no idea they need to get over their ex-wife in the first place. if he is so evolved, BELIEVE HIM when he says he isn’t over her and doesn’t want a relationship. he will still act like he’s in a relationship with you, because he has no idea how to NOT be in one, because he’s been in one for the past ten years, but he is not in one with YOU. he just has no idea how to exist outside of a relationship, so then when he stops being your “boyfriend”, which he swears he wasn’t in the first place, you will be crushed, and he will just start sleeping with college girls, which he should have been doing in the first place and not wasting your damn time.
2. decide if you want to teach a new dog old tricks. basically, do you want to date a younger dude? because they are fucking fun. they have stamina, great outlooks on life, they aren’t divorced, they don’t have kids. they have learned just enough sexually to be really enthusiastic about showing these things to you, and also they love that you don’t care about fucking with the lights on, because their past girlfriends are young enough to think they have body issues they haven’t BEGUN to have and only do it with the lights off. most of them also have never had a proper blow job, so you can imagine the ego boost that is. BUT it’s also really hard to take them seriously. it can make you feel even older than you are. at a certain point, you’re going to turn to this dude with the awesome abs and the “i can change the WORLD!” attitude, and you’re going to think: “for fuck’s sake, you can’t even talk to me about 80′s tv shows without it being a hipster punchline. and i’m sorry, honey…i’m tired, and your ideas aren’t as original as you want them to be.” and then, you will just want to leave him drinking his pbr at the bar, go to the bathroom, and walk out the back door.
3. decide if you want to try internet dating. BECAUSE WHERE ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO MEET ANYONE? ahem, sorry, but it’s true. if you really were meeting guys to date at the gym, or through a friend, or through but not at work, or at the grocery store in the produce section, YOU WOULD BE MEETING THEM THERE. but at some point, you gotta just go for broke, admit it ain’t happenin’, and go to the world wide web. there are tons of sites. some of them make you pay, which seems like it would screen out the weirdos, but it doesn’t. they are everywhere. sometimes you do meet someone awesome: for every horror story, there’s someone who meets her future husband/partner. it’s a huge crap shoot, but so is going on any date, really. and i look at it like this: once you go on one date with a dude you’ve met online, if there’s a second date, it doesn’t matter how you met him. could’ve just as easily had a second date with a dude you met at the gym or the deli.
4. decide when you’re going to decide when you’re going to be offended by him not communicating with you, which of course means he’s met someone else or just decided he doesn’t like you, and doesn’t want to see you anymore goddammit why does this always happen when i think i actually like a guy what am i a fucking schoolgirl, i have a life a FULL LIFE, i don’t need you to DEFINE IT FOR ME, i just met you a few weeks ago, and here i am a grown ass woman on pins and needles for a fucking text message because the thought of actually going on more than a few dates with a guy whom i find interesting is something i have not allowed myself to EVEN THINK ABOUT because i just can’t get on that emotional roller coaster AGAIN. sorry. GODDAMMIT.
[5. text message vs. phone calls. a brief synopsis: dude, nobody calls anybody anymore. seriously, let's just admit it. you call your family and you call your friends you've had since before texting. anyone else, you text. a good male friend of mine, whom i've only known about a year and a half, announced that he knows i'm upset and really need to talk because it is then and only then that the phone actually RINGS instead of DINGS (by the way, he does the same thing). so.....texting is what happens with dating as well, until you get to the point where you've been dating a while and you move into the phone call status...usually that means boyfriend. even then, texting will usually rule the day. and it is nice to get those "hi! how's your day so far?" texts. it's sweet. like a post-it on the mirror.]
6. decide when you’re going to talk about kids. his kids. cause you don’t have any. the big difference in dating in your 30′s vs. 20′s is the kids situation: do you have any? does he have any? do you want more or any at all? does he? by the time you’re in your mid 30′s, the answers to all these questions are usually immediate, firm, and unwavering. no more “well, if i meet the right guy…” or “i MAYBE could be a stepmom…” NO. you know. you know if you care and if you don’t. and he does too. so THAT is nice. at least it’s something solid that you can base dating further or not on. cause if a guy wants to have kids, we’re not going to make it. if a dude already has a kid, i’m cool with that. if a dude already has a kid who is close to college age, or doesn’t have nor want them at all, BINGO.
7. decide when you’re going to get tested. yep. usually this happens when you both decide you’re not going to use condoms anymore. i’m a hypochondriac, so i get tested for everythingunderthesun every year anyway. you’d be surprised at the dudes that don’t. or can’t remember the last time they got tested. and oh geez: the guys who were in long-term monogamous relationships (marriage or otherwise) who are now having to use condoms for the first time in YEARS. yeah, you can imagine how fun that is. you feel like a total hooker. or actually, no. cause the point of a hooker is to not use condoms? i don’t know. all i know is i am on team condom, and it’s interesting how many guys don’t care if you don’t insist. scary.
8. decide when you’re going to tell your family you’re dating someone. ohfortheloveofgod. seriously, it’s almost embarrassing. they have watched you get on that bicycle so many times, and every time it looks like you may make it to the end of the block, and round the corner out of sight…. BAM. nope. you’re on the pavement because of some stupid rock or twig named “crazy ex-wife” or “ohmygod you have a parole officer?!” or “serious anger management issues”. so you stop telling them about all the bike rides you go on. because most just last a pedal or two. and you really just hate the look on their faces when you get up after taking that nasty spill AGAIN. they just look so….sad. or disappointed. or something.
…..this was the amazon preview of this dating guide. but i’m sure you can gather what the rest of the book is like. basically, dating in your 30′s is well, let’s put it this way: everyone who is dating in their 30′s never thought they would be dating in their 30′s. those who are divorced didn’t ever see themselves dating again, because they didn’t ever see themselves divorced. those of us who’ve never been married didn’t expect to not be married “by now”, or for those of us who don’t really want to get married necessarily, didn’t think they wouldn’t be in a serious relationship. so, it’s just a bunch of us, kinda standing around, checking each other out, and trying not to get too excited, but trying not to be too defeated, either.