I will start off this post by saying that I have been in five long relationships spanning about 4-12 months. I have been the deciding factor in all of them simply because I no longer loved the person I once did. (Someone also cheated on me.) Was there happiness at times? Yes. Did I ever feel love? Yes. Have I ever been heartbroken? No. Have I been sad and frustrated? Absolutely, and to be honest with you, this is the whole reason I am writing this in the first place. I will also note that if you are offended by this writing, you are more than likely part of the problem.
The things I have observed over the course of my five relationships are all oddly similar and frustrating. Parents.
1) The girl's parents have sent their daughter off to college, and are still strangely attached.
I totally get that you miss her, but coming down every weekend or two and calling twice a day is just weird and shouldn't be any parent-son/daughter relationship at this point in our lives. Your (no-longer) child is growing up into an adult. Let. Go. I even text my parents on the daily. Shoot memes back and forth, talk sports, talk about work. Normal casual stuff, NOT what I did with every ticking second of my day.
2) The male in the relationship is to do any and all planning/driving/coordination to get to see one another, because the parents of the girlfriend just won't have it any other way.
I’ll start off by saying that I’m not an authority challenging douchebag. With that being said, if you don't play by their rules, you don't see her at all, plain and simple. Inflexibility is what it comes down to. Before, when we were all back in high school, you could argue an adolescent/adult relationship where you have to abide by all of the rules the adult sets. But I am an adult now, and I would appreciate being treated like one, since you would be offended if I didn’t treat you (the parent) as one. Who wants inflexible in-laws? I'm not even going to think about marrying you if I think your parents are inflexible pains in the rear end. I don't need that stress in my life for as long as they are alive. This recurring trait by the daughter's parents is what I have found to be the most frustrating thing in relationships. It has been present in every relationship I have been in.
They are essentially putting a bullet into any long distance relationship their daughter tries to have over the summer while in college. It's ok to let your daughter do some of the planning and driving in a relationship to get to see their significant other, too. It gets boring and tiring being the only one keeping the relationship alive.
Also, the only set of parents that get to have any say over what my plans consist of, are my own two parents. When I start being parented by my girlfriend's parents, I'm calling it off. Period. This would be in reference to the 10:00pm curfew I was given by a date's father this past summer... (We are almost 21). It's common courtesy to come home before the wee hours of the morning, and I know that. Respect the girlfriend's parents, yes. Be parented by them? No. My parents did a fine job, I promise. Your house, your rules, I get it. That doesn't mean I can't be taking notes and making judgements while I’m at the house.
3) The daughter (I found) is spoiled.
Dating a spoiled girl, no matter how good she looks or how amazing her personality is just no fun at all. Although personality is generally overshadowed by greed, there are some people who are terrific at hiding being spoiled brats. Spoiled is a subjective term, however, and I have had two girlfriends who don't fit the criteria of my personal definition of "spoiled". You are wondering what my definition of spoiled is: Girlfriend turning into a brat and crying when you don't spend $100 on a Valentine’s Day dinner for her.
4) The parents are in La-La Land.
Yes, your daughter can do whatever she likes while she is away at school, so why are we awkwardly pretending like stuff hasn't and won't happen between your daughter and me? Let the leash of your daughter and stop babying her! Yes we probably drink every Friday (I don't currently for unrelated reasons), and yes there is sex. Why would you care if it isn't affecting her grades, health, and happiness? Why do those things matter if I'm making a genuine effort at being a real gentleman to your daughter? It feels like we travel back to 5th grade when you roll up on campus with your parents in the car looking to do brunch at 9:45 on Saturday morning. Question to the daughter's parents: Is our relationship any different from the relationship you had with your girlfriend/boyfriend before you married him/her? Hypocrites...
5) Parents are killing chivalry.
Some are killing it by never teaching it. I know there are some real douchebags out there whose father's never taught them how to act or treat women right in which case, chivalry was never alive. I'm not naive enough to think they aren't out there. My father, however, exemplified the true meaning of chivalry and marriage with my mother, and I grew up watching this prime example for 18 solid years. My dad is a great role model. He would drive out of his way to kick my ass if he found out I had done something nasty to a girl. I have to be honest though, some of the parents I have had the displeasure of dealing with just turn me off to the point where I don't even want to pull out a chair for your daughter to sit in when we go get dinner. I can actually see why in some cases men have actually just thrown up their hands and said, "Forget it". I understand those men, because I include myself in that population now. I get it.
6) Some parents actually care more about the time they get to spend with their daughter, rather than the happiness OF their daughter.
Hard concept to wrap your mind around, right? Believe it or not, I have had the parents of several different dates put their own interests before their daughters more important interests and happiness. Done with such little care that they break their own daughter down to tears. Why else would parents see me as a threat to their daughter? I'm a good guy as confirmed by friends, family, and even previous girlfriends' parents. I have an inkling that the reason they see me as a threat is because I get to spend time with their daughter when they don’t, and they see that she is happy when she is with me. Jealousy? I thought that was for the teenagers to handle? (Which is actually very silly seeing as most parents get to spend 17-18 years of their life with their kids, and here I am for a couple of hours a day spending time with my girlfriend in the middle of classes, exams, and mountains of homework...and the parents are jealous?)
7) The last time I met parents, I wasn’t really nervous, but the parents were.
As I said, it is almost as important to me that the parents are just as cool as the girl. I’m sure they were tipped off by my date, but it was weird.
If other guys feel similar to the way I do, the parents have so much more to do with failed relationships than they realize. If I don't like your parents, we aren't going to last very long. It isn't mean, it is the truth that is owed to anyone you are in a relationship with.
But enough about the parents. Let's talk about the dating scene that is currently in shambles.
Just this week, I thought I had met the babe of my dreams. She is a gorgeous, witty, intelligent girl. Even after all the sour tastes I have had in my mouth recently, I thought I would try putting some moves on her. I did, and fell flat on my ass. She is in a five year-long relationship, so obviously I wasn't going to be getting involved in any monkey business. She is happy, that's what matters. I was crushed though, because that girl is wife material. I mean - take her to the kissing rock after the third or fourth date and make out right there - wife material. Which leads me to my next point…
The tough part about dating at this stage in our lives is sifting through the casual flings, hookups, friends with benefits, and the immaturity. This can be especially tough for serious men looking for something more permanent because when they find someone who they feel would be a great candidate for a healthy, long-lasting relationship, she is almost always already in a relationship. This has happened to me more times than I can count, and it drives me, and every other single man on the face of this planet, absolutely freaking crazy. Timing is everything, and I just don't seem to have that going for me. This type of woman seems to be a rare breed.
We aren’t even looking at the flip side of the coin which happens to be the women looking for something serious. Women are smart, and a lot of them have already given up on the guys. The reason they have quit is probably due to the overwhelming amount of hook-up requests from the opposite sex. See a problem here?
At this point in my college career, I really don't see myself getting involved with anyone here. I'm a third year student, and in less than two years I'll be gone - hopefully far, far away. If there was time before, I let it slip by. It isn't worth my time to get with someone knowing I'll inevitably leave them for my first time out in the workforce. Everybody goes their own way after graduation like dandelion seeds on a windy summer day. I suppose if you had known and dated someone for 3-4 years in college and you felt like you were headed towards marriage, you would probably make an attempt to get jobs close to one another. It’s not even like my next summer could even remotely be dedicated to working on a long distance relationship. I’m hoping to have a summer-long internship that improves my chances of getting a job right out of college.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm done trying for now. I'm tired. I'm tired of the same narratives you go through getting the first date nailed down. I'm tired of the talks leading up to first formals. I'm tired of meeting the parents for the first time. I’m tired of the good morning and good night texts on my phone. I'm tired of breaking up and explaining why. Why things didn't work out. Why they won't work out. I’m tired of being disappointed in my relationships and in the way that dating goes on in today's world. I'm tired of being jealous of those friends that have loving and healthy relationships. For once, I would like to see a member of the opposite sex show some interest in me first.
Just this morning, I overheard a not-so-subtle conversation that two girls whom I work with were having. Dating was the topic, and they were both talking about how they would never have enough time for a boyfriend with coursework, class, and extracurricular activities factored into their schedules. It was kind of sad to hear that they wouldn’t even think about making time for someone even if they thought that guy was something special.
I think it just goes to show how careers and work have begun taking over our lives. We miss out on the little things in life. The small things are sometimes the same pleasantries in life that keep us going on our weekly grinds. Careers are demanding more, and we all have to meet that standard to be successful. Which leaves less time for ourselves, and “no time” for each other.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense that marriage is no longer valued as much as it once was. It makes sense that divorce rates are higher. What a sad world we live in. Humans attracted to their phones like bugs to a porchlight in the dark of the night. They are more interested in a heap of manufactured materials than they are the people sharing the same space right next to them.
My only advice for my fellow guys is to keep your chin up, and don’t beat yourself up over lost girls and failed relationships. Learn from experience, and know what you want. Settling is the surest way to ensure a lifetime of misery. Be a gentleman and show the women some respect. There is nothing I hate more than a genuine fuckboy. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
This is my first post on my new blog called "Life". I'm just going to type my thoughts up here and make them public just because I think it is good to see my thoughts on paper/in public form. I will post on a wide variety of topics, but this was one of the more passionate ones I wanted to touch base on first.