Ask A Grown Up: Help Me Find A Date!
What’s up, Broke-Asses? So you know… I hated dating. As I mentioned in last week’s column, I am married. In addition to the obvious perks of being married to Paul the Sexy as Fuck British Comedian (TM), one of the things that makes me most grateful to be a married lady is that I don’t have to date anymore.
It’s brutal out there for single people. It’s like the Hunger Games, but instead of food and riches, the prize for winning is cock and vagina. Dating -especially over the age of 30- is a dystopian nightmare.
I hated dating. I hated online dating, the bar scene, blind date fix-ups by so-called friends… all of it. I am very empathetic to anyone who is still trying to find someone to partner up with.
This week’s question comes from C.P. in Seattle, who asks:
“Help me, Grown Up! I haven’t been asked out on a date in about a year. In fact, I rarely get asked out. I basically go to work and come home and work on my degree online. I don’t want to date anyone at work. I’m not religious and I’m not fond of the bar scene. And I’ve tried online and it was awful. What else is there?”
Oh, C.P. – I feel your pain. I really really do. According to CNN.com, the art of “offline dating” is comprised of a skill set that is completely lost on the social media generation.
“Users mistake social media for being social… Instead it creates a group of people that are highly connected online but feel socially isolated.”
So the key to meeting someone offline -not in the bar, not on an online dating site- is to close your computer, put your phone in your purse or pocket, get out of the house and get engaged in IRL social activities that keep you interacting with potential new friends and lovers… and, friend lovers. And, lovers of friends… I digress.
Basically, we human beings have lost the ability to be social due to the advent of social media. Given that social media is supposed to make the world smaller and bring people closer together, this is ironic to say the least.
Here in Chicago, we have this really cool company – Nerds at Heart – who produces monthly meet-ups where people with similarly nerdy pursuits can meet, face-to-face, and see if a match is made. There are companies all over the country that, like NaH, host targeted meet-ups with the idea of introducing singles with similar interests to each other. Yes, this is a “pay to date” situation, but you do have options if you either do not wish to pay -OR- do not have the budget to pay to date.
CNN.com also says in their article that people need to “practice being social” in order to prepare for dating. Getting involved with groups of people involved in a common pastime is a great way to get easy with talking to new, potentially dateable people. Here are ten ideas for social activities where you can meet new people:
- Kickball league
- Book club
- Volunteering at an animal rescue
- Comic convention or LARP (live action role playing)
- Trivia nights
- Dinner club (a group of people who meet up and cook and host -or- go to schmancy-fancy restaurants)
- Art class
- Hiking group
- Participating in community theater
- Burning Man or other festivals
Once you’re involved in an activity you enjoy immensely, you’ll see that you start making connections with other people who are enjoying the same activity you are. Which is great! The next hurdle you need to overcome is learning how to convert that social connection into a romantic date.
This means you need to ask the person out. I highly recommend women asking men out, this is 2015 and men are attracted to confident women who have the balls to ask someone out. Conversely and personally, I always liked it when a guy asked me out. One of the most promising dates I went on prior to marriage ended in disaster (I am talking about Guitar Hero here,) but it started with the gent involved calling me on the phone to ask me out to a very specific date.
Dating for gay people, trans people or gender fluid people can be a little more nerve wracking, as in addition to the standard fear of rejection, there is also “approach anxiety.” In addition to finding out if the person is interested in you, you also have to determine if they are also gay, or okay with dating someone transgender or with a fluid gender identity. But, really it still comes down to the same dance of determining interest/availability and having the confidence to state your interest upfront and ask for the date.
Basically, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender, all y’all need to be (as my Mom would say) “big brave dogs” and just ask that guy/girl/other out on a date and see where it goes. Rinse, repeat as necessary until you find someone you click with and a relationship forms.
Yeah, dating is a desolate dystopian wasteland. I am SO glad I don’t have to do it anymore. Good luck, C.P.!!
Got a question you need a grown up to answer? Email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org and your question might be used in an upcoming article.
[Dating Blows photo via StartTravelingLight.com]
[Would You Date This Hipster photo via LockerDome.com]