You guys! I’m so stoked that so many of you appreciated my dating data! (Part 1, Part 2) I am very heartened by all the positive responses I’ve gotten and the rounds it’s been making on social media. The one day my first dating post was published contributed to half of all of January’s unique visitors!
I was hesitant to make public my analyses, because I was afraid people would think I’m crazy. I was also secretly wishing that I’d be able to end my data set with a happily ever after but no such luck, y’all. What if my gory dating history was made accessible with a Google search, and no one wanted to date me after that? Unfortunately – or fortunately – the desire to share the fruits of my labor, combined with supporting friends who understand what I’m passionate about, exceeded those reservations and here we are today!
I actually shared my blog with my boss today, so *fingers crossed* I can only hope that my dating posts prove how seriously I take my role as an analyst. I am an analytical person, through and through!
I’ve been thinking a little bit more about my Crush (yes, with a capital C) and what my ideal situation with him would be. Would I want to be asked out? Would I want to be in a relationship with him? Would I want to be his girlfriend? There are a lot of different labels for this idea of being in a romantic unit with someone else.
Exclusivity is typically the next step that signals commitment and a desire for something to develop in the future. But if you think about the word “exclusive”, what does it really entail? To be in a non-exclusive state is to see multiple people concurrently. Wouldn’t the impetus for exclusivity either be a) a shortage of resources such as time, effort and money and/or b) jealousy?
I’m not trying to denounce the idea of monogamy, but I do think that the connotation of the word “exclusivity” is worth challenging. Being exclusive is a pretty binary concept. You’re either exclusive or you’re not exclusive, there’s no in between. I just don’t think that the word “exclusive” gives sufficient weight to the idea of moving TOWARDS something positive in the future, but it implies a greater desire to EVADE present anxieties.
People become exclusive to eliminate jealousy, but people enter a relationship to grow as a unit together.
In an ideal world, I’d want my crush to say:
“Hey, I like you a lot, and I want to be with you.” VS. “Hey, I like you a lot, and I think we should be exclusive.”
The latter just smacks of insecurity to me – which I will disclaim as a feeling I’m not immune to, of course. I find the idea of wanting to be with someone and wanting to be in a relationship a lot more romantic than “being exclusive”, because it makes me think of two hearts and souls joining together as one than the jealous guarding of a prized object from prying hands. You can be de facto exclusive without being in a relationship – perhaps you’re too busy, or perhaps no one new will agree to go out with you – and have no plans to move the relationship forward.
Girlfriend/boyfriend is an interesting idea. It’s inherently possessive. Someone is YOUR girlfriend or MY boyfriend. I also like this idea better than being exclusive. Taking responsibility for someone’s emotional welfare and being given the privilege to care for someone is an act of trust on both sides, and a desire to give more of yourself to the other. The term does make me cringe a little bit, since it’s definitely more of a sticker you put on your lover so other people know what’s up than a feeling of oneness. (Gosh I can be so corny about this relationship business.)