RANT: Dating – Consequences & The Lack Thereof

I was reading Vancouver Magazine a moment ago and almost laughed out loud before I found myself nodding and pondering a statement by the always-quoteable local music magnate Bruce Allen:

Right now,
there are no consequences
for being an asshole.

Oh, I so hear ya, Bruce.

Bruce, though, was talking about civic politics. Me, I’m talking about dating.

Today’s the first day of Spring and it’s oh, so very welcomed by yours truly. But with this season comes this renewed ambivalence and nonchalance towards dating. If I was to meet some hot guy on the street tomorrow and the flirting ensued, then great. I’d be all for that. Hell, I had a cute bald insurance boy hitting on me before dinner tonight. Oh, if only the boss wasn’t with me!

E-dating, though, has really begun to lose its allure. It’s so full of bullshit.

Fortunately, as I said, Spring is here and soon the weather will also be arriving. With that comes a great deal of freedomin the world of Steff, and being alone becomes a GOOD thing.

I wasted most of my spring and summer last year on a relationship that went nowhere and met a bad demise, not to mention also spent it working in a job I hated, with no windows and in the poorest part of town where there was always a scent of warm piss on the ocean breeze, and I found myself angrily resenting the shit out of it all.

Now, though, I’m working near the ocean and love the job, I’m single, and the season of freedom’s on the verge. So why waste my time on some of these fucking dimwits who aren’t even worth the words I can screw together?

You see, e-dating has its place, but there’s this highly disposable, impersonal nature to it, and the players within seem to just not care at all about the persons who may or may not reside behind the profile they’ve just blown off. Everyone’s in it for themselves, and there’s very nearly no karmic backlash, it would seem, for shitty behaviour. Emails get exchanged, and for whatever dumb, small reason, the recipient then decides there’s no sense in responding to the person, so instead of doing the polite thing and saying, “Sorry, but I think I’m not interested,” they do the dickhead thing and just not respond.

I’ve done this e-dating off and on for, what, five or six years now, and I’ve noticed a downward spiral. More and more it’s becoming this dehumanized, inconsiderate, and almost degrading way to seek companionship. Sure, it works, some of the time. Now and then you’ll luck out and meet someone great, someone who might even be worth latching onto long into the future. The trouble is, you need to be patient enough and have enough of a thick skin to wait it out… because there are an awful lot of shitheads out there you’ll need to get past before you find the gold in the dark mine you’ve been digging through.

Oh, and trust me, it’s not just one gender being afflicted by this lack of empathy out there. For some reason, the computer screen and this sense of anonymity almost seems to give license to behaving in ways that society once wouldn’t tolerate.

And Bruce is right: There are no consequences. There’s no Ghost of Christmas Past who’s going to float down your chimney and scare the sense from you and guilt you into better behaviour. There’re no social police who’ll come and imprison you for your crassness. There’re no fines, no “human decency” penal code, nothing.

The trouble is, the people getting shat on say nothing and do nothing. The people who do get pissed tend to fly off the handle and have nothing constructive to add to the mix. It’s a world full of self-indulgent people with senses of entitlement, and being gracious and kind to others, it would seem, just doesn’t pay.

Am I cynical? No, I just believe I can do better. I believe good people are out there and I believe they’re sick of the online shit like I am. I may be tough enough to do the online dating thing, and while I’ve had nothing I’ve cared to report to you of late, since I don’t like slagging people, I’ve had some pretty awful dating experiences since last fall and the whole thing seems like a waste of my time. Ironically, before I got into my relationship last year, I’d been dating up a storm and getting some action and having a great time doing it. This past winter has been a bust.

One of these days I’ll have to share.

But Allen’s right. There are no consequences for being an asshole. Yet. So here’s my request to you:

Tomorrow, start making people accountable. If they’re an asshole, call them on it. But, at the same time, you got to give props to those who make life a more pleasant place to be. Sure, there are no consequences for being an asshole, but there seems to be little pay-off in being kind, too. It’s up to you to make sure both occur. Then we’ll finally have balance.

This outspoken, brazen chick you see on here’s the same fucking girl I take into the world, you know. If anyone’s out there exacting checks and balances, it’s yours truly. I tell people when they’ve done right, and I make sure they know when they’ve done wrong. It’s not worth my time in e-dating because being alone isn’t the nightmare sitcoms and date flicks would have you believe, and, besides, being alone’s starting to feel nice again for the first time in a long, long while.

Please, for the love of life, start living like you believe in karma. Start believing there are cosmic consequences for your behaviour. It makes the world a better place to be, and god knows it could use a little improvement in this shallow age of the new millenium.