July 19, 2008

hi, progressive ones. let’s talk about dating. so, i’ve been in three long-term,
serious relationships. since the last one ended in march, i’ve been dating some dudes.
here’s some advice for progressive types looking for their own breed on the dating scene.

1. get on your computer and browse okcupid.com. this has been a great experience for me.
sure, i dated some innocuous awkward dudes that it didn’t work out with for me… and
it hasn’t been super great at producing a relationship… but you know what? fuck a
bunch of relationships.

the best part about “online dating” is that you get to experience browsing people, being
picky, rejecting people, and being rejected in a structured environment. dating is
really just realizing stuff that is important to you and then making choices based on
that stuff (i.e. standards, preferences, requirements, deal-breakers, and whatnot). you
get to learn how to communicate these things–what to say, when to say it, how to say it,
etc.

2. meet new people. seriously. new friends = new potential people to date attached to
those new friends. broaden your social circle by joining a new volunteer group or
organization. go to a new pub. show up at a drum circle. shop at a new grocer. visit
and hang out at the farmer’s market.

and again, if you meet people and it turns out you don’t like them, hello, opportunity to
practice communication skills. “thanks for inviting me to this potluck dinner, but now
that i’ve found out that you’re trying to sell me life insurance (or recruit me into your
church or expose me to pro-life propaganda or what-have-you), i’m going to leave. bye.”
[leave] seriously, standing up for yourself is not rude or impolite. it just isn’t.
real friends would not want to put you in that kind of situation. which leads me to
number 3…

3. be honest, outspoken, and uncompromising about your beliefs and values. you don’t owe
anyone anything. what are your career goals, life goals, and family goals? do you
believe in marriage? are you religious? could you date or befriend someone whose values
were the opposite of yours? journal about yourself; try to figure out your current
answers to these questions. then be honest about them with the new folks in your
life–it’s cool to be who you are. yay, boundaries!

questions? concerns? comments?

–beamish

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3 Responses to “”

  1. spring Says:

    my favorite part is the part about figuring out what is important to you and learning how to communicate that stuff…excellent!

  2. beamish Says:

    since i posted this, i had a friend who went on a date with a man who turned out to be homophobic. she stood up to him and refused to see him anymore because of homophobic statements he made during their date. just thought i’d mention her as an example of knowing yourself, staying strong, and being outspoken about your beliefs.

    people like to defend their homophobia and racism by accusing the offended of being “politically correct.” they act like you are trying to destroy humor and limit conversation. when you speak up for your own feelings about someone else’s statements, that is never trying to be “politically correct”–that is YOU, your real feelings, your gut response to someone’s cruelty or hate.

    if “oh, look at miss/mister PC over there” is the best they got, then that’s just weak. any person worth his/her salt could respond with something better than what is basically an ad hominem attack.

    …okay, well i got off track, but my point is that i’m proud of my friend!

  3. Daniel Says:

    I’ve been having a similar type of “discussion” (“debate” would be bit strong) about something similar with a dude on Facebook. Basically, he argues that it’s acceptable, within reason, to embrace gay stereotypes from a satirical/ironic standpoint, and using words like fudgepacker, fag, flamer, etc among certain circles as a way to de-demonize those words. Words are just words; it’s the context that’s harmful.

    I tend to agree, and god bless Carlin. However, this guy is using them in the context of a group striving to eradicate discrimination in the Boy Scouts (“official” policy bars gays, atheists, and, well, girls). He’s gay himself, and his approach is that allowing people to laugh at and satirize the issue (a la Colbert) will lead to wider acceptance and eventual change. I agree, but I still think that approach should be kept somewhat in check, or else the ignorant and conservative folks (who are running rampant within the ranks of the Boy Scouts) will simply have more material with which to justify their own prejudice, as these people latch onto–and grossly exaggerate–stereotypes, until we are back to dealing with the philosophy that gays are sexual deviants and you shouldn’t let them near your kids. Blacks are lazy so don’t hire them, Muslims support terrorism so don’t let them on the plane, etc.

    Aaaaaaaaanyway, long story, uh, long, he threw the political correctness accusation at me, and while I know it’s a cop-out weak counter-arguement, I’m still unsure what being “politically correct” means after all these years. I’m not entirely sure how to respond to such a charge.


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