Marie Kondo-ing My Dating Life: Does This Shit Spark Joy?

The short answer is a simple, “No”, but allow me to elaborate in this, the first post of what will probably be an endless series chronicling disappointment in the penis-bearing portion of the human race.

(And before someone not-all-mens me, I know women suck at this game, too, but I am a heterosexual woman so I’ll be writing from my own point of view, capisce?)

I’ve only been truly back in the dating game for about a year and to say I’m shocked at how different it is since I met my soon-to-be-ex-husband 12 years ago would be an understatement. Sure, I remember feeling frustrated when a potential partner turned out to be a dud but using apps to date in your thirties has allowed me to find duds at an until-now-unprecedented rate. You’d have to add exponents in the double digits to the total number of guys I dated before marriage to even get close to an accurate number of painful, just literally painful dudes.

Even better, it usually take a few dates to figure out that said painful dude is about as lackluster as long-wearing matte lipstick.

What a waste of time, effort, and shaving my legs, all to meet some schmuck who Marie Kondo would have thanked and thrown in the trash after 20 minutes. Seriously. It’s like there’s a color guard convention up in here because you have to ignore a plethora of red flags if you want to venture into this hellscape.

I’ve also wasted a lot of time wondering why I’m wasting time and I think it’s because I’m the type to purposely rage against the machine, regardless of whether or not it’s something I wanted, to prove to someone they’re stupid. Yes, that’s a thing I do and also yes, I don’t know how I have friends.

But enough about my insights for now; the purpose of this series – and what makes me want to SCREAM – is that I don’t even know if I give a shit about dating. I don’t need a man, nor am I actively looking for one. I figure if I meet someone and have a connection, then that’s pretty cool, plus I like meeting new people and going out. That’s how normal relationships develop and the thought that people are actively seeking a long-term SO or marriage skeeves me out and, in my opinion, is an unhealthy way to approach meeting someone for the first time.

My point being that it feels like I’m making myself feel like shit for no reason. I keep going back to these apps and going out with men because I enjoy other people’s company and am curious about what could develop. Except… most of them are golden trash bags (ie: nOt LiKe OtHeR mEn). And it makes me think I’m a masochist because why am I dealing with such unadulterated bullshit?

In case you think I’m exaggerating, here’s my shortlist of said bullshit I’ve been forced to tolerate in this new world of Chinese water torture dating:

  • I’ve been told I’m fat and unattractive

  • I’ve been yelled at for not texting a guy I was dating at work while I was in Urgent Care

  • I’ve been yelled at for talking about my trips to Vegas, especially ones where I’ve been in the same proximity as men

  • I’ve been yelled at for having guy friends and meeting up with them late at night, which is normal for me since I work from home and 10PM to me like 7PM for the rest of you plebes

  • One guy was mad that I didn’t beg to get back together with him so he started using Instagram to talk to one of my friends (who’s no longer a friend because I told her this dude was psycho and I’m pissed she bothered keeping him in my orbit) then told me about it so I’d get jealous and angry. Then he ghosted me. Which is fine – he did the same thing to his girlfriend after me, who I legit stalked to make sure he didn’t kill her, and it turns out he’s had a few restraining orders placed against him and he’s almost been fired several times for being a nutcase.

  • I had a man run from my home because after four dates, he didn’t know he wasn’t romantically interested in me and the thought of making out with me made him recoil, after we’d already kissed on several occasions. Because knowing if you like someone is hard.

  • Another fine specimen actually took time out of his day to write this rage-vomit to me after seeing a photo of my friends and me at the 2019 Women’s March, clearly thinking I’d give his moronic opinion any weight. Also, why match with me unless you just wanted to start an argument we both know you’d lose because clearly you’re an idiot? Methinks there’s a reason your marriage didn’t work out, my friend:
  • Along those lines, someone unmatched me because I identified him as sea-lioning when he asked me what my march shirt meant (it said, “A woman’s place is in the House and the Senate”). If you don’t get that, I’m not going to respond because you’re either a) stupid and don’t deserve my presence or b) making me type paragraphs so you can debate misandry vs feminism. Face the wall; you have shamed America.

  • I’ve had to punch a dude in the face because after going to his place on our, like, 10th date, he pinned me to the ground so I couldn’t get up, causing me to start calling everyone in my contacts until he stopped. Once I finally had my bearings and started to leave, he ripped off my panties from under my dress. All of this was followed by a, “Haha, sorry about that, let’s get together soon” text because in addition to being a sexual predator, he’s also tone deaf. And it turns out he had a girlfriend. Spoiler: he tried to date me again three months later.

  • From another guy, I got upwards of 10 texts during my work day if I didn’t respond immediately and when I would respond and try to get together, I’d be treated like an option in retaliation and not hear from him for days or weeks. Our last communication was me telling him to let me know his schedule so we could get together. He never replied but then sent me an entitled text complaining that I don’t contact him first. Like… I don’t need to project manage grown men and WHY ARE YOU EXHAUSTING?

So yeah, none of this sparks joy. In fact, it sparks a whole lot of other things, like a deep well of resentment and evenings spent binging on Halo Top while watching an HBO period piece about lesbians (Gentleman Jack is so good, y’all). And yet I do it anyway because… why? I feel like I have to? Because I don’t.

And thus brings us to this blog series. I have a lot of thoughts about my meager year of dating experience in this new world and as someone who’s taken three psychology classes, I’m totally qualified to comment on its and other people’s abnormalities.

To quote a prime example of relationship dysfunction and epitome of female self-hatred, “Will you join me on this journey?” – The Bachelor