Written By: Dréa Rewal
“I love you.”
“I love you, too!”
I forget what hearing those words feel like. Not because I’m some cold-hearted soul but because I have chosen not to date. You heard right: I don’t date. I know — blasphemy! But before you scoff because the idea of true love has consumed your mind, hear me out.
When I was working at Chase bank, I remember talking with one of my clients about her and her boyfriend. She boasted their love, telling me how he surprises her with flowers and pops into her work from time to time for lunch when she least expects it. “How did you guys meet?” I ask after having my heart practically melt over her fairy tale love life. She blushes, leans in, and says, “Tinder.” I sat back, eyes wide open, jaw hitting the floor. No way. Tinder is notorious for hookups and NSA relationships. “Really?!” I ask in shock. She tells me how she weeded through the bad apples until she came across her love-driven beau. “You should give it a shot! You never know what you’ll find.”
She had a point. I miss all of the shots I don’t take, as the great Wayne Gretzky once said. After work that day, I signed up. My profile read:
dray-uh (*no one ever knows how to pronounce my name)
Not here for hookups.
Pretty point-blank, right? Evidentially not. I received so many “hey sexy come over” messages that I was nauseated. What happened to the traditional, “Hi, would you like to go out for dinner?” We live in a very digital world. Everything happens online: shopping, research (remember libraries?), communication (text, social media, e-mail), and now… dating. With so much access to online outlets, not only has the quality of dating heavily decreased, but the opportunity to be deceitful and cause infidelity has sky-rocketed.
At one point, I did talk to one guy who seemed pretty outgoing and was fun to talk to. After exchanging a few messages, he asked for my phone number. We texted for a hot minute before he goes, “If we hit it off, what’s your take on intimacy?” Really, dude? You don’t even know my favorite color. Or how I like my coffee (I don’t even drink coffee, but he wouldn’t have known that, either). Or what my cats’ names are. He doesn’t know a damn thing about me, yet he wants to get inside me.
That is exactly where the problem lies when it comes to dating in the modern world. We have become such a digital society that person-to-person interaction is practically abysmal. People (both guys and gals) simply want instant gratification as opposed to long-term growth. Of course, this isn’t always the case.
There are good people in the world who truly do want to be with you for a long time and not just a good time. I was asked out by an extremely fun and admirable guy. He even quit smoking just for the chance to date me! However, I just wasn’t feeling it romantically. “Why don’t you just give him a chance?” My friends would ask. “Let him take you on one date and see how it goes.” That question + statement combo has got to be one of the worst, nails-on-a-chalkboard sounds I have ever heard. That is such a disservice to both parties involved.
If I were to have gone out on a date with my friend, he would have gotten his hopes up that I held some form of interest. Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting at a dinner table eating a meal he’s insisting on paying for feeling like absolute crap in knowing that all I’m doing is merely leading him on.
Ladies, I’m sure most of you can empathize with me in agreeing that we desire love. We crave it like we crave mimosas at Sunday brunch. Love is a staple for many of us, and sometimes that results in suffering. We become complacent and lower our expectations of what will make us truly happy in a relationship. After my most recent relationship ended, I decided to be in a relationship with myself. I decided to take the time adventuring life on my own to figure out exactly what I would like in a partner in crime. So, I did. Once I did, dating became so easy. The minute a guy didn’t meet the standards I set for myself (ex. disrespectful, sexualizing me or my body, etc.), I would end that faster than Britney Spears ended her marriage with Jason Alexander.
Needless to say, the entire experience has opened my eyes to the importance of self-appreciation and confidence. The only person you need to love in your life? Yourself.
…and cats. Cats are pretty rad, too.
Dréa is a 24-year-old Los Angeles native who has traveled the world. A Disney princess at heart, she loves to make magical moments happen in her everyday life. She lives in the hills neighboring Malibu with her two kitties, Anna and Sterling. Dréa is also a blogger and serves in the U.S. Air Force. In her spare time, Dréa ventures out on road trips, rocks out at concerts, and meets the raddest people ever.