So, Modern Dating…Let’s Talk About That.

If you’ve read anything I’ve written lately, then you know I’m recently single. I’m quite skittish when it comes to getting back out there and I have no idea what’s considered acceptable in terms of the time-lapse between married to single to dating, but I’m almost 6 months in, and for the first time since 2002, I’m jumping back in the game. My ex has been on the field for a few months and he’s happily enjoying the fresh air, so I figured that maybe it’s time for me to quit being such a chickenshit and get back out there myself.

First, let me be clear. I have no game. I have so little game I’m not even allowed in the stadium, let alone near the cheap seats. Notice I didn’t even mention being permitted to play the game. That’s how little game I have. I feel like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. So, yeah…keep that in mind.

The differences between dating now and dating twenty years ago are much more vast than I could’ve anticipated and this girl is thrown. Back in the day, we may have met at a party or through a friend, or somewhere in person and I might possibly have caught your eye. We may have noticed each other and somehow through the night ended up at the same place at the same time and awkward introductions may have ensued, then possibly some light flirting. You may have gone home with my phone number and when you tried to call me, someone was on the phone at my house and you had to keep calling back to get through. We would’ve chatted on the phone while I sat in the closet so no one heard and when we hung up, we would have to wait until either the next phone call or when we deliberately, or not, saw each other in person again. We may have held hands on the third date, kissed on the fourth, and made out a little on the 8th (or with me, it would more likely have been the twentieth…skittish…remember??) And all of this would have occurred over two to three months.

^^ This is slow. I like slow. I looooooooove slow. You guys…I miss slow.

I get that our thrust into digital overload has changed things. I know that being digitally available has the fortunate or unfortunate side effect of moving things more quickly because you can get to know each other more quickly, or so it would seem (I don’t understand how people can really get to know each other through electronic devices, but maybe I’m missing something). What I didn’t expect was the sexual time warp. How much a little 2x4 electronic device can infuse so much courage into a flesh and blood human being has been an interesting observation. I mean, yeah, bullying, I know…but those are kids. And yeah, I know, the shitshow that was the last 6+ years of politics in this country and all the online absurdity, I remember. But I must be so naive because I didn’t expect all the sexual comments, innuendos, and assumptions. I also vastly underestimated how not being in someone’s actual presence when getting to know them could create two vastly different narratives of what is actually happening. Through happenstance, I was introduced to someone and, not being ready to date, I (respectfully) kept him at bay via text for two months (yes, I’m THAT slow), making sure he understood that he was in the friend zone until otherwise notified, if ever. We kept it light, funny, and open. We finally met and after a burger and beers kind of evening, I somehow wound up with a tongue down my throat and what seemed like 8 hands on my boobs. Clearly, that 2x4 electronic device got some wires crossed.

More than that, it’s the no-holds-barred leap into sexual conversations that has me reeling. It’s both fascinating and disappointing how someone would never in a million years say to your face what they have no problem saying on that little 2x4 electronic device. That little device somehow seems to also have the power to wipe someone completely clean of their manners, respect, and decency. And I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill pervs. I’m talking normal guys who, in any other non-digital circumstance, would likely be pretty OK men, but now use this little 2x4 device to scratch their porny little itch.

Don’t even get me started on what happens when men find out what I do for a living (which I’ve learned I have to keep secret for as long as I can). But here’s a tip: if you’re talking about my work and the women I photograph more than you’re talking about me, we’re not a good match.

No kidding, I’m only 4 days into this and at moments I feel like I should pull my ball cap low, get myself some popcorn and nachos, and go back to the bench for a while. Being a spectator has its benefits and the cheap seats are looking pretty good right now…

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Elizabeth Craig

Photographer, Reiki Practitioner, wanderer, ponderer, lover of writing.