Being single agrees with me for the most part. I get to plan my weekends without having to have the conversation of I Didn’t Know It Was Your Mother’s Birthday, You Need To Tell Me These Things More Than Two Days Before. I get all the pillows to myself. No one makes fun of me for watching Colin Firth movies for an entire afternoon. I’ve had a couple of flirtations and flings in the last few months, but nothing too intense. I simply didn’t want to date.
Of course, it’s late May and spring has sprung, and with it came spring fever. The world is shiny and new and maybe, just maybe, it’d be nice to have someone to share it with. Unfortunately, I’m at that stage in life where most of my friends have paired off and are only friends with other paired off people. Not being possessed of the patience necessary to wait it out until people’s starter marriages begin failing, I dipped a toe into online dating.
It’s harrowing, of course. The city I’m in is relatively small and doesn’t have the selection that a place the size of, say, Toronto or Vancouver would. I get a fair amount of messages, but I don’t pretend that it’s because I’m special in any way. Sure, I’m moderately attractive and can string a sentence together, but anyone with a vagina can attract a certain amount of attention online simply by nature of having a place on the body in which to insert a penis. Frankly, I’d wager the same amount of success could be achieved by a sentient Fleshlight, or even a lukewarm bag of Spaghetti-Os. The messages are mostly unobjectionable, if somewhat lacking in good spelling, but mostly the problem is not having anything in common.
Unless, of course, the problem is the Nice Guy. Ohhhhh, how I loathe the Nice Guy.
A Nice Guy is not to be mixed up with a nice guy, of course. I know nice guys. I’ve dated some of them. They let me sleep on their couches when I’ve had too much to drink, bake me pie for my birthday, and send me animations of bouncing breasts when I’m feeling down. The Nice Guy is the guy who says and does all the things he thinks he needs to do to get in your pants and then considers you the problem when it doesn’t work. The problem clearly isn’t that they are either transparent as hell or that they never made anything constituting an actual move. Oh, no, clearly the problem is you, the fickle and stupid woman, for actually appreciating the more direct approach.
“All women want are jerks,” they grump. “They talk about how all they want is a nice, sweet guy who will treat them like a queen and then turn around and go for the hot guy who treats them like shit.” Oh, fuck off out of it, Lloyd Dobler. In the first place, I’ve never asked to be treated like a queen. I want a guy with a sense of humour and a spark and a personality that meshes with mine, a guy who will treat me with respect. Me, the person I am. Not as some generic woman. The reason I don’t want your flowers and sonnets is because that’s not who I am and if you’d bothered to get to know me beyond the fact that I have a matching pair of X chromosomes, you’d understand that. Romance is fine, but when you’re acting as if all women are the same, it’s not romantic. It’s bullshit, and we can usually smell it from a mile away. How is it respectful to me or you to live your life as though you’re holding a sign up that says “Will Act As Doormat For Pussy”? Is that what being nice means to you? Maybe that’s why you’re striking out.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that women can’t be hypocrites or stupid or what have you. Of course we can. I’ve known some girls who were horror stories enough that they’d curl your hair. But seriously, don’t act as if I’m stupid and then be offended when I don’t swoon at you trying to clumsily pluck out “Crash Into Me” on your acoustic guitar. I have enough experience now to know what I want, and it isn’t someone who thinks so little of me that they assume I don’t know what’s good for me. Slow your roll, Prince Smarming. I have a weekend with Colin Firth planned and it doesn’t involve you.