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What Women Want, Dating, and DTF: Where the Hell Are Our Values? (Kenny Luck)


I've been meaning to author a post dealing with frustration regarding relationships and people in general, but I wanted to focus on other topics instead. Here's some ranting and a great Facebook post by a friend.


Many of us see constant absurd situations in which the person who we like is wooed by a disheveled and dilapidated person who says "Where you at" when he answers a cell phone, listens to gangster rap and thinks that it is the best genre of music ever, can't hold an intellectual conversation about important issues, and builds up the entire week waiting for a drunken stupor in which he assumes no responsibility for his actions. Oddly enough, many people don't value well-spoken people, intellectualism, real discussion, passion, honesty, accountability, motivation, etc.


I don't claim to be perfect by any means and I don't expect others to exactly fit what I think I want in a relationship...and probably don't want an "exact fit." What I do want, though, is to have close people who are intelligent, responsible, critical thinkers. Have goals. Be honest. Care about important issues. Be respectful. Is that really too much to ask?


As I've gained more knowledge and actually started "caring," I've noticed that many people are simply just boring as George Carlin masterfully demonstrated.



I'm constantly mystified when people say "I'm bored. There's nothing to do." I'll never use that word in my vocabulary unless I'm forced to wait for something, am exhausted, or am in a forced situation in which I somehow can't have fun. I like to make life exciting and have an easy time doing that. I blog, I go to classes, I work, I read, I follow news, I chat about important issues, I think, I imagine... I wish I had much of the free time that people "waste."


You'll never hear me say, "I'm bored." This is a terrible and horrible thing to admit, in most cases, unless you are forced to wait for something, sick, imprisoned, etc. Boredom is an admission of wasting the precious minutes you have in the only life you know you have and perhaps proves that your life is not that grand. What can you really say about yourself if you can't keep yourself entertained?


It's tough to be an intellectual with high and rigorous standards for yourself when you're in an environment of people who simply just "don't care."

Let's call it "anti-intellectualism."

Let's call it "I don't want to think, I just want to believe what I was told."

Let's call it intellectual dishonesty and intellectual laziness.


Whether you may think these statements are elitist or not (as some may claim), it's certainly true that many people just "don't care" and are just uninterested... I don't want to be surrounded by dumb and uninteresting people. It's pretty simple, actually.


Thankfully, things may soon take a turn for the better for me...


Throwing all of these ideas together, Kenny Luck, the local published author who interviewed me about the nativity scene incident, beat me to the punch and posted a fabulous post on his Facebook profile that I'd like to share with my readers regarding relationships, anti-intellectualism, and so much more. I'll let the story speak for itself. Enjoy.


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What Women Want, Dating, and DTF: Where the Hell Are Our Values? (Kenny Luck)


In his 1944 drama, “No Exit” the French philosopher John-Paul Sartre wrote perhaps one of the most memorable lines about the nature of human suffering: “Hell,” he said, “is other people.”

For a long time, I disagreed with Sartre’s assertion, both in principle and in practice. Surely, I knew plenty of people who made me happy: Family members, co-workers, close friends, and girlfriends. But as a na├»ve 21 year old, I could happily live as an ignoramus, sheltered from the harsh experiences that were yet to come.

There are many definitions of “dating.” One of the best is describes it as: …a form of courtship, and may include any social activity undertaken by, typically, two persons with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. The word refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity. Traditional dating activities include entertainment or a meal.”


But can this complex social interaction really be summed up this easily?


Like many things, the act of dating, and the idea of dating are subject to age, race, culture, and time. There is online dating; there is fast dating; there are singles cruises. But no matter the time, place, or manner, those engaged in the date—the players of the game—are always subject to some vague set of social rules, what is considered acceptable and what is not. These rules may be tacit and unspoken, but many of us are aware of their existence. Men, for example, are, in most cases, expected to pay, at least at first, for whatever the activity on the first date. And as society continues to experiment with gender roles and expectations, we will continue to see a shift in the attitudes and perceptions of what it means “to be on a date.”

****

Recently, after the termination of a long-term relationship, I was faced with a dilemma: Do I take time off, or do I continue to look for my future love who maybe out there, somewhere? I decided on the latter because it made more sense to me. I could sit around and feel sorry for myself, or I can get on with it and move forward.


After a relatively short time—two months—I went out with five different women on five different dates in varying circumstances. I am still trying to figure out how I even convinced them to go out with me in the first place, but they did. Each experience seemed to diminish from the previous one. Then, about a week ago, a close friend approached me.


“I think I might have someone for you,” he said. “She goes to [blank] college, and she is looking for a guy. I know what you have been going through lately, and I think this one might have potential.”


After some deliberation, I agreed to call her and within a few days we had plans to meet for dinner. This girl, let’s call her Mary, sounded great on the phone, as we spoke twice before going out. The afternoon before the date was like any other; I showed, ironed my clothes, and stopped off at a florist to get a single rose which, in my mind, was a classy gesture—so I thought.


I arrived at her apartment a few minutes early, and she was kind enough to let me in for a few moments as she got ready. Nervous and excited, I stood in the kitchen sipping on a glass of white wine, waiting for this unusually attractive girl to join me.


At first everything seemed normal. There was some flirtatious banter—which is always a plus—on the way to the restaurant. But something drastically changed. After parking the car, I got out an opened her door, as any sensible gentleman would do.


“It’s 2010,” she barked. “Don’t do that.”


With my patients beginning to erode, I spoke up.


“What’s wrong with opening the door for someone?” I protested. “And if you think this is old-fashioned, you’re going to hate what else I had in mind.”

“What?! Tell me!”

What is wrong with this girl? All I did was open a freakin’ care door, and you would swear I committed a horrible crime.

I hesitated. I paused. I thought.

“Well,” I said, “you don’t strike me as someone who likes flowers.”

“I hate them. I think they are lame.”

“That’s a shame then,” I said, “because I bought you a rose. It’s yours if you want.”

“No. I really don’t.”

I felt embarrassed and ashamed. We ate a quick meal, and the flirting had vanished. No more witty banter—just blank stares and awkward silence.

“Come on,” I said. “I will take you home now.”

As I drove back to her apartment, I kept wondering why she even agreed to go out with me in the first place. It didn’t make any sense. We soon arrived, and as I prepared to say good night, Mary said something unexpected: “Do you want to come in?”

Seeing it as one last opportunity to salvage the evening, I agreed, but harbored some skepticism. I sat on her couch enjoying another glass of wine while she disappeared upstairs.

I wish I knew what the hell was going on here.

Within a few minutes, Mary reappeared in more comfortable clothes, and made herself comfortable on the adjacent couch opposite me.

“So you wanna talk, eh? Well, let’s talk. Let’s be honest.”

But the conversation ended up being an idiotic exchange of insults and bad puns. There was no catharsis, no revealing moment, no “Ah HA,” second chance: This date was dead.

Ripping into every aspect of my personality, Mary unapologetically aired her list of grievances against me.

“I can have you in a minute if I wanted. You’re too easy. Women don’t like that. They want an aggressive, gritty guy. You’re too nice, too smart.”

“Aggressive?” I said. “That’s pretty immature,” adding for good measure: “Aggressive men do not make good husbands, fathers, or friends.”

“Well that is what I want. Look at you. You feel sorry for yourself—I can tell these things. You see, I should be a psychologist.”

Setting herself up, Mary had dug an extremely large logical hole.

“A psychologist? No. I think you need to see a psychologist, not become one.

The petty bickering continued for over an hour, and I just wanted to go home and forget this night had ever happened. I gathered my things and headed toward the door.

“I hope you find what you are seeking,” I said. “Obviously, and sadly, I am not it.”

I walked out into the cold October night. It was 1 a.m.

Entering my car, I took my jacket off and put it on the passenger’s seat. Then, I noticed the rose I had bought for her, still lying on the floor in the back, untouched. I began to cry. I never spoke to, or heard from Mary again. But just before I left, she had asked me if I learned anything from spending time with her. I didn’t. But when I asked her the same question, she said: “Maybe I should treat guys a little better in the future.”

****

My experience with Mary is not an isolated event. The ubiquity of abject narcissism, careless words, and making a mockery out of someone else’s feelings is, by any normal standards of conduct, unethical. And it is ever more common among twenty-something’s to be more egotistical, and less smart about these things. In her book, “Generation Me,” author Jean Twenge investigates why “today’s young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled—and more miserable than ever before.” In short, Twenge argues that everyone under 30 years old is focused more on sex than love; more about themselves than others; and more on moment to moment partnerships than real, long-lasting commitments.


All of this may give the impression, rightly or wrongly, that I am very conservative guy who longs for “the good ol’ days” of dating. I am not. No such time ever existed, nor will it ever. But what I am arguing for is a certain kind of intolerance. This intolerance is toward the stupidity shown on programs like “Jersey Shore”—where guys like “The Situation” often ask: Do you think that chick is down to fuck (DTF)? Or the pseudo-philosophical, Oprah-like explanations that “everything happens for a reason.” Rather than putting some extra effort into complex social experiments like relationships, most easily resign, concluding: “It wasn’t meant to be.” Pardon me, but what the fuck does this mean anyway?! If you believe in the absurd idea of pre-destination—that all of life’s events are pre-planned and can be known ahead of time—than this “meant to be” crap makes sense. But doesn’t such an attitude rob the individual of his or her freedom to make rational, cognizant decisions?


To sum, after the series of bad relationships and experiments dating, I will probably resign to the prevailing zeitgeist: There is no room for romance in the world, just the unchecked search for carnal pleasure. Like Sisyphus, I will continue to roll my stone up the hill until I meet, who I deem, “the right person.”


When a girl perceives kindness as a weakness, as with Mary, then there is a real problem with our values. All men are assholes and all girls are bitches, right? This is the assumption that needs to go away. In my opinion, all ethical systems can be reduced to one simple idea: You are responsible for the predictable outcomes of your actions. Stop reducing your decisions on superstitious, irrational little sayings you can find at the Hallmark store, and realize that what you do can drastically affect another human being.


For now, I agree with Sartre: Hell really is other people. In the dating underworld, this has never been truer. Each time I enter a club, or ask for a girl’s number, Sartre’s words resonate within me. Maybe I should just be a Buddhist monk and forget about all of this. It just might not be a bad idea.