I recently arrived at that place in my life when I am ready to date again. It has been a very long time since I felt like that. Even when I met David, I wasn’t ready to date, it all just happened and caught me completely by surprise. I had not met other people, hadn’t had the awkward first dates or any of that. We met one day and that was that.
These days, it is a different situation and I can say this for certain: Dating sucks. I don’t know if it is just because I am older, or maybe because I have been out of the true dating game for so long, but it seems like all the rules have changed and I never got a copy of the new manual. Maybe it is just the caliber of guys here in Vegas. People seem so shallow and the few that do seem to be somewhat interesting hang around for a few weeks, talk about all the things they would like to do with me, the places they would like to go, the restaurants, etc., and then from one day to the next, they are gone. They are here in town, but they no longer call, text or even acknowledge they know me. And it isn’t just me. I have talked to a number of people and they all have the same experiences. I even met one guy who, on our first date talked about it and asked me, made me promise, not to vanish. I promised I wouldn’t. Two weeks later, he did. Just days after saying how much he liked being with me and even dropped the “L” word.
I don’t get it. And then all the little things to navigate. When to text? How often? What to say? Have I said too much? Not enough? Am I being too pushy? Too aloof? Too interested? Desperate? When did saying “I like you” to someone become the grenade that would blow the whole thing up. It’s as though they would prefer to hear how ordinary I think they are, how they are just here to pass the time. Tell someone you like them and they assume you are ready to get married and move in. No. It just means I want to spend time with them and get to know them a little better. But that is not really something that is very welcome here. More often than not on a first date, even if I can call it a first date, he will ask what I am looking for. I say I am open to whatever might happen. I return the question and the usual answer goes something like “I don’t know, but I don’t want a relationship.”
And for me, these are incredibly difficult situations to navigate. I say what I think. If I like someone, I will tell them. If I want to see them, I will tell them. I have no difficulty making the first move. But that seems to be a liability these days. Invite someone for sex, they’ll be right over. Invite them out to dinner and they run in the other direction in a crazed panic. Tell them you want a one night stand and they love it. Ask them to spend a day with you and see how fast they flee.
I’m not sure if it is just Vegas. If it is Vegas, I kind of understand why. All the applications and possibilities to meet people and have sex, have made us all just become so completely disposable. Almost 40 million people visited Vegas in 2012, and even if only half that number visit on any given year, there is enough new people coming in that everyone can be happily entertained and yet never invest to build anything meaningful with anyone. One could, if so inclined, have sex with a different person every hour of every day and never run out of options.
But there are those of us who want something more. I don’t know that I want to live with someone again. But I would like to get to know someone. Have that someone to share things with. I would just like to know there is an option for more, a possibility for something bigger. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine, if they would just tell me they weren’t into anything more instead of vanishing. What bothers me is that there don’t really seem to be any guys out there even remotely interested in something more than right now.
But, in spite of all of this, I am trying to put myself out there. I can only keep the faith that there is someone who is open to something more, someone who is also interested to see where things might go. Now all I have to do is meet him.