Filed In: Dating Things
I’ve been an Internet hobbyist (that’s a blogger with commitment issues) for a few years now, and with the exception of some now-deleted food porn in my early Tumblr days, nothing has stirred quite the reaction as my post on soulmates. I rarely write something with the expectation of a particular reaction (I am, after all, still coming to terms with the fact that people actually read this thing with which I choose to humiliate myself), but this time I expected one of three things:
- Dear Kaitlin: You’re a bitter old hag who needs to get laid.
- Dear Kaitlin: You just haven’t found the right man yet. Hang in there, girl! Your prince will come!
Instead, I got phone calls and text messages and emails of enthusiastic agreement. “Yes!” “Spot on!” “I need to start reading Dan Savage!”
Which leads me to the question that burns my brain on a Monday morning (because, yes, I’m writing this on the Blue Line again): what the hell is wrong with us that not a single reader wanted to stand up for soulmates?
I know that, statistically, we’re likely to be products of divorce, but I also thought millennials were supposed to be idealistic and naive and demanding of instant gratification rather than willing to put effort into achieving their goals! At least one person born between 1980 and 2000 should believe that soulmates are real – or, at the very least, should still be dumb enough to believe we can’t make the same mistakes of generations past.
Apparently, I’m wrong. It’s not just me who doesn’t buy into soulmates or marriage, it’s all of us. This may surprise you (because it definitely surprises me to type it), but that’s just sad.
We can’t all be realists, damn it. We can’t all have come to terms with the fact that maybe we won’t find someone to love and grow old with, that not everyone gets to live the bumpy path to happily ever after.
Where would we be without romantics? The songs I would miss! The books that would never be read! The match.com subscriptions that would never be renewed!
Come on, guys. Are you really all as jaded as I am?
I recently found myself with a new Match profile and a list of creeps to weed through. I think I found one worth meeting for a free drink, at least, but don’t know how to move the constant messaging to real life awkward conversation.
I live in the suburbs but all the guys I meet online live in the city. This one keeps telling me to let him know when I venture downtown but doesn’t tell me where in the city he lives or offer a time to meet. He hasn’t even asked for a phone number! What do I do?
Choosy in Chicagoland
Oh, Choosy. My dear, sweet Choosy.
Men are dummies, but so are we. I say this assuming that you are a heterosexual woman, of course, because I don’t hear a lot of gay men having this type of problem. They cut to the chase on dating apps, and I think we could all learn a lesson there.
This guy you’re talking to only seems interested if it’s convenient. Maybe he doesn’t have a car to get to the suburbs, but even that is no excuse to make you question what’s going on. (Having no car of my own to date a suburban being, I understand his hypothetical predicament.) Your profile makes it clear you live in a suburb, right? Then he can’t use that as an excuse to string you or the idea of a first IRL meeting along.
Damn it, a complete stranger should not bring you this much anxiety. It’s just dating!
In your next message, you need to be clear in your intentions. Tell him that you go to the city regularly as long as you have a good reason. If he wants to be that reason, he should offer at least a day of the week if not a specific time and place. Give him your phone number (a burner number is acceptable) and stop answering his messages unless he calls or texts like a human being of millennial age. Hell, you’re a modern woman, ask him out yourself, even!
The moral of the story is: you’re not star crossed lovers without options, so quit writing letters as though he’s off fighting for the Union.
What do you think, Dear Reader? Should Choosy ask this guy out or quit while she’s ahead?
This may surprise you, Dear Reader, but what I’m about to tell you is devoid of my usual tongue-in-cheek demeanor. Instead, it is with complete sincerity that I tell you this truth:
Soulmates are bullshit.
This is not to say I don’t believe that it is possible to meet a person and fall in love and live happily ever after (with some bumps along the way). Love is real and wonderful and thrust upon the most fortunate of us all, but the belief that each of us has a perfect match roaming the earth, destined to join together to make us whole, is a lie.