Modern Hate; Difficult Horse: Easy Course?

One of my bad habits is reading shitty articles on the internet. I also read a lot of good articles on the internet, but the shitty ones somehow end up working themselves in. My worse habit is that I get caught up in the words that these shitty articles spew and let them fuel anxiety.

Luckily I am getting better at recognizing stupid shit; or at least shit that doesn't really apply to me. The most recent manifestation of this was an article about how important it is to implement 'the chase' when dating because...I don't even remember, but you know, probably some really hard evidence about how all men are the same and all of them love this 'chase' and also about how people value things they have to work for.

I don't debate that people value things they have to work for, but I knew that this idea of women having to set up some kind of chase or not act how they really feel to get men to be interested didn't sit well with me. Then it hit me pretty fast why I think this can be true and false at the same time.

Yes, it's satisfactory to get things that we work for. But this pervasive idea that women need to implement things into a relationship to create obstacles and challenges forgets that there are women out there who are difficult and challenging on their own, without any effort put forth other than just being themselves.

Obviously, I am one of those women. I'm a challenging person to be involved with, whether it be friendship, romance, working, living, or however else we're involved with other humans. It's hard for me to say exactly why I know that I pose such a difficulty for so many people, because I'm just me and I think that although being me is hard re: the many thoughts that I have and how boredom turns into anxiety so I have to have a lot of activities, it's just my life. But I know that I'm intense, and I expect a lot of the people in my life, and I let them know that without really trying. It comes from the things I say, the stories I tell, the way that I describe my life. It's evident in my writing, in my conversations, in my quick responses to stimuli. I'm neurotic and anxious, I have strong reactions to things both positive and negative. This isn't to be negative on myself, I also show strong and obvious affection for people, I engage deeply in my relationships with people and with art, I care deeply about art and discussing it. But all these things are still intense, and for most people who don't live at the pace that I do, it's a lot to handle and a lot to be around.

I find myself trying to make things easier for the people around me so often – because I know that I'm a lot to handle, I try to consistently do things to make it easier and less intimidating. My friends, my family, my coworkers, and yes, with the people I date.

This is the big societal no-no. If he isn't working for you he'll drop you! You can't make it too easy for him! Etc etc.  Love, the internet.  

But it's already hard. I'm already challenging. It's already enough work just to keep up with me. If I don't meet people half way, there's plenty of likelihood that they would just give up – not because it's not challenging enough, but because it's too much.

I know what the textbook response to what I just said is – there's some guy out there who is just going to fall in love with every part of you immediately and do everything right away and it'll be perfect!  Love, the internet.

Meh. I don't believe that – or maybe that's true, but I don't want that. The energy I have is already intense, and if there's some guy out there who would be obsessed with me right away and come on really strong, I would probably hate him. I seek people in life who have a laid back energy compared to my intensity, and laid back people aren't going to do the pushy things.

I was talking to my best f about this on the phone, and she's the one who came up with the horse analogy. At least the beginning of it. I'm so thankful to have a best friend who is not only willing to make up absurd analogies about my version of 'problems,' but is also not only willing but also able to cater them to my obscure interests. It's truly amazing. There are easier courses and easier horses, and there definitely needs to be a challenge somewhere, but she said that I am a challenging horse.  I liked this because challenging horses were the ones I liked best back when I was a person who rode horses.  

Except then as is typical in our conversations, we both got confused about what exactly we were trying to say. And then moved on to another topic. When I said the theory that I'm positing here, that since I'm already a difficult horse it's okay for me to make the jumps you know, shorter, she said that wasn't exactly what she had in mind, but she hasn't told me yet so too bad my theory wins because it's my life and my blog.

At the end of the day (a phrase that my besty hates) I think this is just going to be the way that I live my life regardless of what anyone, friend or internet or professional, has to say about it. I've realized as an adult that there are things that I know I'm going to do regardless of how much advice I get to the contrary, and most of them relate to the fact that I'm a generous and forgiving person who likes to give others the benefit of the doubt and live by the way of grace as posited in the movie The Tree of Life -

(and the bible, I guess, but let's go with the movie)

It's basically like grace accepts things and loves things and accepts when it's slighted or what not. Versus nature which is forceful and tries to lord things over people and shit.

How this relates makes total sense in my brain. I don't want to falsely create an obstacle course when I'm already a lot of a person. If that in the long run made someone think that I'm not enough of a challenge to be happy with, that would be fucking absurd. Even aside from me being intense, building relationships with other people is already hard enough. Even in friendship! Even with coworkers! Where are these people who have such an easy time building relationships that they need to make it harder so other people can 'value' them, by which I mean who are these horrible people that don't value that other people are putting themselves up for the potential slaughter that intimacy requires and need them to create false games?  Can't we just value the fact that companionship is even possible in this horrible but wonderful place called the world?  

Modern Hate: The Chronicle of the Retreating Couch Surfer

Anyway, I don't really like strangers, so I try to be friendly to the couch surfers while not engaging in a great deal of BE-friending. I don't dislike strangers because of any specific strangers sucking, rather because strangers don't have enough time to 'get' me and I'd rather not waste my energy when I already have very little time to spare on someone who is inevitably going to be confused by my presence and perhaps end up being a little bit rude.

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Caricatures in Misogyny: Modern Hate

Recently someone asked me to clarify what I meant when I said that one of the topics I write about is misogyny.

“Well, I try to bring to light the everyday instances in which men mistreat women, in such ways that are so ridiculous that they become caricatures of themselves.”

“Like what?” he asked. I also happened to be on a date with 'he,' so this was not necessarily what I wanted to be discussing. However I am not one to back down from discussing the problems of humans, so I continued.

“You know, just for example...one of my friends [me] had this really horrible time where a guy was just so cruel to her after their time together for really no reason and I wrote about that....I find it happens more often than people realize so I want to bring that to light. And also the ways men mistreat women that they don't realize are misogyny.”

“Isn't there another word for that?” he asked.

I didn't really want to get into an argument of semantics with this guy, although I should have, because he ended up being le worst. I segued the conversation to how I also write about the great stories of the men in my life who have helped me overcome my fear of men in general and how they should be celebrated. I think I did write about this. Once.

This fellow and I actually ended up having a great time on the date, or so it seemed. It started out a bit awkward, as first dates can, but we quickly found common ground and the conversation seemed to take off. I could tell he was a bit more boring than the people I usually spend my time around, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt so I framed this as 'calm,' 'kind,' and 'attentive.' I don't know if I laughed much, but again I wanted to be forgiving since we seemed to be getting along well.

After hanging out at my house for a bit after the date, he actually agreed to go out with my friends and I, which to his credit was nice. I enjoyed not feeling like I had to be socializing with strangers at the bar, and it was fun to have someone to be my buddy.

All, it seemed, was well.

For the next few days we spoke consistently via text, basically continuing the same conversation. This hasn't happened to me in a while, (partially because I had sworn off men after the early summer fiascos,) so I found I quite liked it. I got worried that we were talking about everyday mundane things, but Amber told me that this is just what you do when you're getting to know someone, or even when they're dating them.

“That's part of the thing of dating people. If you see a really weird car, you tell them.”

Interesting, I thought, this is actually kind of fun.

Alas, it lulled me into a false sense of security, when I clearly should have been saying to myself, “BECCA SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG SO DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP ABOUT THIS OR ANY OTHER MAN EVER”

Again alas, I did not say this to myself. We continued to speak, flirtatiously, until on Wednesday I received a text which basically said : (I would copy the real thing, but I left my phone charger in Redlands so I'm trying to save the battery until I go to bed because I've been borrowing my roommates charger but she uses it at night...anyway...)

“I've been doing some thinking and I don't think our personalities mesh the way I want. I'm sorry. You are a great person and I'm sure you will make someone else very happy.”

I will say straight away that I am not actually angry about the content of this text. I mean, it's annoying, but all in all a relatively respectful way to do what it accomplished. I said something along the lines of 'alright, I'm just curious as to why you'd text me every day for four days if that was the case...seems to not be accomplishing anything' to which he had a somehow simultaneously vague and overwrought response.

I was rather upset at first, but seeing as this was yesterday and I'm already glad that he saved me from his boring self / happy to go on living my Sex and the City themed life of dating and being adventurous, I am more interested in the other aspects of the situation.

He was probably correct on some level that our personalities don't mesh perfectly, but my question is, is that really necessary in getting to know someone? I would never argue that back to him certainly, because I would never try to fight with some rando to date me when they are already over it, but I am curious. I find that in not just dating but also friendship and workship and life, I want to get to know someone better than I can in a few hour timespan to make that kind of judgment. I find that the more I get to know someone and see their interesting aspects, the more I can find a way for them to fit in my life, whether it be romantically or in friendship or even just an interesting person to be around sometimes. Not everyone I meet or date has to be my soul mate, and in fact I'd like to date a lot of people who aren't my soul mate before I find my soul mate (if such a thing exists) so I can get the experience of sharing my life with all different kinds of people.

Perhaps this is not a common held belief. Meh. I think it will make my life much more fun and interesting.

Then, the truly sad thing that a friend brought up:

“Most guys are just looking for a pretty, probably boring girl to sit with them on the couch and cuddle while they watch TV and listen to them talk. You aren't that.”

She may be right. What a sad thing. I guess to each their own, but it's a shame to think that so many people are willing to give up an interesting life (not with me, literally with anyone) because it's so much easier to sit around watching TV with a lame companion. Le sigh, what is the word for general distaste for most humans and their motivations? Oh, misanthrope.

Perhaps you are wondering how I categorize any of this as misogyny. I don't. I actually would like to encourage more men to be up front when they don't want to date someone instead of ignoring them. The rest of the aspects of this fellow's behavior, mainly talking to me for four days straight while simultaneously brewing this little plan, is not admirable, so don't do that, but not particularly misogynistic either.

Wanting to write about this but it not fitting into my first category of man related posts brought upon a second category, a wee bit of satire, one might say. The New York Times runs a series called Modern Love, and seeing as my experiences are nothing of the sort, I've decided to call my dating trials and tribulations that are entertaining but not necessarily misogynistic Modern Hate. Funny that Hate is in the title when misogynist is woman-hating, but the joke is hating the dating in the modern world, not any genders hating each other. So stay tuned for periodic stories of the fiasco which is my life of trying to casually date in the modern era.