Question of the Week: November 20th, 2018.

If you could change anything about dating to make it easier, what would you change? 

I love online dating but I wish I could change the speed of it. I usually tell people something like “I go slower than the average person sexually and romantically. I don’t have sex on date one or three or even six” and that partly works. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt sexually pressured, which is amazing, but the romantic speed is dizzying. No means no is a lot easier for people to understand when it comes to physical boundaries.

Before the first date or just after one date so many people send me good morning/good night texts, say they’ve stopped looking for other dates, want to Facetime Video or talk on the phone semi-regularly, and tell me they miss me. How can you miss someone after meeting them once? They appear in my life and expect constant contact. They remind me of Ezra Miller saying: “I’m trying to find queer beings who understand me as a queer being off the bat, who I make almost a familial connection with, and I feel like I’m married to them 25 lifetimes ago from the moment we meet.” What other people might see as some fantasy whirlwind romance steps all over my boundaries and feels a bizarre mixture of stifling and fake. Ezra must be looking for someone very different than me. The two men I was afraid would tell me “I love you” ghosted before date three. They burned strong and died out. I just want to go on like six dates or ten dates and then when it actually feels right, send that “good morning” text myself.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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8 Responses to Question of the Week: November 20th, 2018.

  1. Nowhere Girl says:

    Now I’m anyway too interested in one particular woman I know offline to try dating others. But I learned before than online dating doesn’t work for me. For me too it’s too fast, I can’t develop feelings so soon.
    However, this only applies to the aspect of affection – I wouldn’t have sex even in a committed relationship.

  2. Blue Ice-Tea says:

    Um, everything?

    But the #1 problem with dating is the expectations. It’s generally assumed that if you want to date, then you must specifically be looking for sex – or, at least, romance. And if you have different interests, you’re supposed to know what they are and state them up front. Like, “I’m looking for a life-partner”, “I’m looking for casual sex”, “I’m looking for friendship”. But you can’t always know what you want ahead of time. And you can’t know what kind of relationship you want to have with someone until you’ve gotten to know them.

    If it were up to me, “dating” wouldn’t be only for those looking specifically for friendship or romance. Any kind of interaction where you’re trying to get to know someone better – as a friend, as a peer, as a neighbour, etc. – would be considered “dating”, and sex and romance would only become issues when both people decided that was what they wanted.

    • Alex says:

      I agree with you entirely. The social script there is very limiting.
      “Date” also has such a heavy weight on it that I feel like it didn’t always have. People used to call all kinds of meetings dates and now it is so heavily tied into the romantic and sexual that it seems inappropriate for other times. Why can’t we just get to know someone? And why does deciding not to be romantic/sexual partners suddenly destroy a budding relationship? So many nice, interesting people that I genuinely liked but could not see myself in a romantic relationship with jumped ship as soon as the idea of friendship was raised, no matter who it came from, like it was the kind equivalent of a middle finger and “You look like a toad I wouldn’t kiss”.

      • Blue Ice-Tea says:

        Thanks. I think you expressed my thoughts on the subject better than I did! 😉

      • Talia says:

        Yes I’d really love dating to be more of an opportunity just to get to know someone. If someone wants to be my friend but not date me I’d personally take it as a compliment. It’s interesting that OkCupid has an option to look for dates and friends whereas Bumble strongly separates looking for dates and friends. I prefer being open to both simultaneously 🙂

  3. Alex says:

    I’m personally with Ezra on this one, I want a romantic partner who I feel that connection with, but I also agree that the speed is dizzying. The sexual side especially is the daunting part for me. I’m fine with being inundated with texts, even if I don’t really get it and never initiate it myself, but the expectation to have sex within a few dates is horrible. It feels like even mentioning that I’m not interested in sex is taken as some kind of invitation to push for it more. It’s as though my very mention of it has conjured it like a demon from the void.

    I’d also like there to be less of an emphasis on finding THE ONE because it is unrealistic and isolating, not to mention the stress and fear that come with it. With that emphasis there’s also a tendency for people to start dating someone and then not have a social life outside of that. I do not like that. I want a healthy relationship with someone who has friends of their own and a life of their own. I’d be happy being in a poly relationship, but finding those are harder than expected, not that I’ve been trying too hard, and it’s so heavily frowned upon.

    • Talia says:

      Ugh that’s so frustrating that mentioning you’re not interested in sex is taken as an invitation to push for more. I feel lucky that people take me at my word when I say I go very slowly in wanting to have sex, but maybe the difference is I say “eventually I will want to.” My feeling lucky though is messed up. What a low bar to be happy about that people respect boundaries that work for them, and yet here I am.

      I also completely agree about wanting to have a relationship with someone who has a life of their own. I sometimes lose my sense of identity when I date and I am actively working against it because I know it’s not healthy. It would really bother me to date someone who enjoyed that part of me or wanted to foster it.

      Someone I know just came out as poly recently and it was shocking to see how many otherwise liberal socially justice minded people have very ridiculous negative things to say. I can’t wait until it becomes more accepted.

  4. demiandproud says:

    I have had the opposite experience with chatting in an attempt to try online dating (never got to the date with anyone) in that it felt slow and sterile and non-commital… like exchanging the “sexy” version of social niceties when I wanted to be having a conversation.

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