- Let’s keep it PG-13
If you have ever uttered any of the above, if you know me personally, or if you get squeamish around the topic of sex, dating, and everything in between, this is your last chance to bail from reading this rather blatantly-titled post.
Okay – now that it’s just us grown-ups, I can begin.
The singles scene can be hazardous at worst, dizzyingly ecstatic at best, and unstable any given weekend. At least, when you live in a city. I can’t say much for the world of dating and sex in the backwoods and the suburbs of Canada; it’s a world I simply cannot begin to comprehend, so I won’t attempt writing about it. I won’t speak for all the single girls out in the boonies of Ladner, BC – or in Stratford, ON where I actually know a guy who had a devil’s threesome with his ex-girlhole and his male cousin by a lake.
See now why I can’t wrap my head around it?
Let’s say you just came out of a six-year relationship with the love of your life, and you need to “do the single thing” for a while. So how do you adhere to your preferred level of singleness? How do you, a creature of devotion and commitment, avoid getting attached, or prevent others from getting attached to you? And is it possible to still be yourself without letting anyone take root?
Let’s say you have too many suitors and you need to be able to weed some out so as to maintain some semblance of dignity when it comes to your body count. How do you decide which to keep and which to put aside for a rainy day?
Let’s say you just started dating someone you really like, but you want to make sure you’re not going into it headlong and with rose-coloured glasses. How do you pace yourself so you can see all the red flags before you get to each milestone exit opportunity?
One of your prospects may or may not be crazy. How can you tell? If they are, what level of crazy is acceptable for someone you just want to fool around with or keep you from being grouchily celibate?
You’re in a long distance relationship and you’re starting to feel paranoid. Or maybe it’s the other way around. How do you tell if it’s worth the effort to keep the connection going? And if it is, how do you keep it from falling apart?
Hopefully I can answer a lot of these rather standard questions. This will be a guide – a dating apocalypse guide – to the sometimes desolate, every-man-for-himself, pre- mid- and post-relationshit world. And as with all good guides, there are rules.
Some are easy enough to follow; some are a little easier to break. Some are forgiving when broken; some will break you. Some will incite a sense of unbridled panic when you catch your partner breaking them. The rest are just there to keep things from getting boring.
There are all sorts of people out there, but the roles they can play are limited. The challenge in keeping playtime from leaving a mess lies heavily in your ability to file each prospect into the appropriate bin. Think of it as recycling. You know this one’s soft plastic so you put it in the blue bin so it can be shredded up and reborn as part of a new, possibly still very similar soft plastic item. You know this one’s rotten and smelly, so you stick it into the compost where you’ll never see it again… where it stops being a useless lump of stinky badness and, through a time-intensive, effortless process that you never need to bother thinking about, become part of the earth that contributes to the growth of a glorious and victorious tree.
I love it when analogies get out of hand.
Anyhow, this is all rather experimental. I have always had my Code and my Rules of Three and they’ve worked just fine for me so far. The funny thing is, any writing I’ve done with regards to them has been in text message, while advising my fellow femmes fatales. I’ve never been a fan of Sex & the City (sorry, Jenn. I know it’s a favourite) and I’ve never picked up a Cosmo unless I was using it to swat a fly. The closest thing I’ve ever gotten to a girly love column would be when I read Laura Zigman’s Animal Husbandry. It’s the book that eventually became Someone Like You which starred Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear, and a very shirtless Hugh Jackman.
The point I was attempting to convey in that rather flaky paragraph is that I am by no means a seasoned “Love Columnist” or whatever such people would label themselves as. Expect none of the fluffy treatment you will read from Seventeen. Don’t expect the sugarcoated denials of you being a crazy bitch, per Cosmo. No man-blaming here; it’s easier to be accountable for your piece when you know what your radius of effect is. And trust me, it’s a bigger radius than you might think.
Facts and psychology can trump smoke and mirrors any day. No fairy tales. No flaming the opposite sex. This isn’t Dear Abby, Dr Phil or ym (man I’m old for remembering that one). This is DwaM, and suddenly the M part of that makes me chuckle.
It’s a crazy game, kiddies. But all games have rules. In my new and completely uncensored corner of the internet, I’m going to do my best to lay them out for you. If you get grossed out, don’t worry. You can always stop reading.