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I really didn’t mean to fall in love with my husband. Don’t get me wrong – I was looking for Mr. Right. I just didn’t think the random fling I had when I was 21 would be it.
It all began a couple of Thanksgivings ago while I was escaping my 9-5 job one weekend in Park City, Utah with my best friend Megan, when she informed me that 12 very cute and very single foreign men were renting the house directly across the street from hers. Since it was Turkey Day, we had the perfect excuse to knock on their door and get to know them. Within minutes, I began an intense eye- “love making” session with a dashing Australian guy named Paul.
The next night we decided to all go out. Since I was young and single, I did what any normal American girl would do – I made out with Paul on the dance floor until last call.
And then I went home with him.
The worst thing about breakups is when they never happen. When you get dumped, when a guy or girl breaks up with you, then you can watch Almie’s video and take her sage advice, and you will suffer and grieve, but you will survive. But what about the non-breakup? The disappearance? The ghosting? The slow, inexorable self-removal of a person from your life, via unreturned text, via sudden, unexplained, constant busy-ness, via silence.
You think you want closure. Or you think it’s “just a phase” and that s/he really is that busy right now. Or you make a list of all the things you did wrong, all the signs you should have seen, all the ways in which you let yourself get too invested. Too vulnerable. Too needy. Too independent. Too Much Too Soon, or Too Little Too Late. You blame, blame, blame, him, her, or yourself. You dwell and obsess and it all spirals down into anger, hurt and sense of helplessness or is it hopelessness? No. The sadistic thing about the non-breakup, the slow fade, the disappearance is that there remains a tantalizing sense of hope. You guys had something! It was real! Technically speaking…it hasn’t even ended! Maybe he/she really is just that busy right now!
And so it goes, but that is not the worst part.
Sarah and Sara weren’t in a fight. They were best friends and had ruthlessly stuck by each other since middle school, when there had been three other Sarah’s and two other Sara’s in their grade. So they would never fight now, let alone “over a guy.” They were not in a fight over Mark.
But they could disagree about who had the right to email Mark first after he and Bev broke up.
As it turned out, they had both emailed him that morning, shortly after learning about the breakup via mass text from Aaron, who always knew the gossip. Aaron had suggested that the friend group rally to support Mark, because Bev had, in fact, been sleeping with her good-looking Russian co-worker, whom she had nicknamed Sergei the Great while swearing he was gay. Mark’s ongoing jealousy of Sergei had seemed so mean-spirited that everyone had interpreted it as insecure paranoia. They had all, over the course of many months and in group emails as well as one-on-one, persuaded Mark to “tone it down” and “trust Bev.”
Now they all felt guilty and complicit in her deceit. As if the glint in her eye every time she said “Sergei the Great” hadn’t been a dead giveaway.
Greetings, Council Members, members of the Junior Council, and Franky, the transmissions operator. I hope this transmission finds you all in a state of gelatinous comfort.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my secret alien observations about humans with you today. I understand the consequence of delivering insubstantial information will result in my being sent to Space Prison for the commencement of my shoplifting sentence regarding which I wholeheartedly maintain my innocence.
EARTH…. It’s blue, green, round, and chaotic. There are rocks and plants, and oceans, and kangaroos. It is a place where many strange and interesting things happen. There are a lot of creatures co-existing, with some creatures trying a lot harder than others. The human species in particular encapsulates a broad spectrum of different cultures, values, and personalities. A single human may feel the Angry, the Happy, and the Sad Emotions all within the same earth day. In fact, they are subject to so many thoughts and feelings it is no wonder they have trouble living in harmony with one another. They’re often not even in harmony with themselves.
I can now say with some authority that it’s not easy being a human. It’s not.
Council Members, it’s tricky business.
First of all there is a lot, and I mean A LOT, of shit you need to stay on top of.
He reaches across the table before taking another sip of whiskey and asks me, “Why in the world do you still read paperback books when you can just read everything on a Kindle?”
And I fumble around in my head for an answer:
I like the way a book feels in my hands…
Used books, you know, they’ve been places…
I like to surround myself with evidence of the stories…
I couldn’t come up with any groundbreaking reason or mouthwatering argument to fire back at him with.
It’s just that I adore the process of finding and holding on to an actual back. The butterflies that’ll claw at my stomach when I hear the plot summary of a book I absolutely need to read. The way that acquiring that book doesn’t have to be so instant—like the majority of things we want and can get in a single click. There’s a wait time from the library or the internal debate we face at the nearest bookstore over whether it’s worth it to fork over the $13.99 for the book, instead of using that cash to buy a sandwich at Panera for lunch. It’s the heaviness we feel—the ache that tap dances on our shoulder— from carrying that book around with us everywhere we go. How the book has been places before it has been ours and how we can so easily leave our mark on its pages forever—a simple crease or a chocolate covered fingerprint on the edge of a page.
“Sometimes,” I begin to tell him, “There’s comfort in doing things the same way you always have.”
Soon, we’ll start to say the same thing about dating. Why walk up to strangers in a coffee shop, strike up conversation, and potentially ask them out, when you can just scroll through a hodgepodge of online dating profiles? Meeting someone at a concert will soon be I stumbled upon them on Spotifly and thought their playlist was rad! Meeting someone at a networking event will eventually become I connected with them on LinkedIn and endorsed their Microsoft Office skills. There’s even a dating app for the restaurant Just Salad that hooks people up based on the types of salad they like to eat—giving us one more excuse to ignore the people who stand in front of us and behind us as we try to order our lunch. Why communicate in person when you can probably just find them online?
Sex is an odd activity at times. Many different things can happen as a result of one night filled with good sex. Sometimes they’re good things, sometimes bad, and sometimes they’re just sad. That’s why I am reluctant to call this a One Night Stand story. I just haven’t come to terms with it yet. I’m still sad.
I’ve never been one to fear bad sex. There is no manual. No right or wrong way to do it. Everyone is different and we all have our preferences. The odds of finding someone with identical sexual desires and tastes is nearly impossible.
Recently I slept with a very kind guy. Smart, yet introverted, and not the most socially well adjusted guy. But really, those are my types. I like the guys whose exteriors appear cold or standoffish but who, when you get to know them, are wonderful one on one. The attention they give you is genuine because they don’t know how to be fake.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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