Straight Talking About Straight Dating: Validating Ourselves as a Female Singleton in a World Tailored to Couples.
Why are women still seeking validation from society? Why is it that as a collective, women are separated into factions of those that ‘need’ a man, and those who do not? With the introduction of dating apps, the world has become steadfastly more complicated, and the validation of someone’s worth has become a minefield of how many ‘matches’ you have, and how many followers you’ve gained on social media, or whether you’re married and are on the property ladder. We trust the women with more of a social standing to guide the way for us to find our ‘life partners’ and believe that we are not truly integrated into society, until we have a hand to hold at the next engagement party. I was recently invited to an engagement party, and immediately plunged into the depths of anxiety and panic over stepping into a sea of ‘couples’. My first point of call was to contact a man I’d been on multiple dates with, because heaven forbid I arrive to the party alone.
A female friend of mine, who, recently single, has been throwing herself into life as a singleton, for the first time in four years, seems to be flourishing and engaging in all of the fruitful offerings of an unattached life. This friend called me at one in the morning this weekend, having all the panics of a woman navigating the dating pool. Having seen me drown in the ever dangerous water that is the dating world for the past three years, my friend assumed I would be able to impart some sort of remotely interesting information about dating. Her query was this: “My male friend is flirting with me, and seems to be romantically invested in me, but I don’t feel this way. I should cut him off, right?” I considered why it was we felt compelled to justify our lack of sexual attraction to another person. I got to thinking and wondered why so many of us see out immediate option as to cut them out. Hearing it from another person, it sounds completely ridiculous. But then I thought back to all of the times that I’ve reduced contact, or stopped going for coffee with another person because I feared having to verbally reject them.
It appears that the people that we don’t seek validation from sexually or romantically become unnecessary to us when their feelings spill over from friendly to romantic. We no longer value their friendship as much, because, as a woman, we now attach that friendliness to an alternate agenda. But how does this make us any better than the men who do the same to women? Is this not the intellectual equivalent of shutting down a woman’s friendship when she decides that she really doesn’t want to sleep with the male involved? We take issue with men who want to sleep with us, but don’t want to be ‘just friends’, but when we want to be ‘just friends’ with them, we jump to all the same conclusions.
The dating world has become miraculously intense in recent years – men are scared of the fiercely independent breed of feminist women that now roam in society, many of whom love to overuse the tagline - ‘No Feminazi’s please’ in their shoddy dating profiles. Why is it that feminism has become a popular way to riddle out women who are still willingly subordinate to men in life? And why do men still search for these women? Are they the equivalent validation for their ego’s? I believe that these women are simply not enlightened to the better way of thinking yet, they’ve grown up with fairytales of being saved by a man, who can provide and support them, whereas the new breed of women are learning that the princesses could have saved themselves if they wanted to.
I decided to be a princess who saves herself, and I RSVP’s to the engagement party as attending without a plus one; I felt like I would be betraying my fellow women if I brought along a token date to hold my hand and make polite chatter to the male halves of the couples swarming me. I decided to trust in the knowledge that I didn’t need a male to talk to couples, knowing that I’m fully capable of holding my own in the social setting. I’m intelligent, and I’m propped up by the hundreds of women in society making the same decision as me to be vibrant and noisy and earn my own validation from myself. I told my friend that she didn’t need to end the friendship – she just needed to express her feelings, or lack thereof, in a diplomatic and respectful way. We’re all just humans attempting to drag ourselves through our own dating microcosms, and sometimes we don’t get it right, and sometimes we do, it’s just a case of not needing to lean on that planet of support from a significant other, and be comfortable as a galaxy all on our own.