Earlier, Marlene posted a statement in question format, “if a guy doesn’t pay for her on their first date, does it mean he’s not interested?” Then she followed that up with “Is that old fashion or am I just undatable?”
Well, here’s a different take on her question. If she lived in a conservative society, with men who were brought up that men should always lead in everything, does that mean if the majority of her dates pay for her, that those same men are interested in her? No, it would mean conservative traditionally minded people think women should be treated a very specific way.
Marlene surrounds herself with people whom are left-wing and progressive. While there are many other possible variables to consider, ultimately, as a first date, it seems normal that most progressive men would split the bill. Why wouldn’t they? Doesn’t the idea that women are capable of taking care of themselves come to mind?
Later in our group chat, Marlene brought up that she would gladly pay for her date, if she was in a position of better financial freedom, but that’s besides the point. What should really have happened was, if Marlene was strapped for cash, she should have made different arrangements with her dates. How about a picnic at a park? How about a bike ride around the seawall and a snack along the way? How about a tiny BBQ at her home patio?
Regardless, dating is an extracurricular activity that isn’t mandatory to live one’s life. If you don’t have the means to go out on dates, then you should communicate that properly with your dates and figure out ways to make it work, if everyone involved is willing to make it work. There is no set-in-stone linear progression on how dating should work. It always comes down to those involved.
Anyhow, while she was genuinely curious to garnering insight for her questions, ultimately, this wasn’t really about whether or not paying for her on the first date really means anything. It’s a trick of her mind, trying to grasp at anything that could tell her that her instincts about her situation is right. Confirmation, affirmation, agreement, support.
The real question she was asking disguised as something else, is whether she is good enough for anyone. Hence “am I undatable?” Here’s the thing. It has nothing to do with whether Marlene is good enough for anyone or not. It all comes down to how she defines what “good enough” means and for who exactly. In other words, the way she seem to look at all of this, is that men are a collective hive mind. “Do men not like me for who I am?” Perhaps she should try to stop herself from trying to live up to an impossible fantasy and actually just simply recognize it should never be about the other person. It should always be what she wants and why she wants that sort of lifestyle.
The only time I ever felt if I was ever good enough for someone, was when I had insecurity issues. That has happened twice. A lingering experience when I was a teenager, and when I took one of my relationships more seriously than all others I had prior when Cindy and I were together. I never had an experience like that I had with Cindy. So through my inexperience, I fucked that relationship up quite badly in terms of having developed doormat-like tendencies. As a teenager, I was primarily in disbelief that anyone would like me. So I came off being arrogant and snobbish, when in fact, I was just awkward and insecure. In all other instances with women, I didn’t let the concept of whether I was good enough for the other person come fuck with my mind. It only mattered whether we were compatible or not. I never looked at people I dated or were interested in, as people I needed to impress fearing they may not want me because I wasn’t good enough. My thought process came at the same time I opened my first and second company in the late 1990’s. Basically, Sarah is Yellow, Orange, and Blue. Amanda is Green, Orange, and Brown. Julia is White, Grey, and Pink. I am Purple, Navy Blue, and Titanium Black. If any of these women rejected me, in my mind, I simply see it as a matter of incompatibility. I don’t see it as a matter of not being good enough. The notion of needing to be good enough, would mean changing who I am to fulfill the colours that other people desire.
All of these first dates would just be an experience, a sort of interview. Is Sarah, Amanda, and Julia a good match for me? Only Sarah has Blue, but even then, it’s a Light Blue. Julia has Pink, but it’s quite faded almost looking yellow for some reason. The reverse is true. I am obviously not compatible with them, because I don’t have the colours they’re compatible with.
In short, Marlene should understand that this is less about traditional social roles in dating. Instead, she should recognize that she’s choosing men that are more modern minded. Men not paying for her on their first date is not a sign that they are not interested in her. Men not paying for her on their first date is a sign that they are modern men.
Of course, there are many variables here to consider, especially that each man is an individual, and each date is a circumstance filled with many other variables. So context matters, but more than that, dynamics matter. As I mentioned to two of our other mutual friends, there is no easy advice to give to Marlene on this.
As a side note, I dislike the word “dating”. Basically, dating is just hanging out. I think common western society puts too much emphasize on categorizing actions. I believe people often abuse words too much, to reshape them into a mindset that everyone should use. As I said to our two mutual friends earlier, I hate the word “date” and “dating”. Literally being together with someone, doing something is a date, but to me, it’s just hanging out. Why over complicate what we’re doing as ‘a date’? I’ve hung out with women who became my friends, who became my fuck buddies, who became nothing, who also became all sorts of other things. I’ve also hung out with friends who became more than just friends. I’ve hung out with all sorts of women who were many things to me, despite what we did. So the word “dating” just sucks. Also, when I heard my friends talk about being ‘friend zoned’ earlier, a vein in my temple twitched violently, because: Does the friendzone really exist?
Basically, either call all outings with anyone, regardless of intent as “dates” or “hanging out”. They mean literally the same thing. I say “let’s go out” to potential romantic, sexual, intimate partners, friends, colleagues, clients, and people I just met. It’s like eating. It all ends up coming out the same anyway.
To finish this off, our mutual friends gave great support and insight. So Marlene should certainly consider their words, for whatever purpose she can reason from their words. I just have to make sure not to give my two pints and just ‘listen’. I tend to do away with the fluffy lovey dovey stuff and just go right to the point. I am personally not fond of other people giving me positive words without much backing. I would rather slit my wrists, than to hear the same sort of lovey dovey stuff our mutual friends churn out. I am much more practical in my approach in many aspects of my life. In essence, I appreciate that my friends here give their positive vibes to me, at the same time, I don’t need it, nor sought it out. Alas, this is for a different entry.