Call me old-fashioned but...The age old tale of the birds and the bees

I hate being single. It's not about me missing the affection, the couples' activities or the ring on my finger (though those are all good things) - no it's really more about all of the b.s. that goes along with being a woman of untaken marital status. The whistles, the cat calls, come on, give me a break — it's 2010 already! But above all that, my biggest problem is, undoubtedly, that I've been out of the game for so long (since I was 16!) that, quite frankly, I don't even know how to act around someone who strikes my fancy, nor for that matter if “the rules” I was indoctrinated with as a child and teenager even apply anymore.

Not only is it becoming increasingly impossible to meet someone in a respectable venue (let's face it both gyms and bars alike have become akin to “meat markets” and even online dating, well one of the first responses I got to an ad after signing up was, “Give me five reasons I should date you,” — right...enough said), but further, all of today's contradictory information regarding “the art of seduction” is downright confusing making it difficult to decipher who, if anyone, really has it right. Should we listen to women? Men? Are there truly any universal laws of applicability or is everything situational? These are just some of the questions that both women and men contemplate when it comes to relationships. Beyond said queries, women and men also try to characterize and justify the dating behaviours of the opposite sex.

For example, women often wrongly misread male disinterest as shyness or apprehension based on the fact that they have yet to receive the green light. Yet movies such as The Ugly Truth posit that NO male on earth possesses such qualities, rather they take what they want and are unapologetic about such things. While I'm debating stereotypes which are overgeneralizations that can't possibly be applied to all situations, I'd like to remind you that stereotypes do find their basis on some kernel of truth (albeit exaggerated).

And then of course, there are the many ways in which men and women attempt to “save face” to avoid rejection. Honesty and upfrontness, in the world of dating, seem to be rare commodities to come by, indeed.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is this: it seems to me that things were simpler when dating roles and rules were more black and white. While I'm not suggesting that we revert to the idealized vision of the 1950s housewife and her breadwinning husband as there were clearly deep-seated issues with this relationship dynamic beyond its apparent sexism and namely, that in many cases, it wasn't the reality at all. In my view, I do believe that men or those in possession of the more “dominant” personality type should be the ones weighted with “the pursuit” for the simple reason that women have more to lose: we get more emotionally invested and at a quicker rate, and sex for us not only leads to more health risks, but as well the potentially slight inconvenience of pregnancy. On top of all of this, when women “take the lead,” it really adds unnecessary complication to the equation.

We spend too much time overanalyzing the actions of men - trying to justify why they haven't called, why they don't find us attractive, and why they slept with us only once despite proclaiming their undying devotion. Essentially, what I'm saying is that ladies, for matters of self-preservation and emotional well-being, it is in your best interest to play the part of the mysterious object of one's affections, rather than the initiator in the art of seduction.

I mean, I'm a feminist so approaching me like some piece of meat with a lame pick up line ain't ever gonna work, but I'd at least have respect for the gent who came up to me and declared quite blatantly, “Hey, I noticed you from across the room, and I find you very attractive. Would you mind if I had a seat? I'd like to get to know you better.” But no, that's apparently not how “the rules” are played, and god forbid I go for a sincere connection over entertaining superficial interests and small talk too soon — that would render me “high maintenance.”

Despite my ex being an asshole, I did find a comfort in not having the additional anxiety in my life provoked by these trivialities. For those of you who get completely wrapped up in this kind of stuff like I've found myself, as of late, I have but two suggestions:

1. Get a hobby
2. Focus on improving yourself and pursuing your dreams so that you don't feel the need to have a mate in order to make your life complete.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.