Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Casual ≠ easy (a.k.a. come on, boys)

I know y'all are going to bash me over the head for even having this conversation.

But I'm still incredulous. (Even though I shouldn't be.)

Incredulous at the number of adult males convinced life would be easier if they just had a girl on the side to sleep with them when they had the time, magically requiring nothing else.

I find this increasingly with online dating. Men for whom a commitment would be a burden. Despite getting along conversationally and us finding each other relatively fascinating -- they have no interest going on a date to see if we get along. They'd like to have me around for a hook-up. If I'm not up for that, they're not up for me.

Today's lunch-hour example: Local. My age. Nice eyes. A skydiving instructor in his spare time. Hit me up to say hi, and we let forth 20 minutes before we got to the crux. (And there is always a crux.)

Local Man: so how are things going for you on OK?

Karin: OKC and I have a bit of a history. It goes in fits and starts.

LM: i hear that

K: How about you?

LM: well I signed up a while ago but then work got very busy so I hadn't checked in a while. just kind of checking it out again now

K: I always like hearing the honest male perspective about the site.

LM: it's been ok i guess, have only met one person

K: I have met some normal, non-crazies on here.

LM: well that's good. I have faith that there are a few normal people left in the world haha

K: Well, I worry about that more and more the older I get... ;-) But, me too.

LM: haha, yes thats true. so are you looking for something more serious or casual?

K: Well, to be blunt. I have been-there-done-that with casual, at least for now.

LM: i hear ya

K: I am definitely trending wanting something more regular. "serious" might not be the word. Serious sounds too scary.

LM: haha

K: "serious" -- amazingly at this age -- seems to scare the shit out of most guys I've talked to.

LM: yes I'm sure

K: What about you?

LM: Well to be honest, I think with my schedule at this point, I think something a bit more casual

Naturally. Line in the sand.

I should know better ... but would you believe I actually tried to sound rational and persuade him in a different direction?

Silly me.

We stayed all dignified and respectful, but the result was the same.

K: this isn't a criticism but just an observation ..... why does "casual" always seem like an easier option to people? I find it rather stressful!

LM: i can understand that too. seems so non committal

K: Yeah.

LM: but I just think with how my work schedule is and planning on going ... to teach skydiving for a few weeks, that I wouldn't want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. not being able to be there for someone the way a person should be ... I wouldn't want to start something and then say, oh by the way I'm going away for a few weeks

K: But wouldn't it be great to just go into meeting someone and seeing what happened first, before deciding what you wanted out of it?

LM: yes that's true but again, you don't want to lead anyone on or make them feel like they have wasted their time

K: I understand where you're coming from. But just being upfront about your schedule should usually cull the field. If she can't deal with the 3 weeks away then you wouldn't want her around, anyway, eh?

LM: true. but i think that also limits the potential

K: You asked me about my experiences on here ... and almost every guy I talk to has a reason upfront for wanting to have a casual relationship. And it seems to also limit the potential.

LM: true

K: Why not just meet someone and see what the possibilities are? Then go from there.

LM: well again you just want to be upfront about it

K: True.

LM: especially if someone has Casual in their profile. Good to ask.
Yes, folks. I still have it on there.

I also have 100 other things in my profile. Including "looking for a long-term relationship." And he didn't ask me about being Lutheran.

K: True. Good idea. So what is your definition of "casual?"

LM: just someone who is comfortable getting together when they have time and having some mutual fun together ...
The fantasy of every man.

Every man, perhaps, who hasn't tried it yet.

K: Got it. Well I've done that. I can understand the appeal.

LM: and i understand it's not for everyone. hence why i ask upfront
What I love is his suggestion that he's unusual for wanting to have sex without commitment. If he were a woman on OKC, approached by men across the age spectrum for exactly that ...

K: Did you hit me up because I listed casual?

LM: well I liked your profile and your pictures and was curious to see what you were open to
This is where I'm always lost in the male rationale. If he likes my profile and my pictures, why wouldn't he want something more?

Our discussion went for a bit about how not very many women list casual as an option. I tried to explain my relative dilemma at doing so.

K: There are some fine lines to being a woman here. I get almost ZERO hits if I take casual out of my profile. I used to have it on there, had some experiences, kind of got it out of my system. So I took it off. Like I hits. Not even views. So I put it back on.

LM: i can understand that

K: hence why I reacted like I did when you brought it up.

LM: but it might save you from having waste of time conversations if that isn't something you are looking for

K: Well it is a matter of then having no conversations at all...;-) Trying to find the middle ground, I guess. Still working on it.

Thus, we ended. Amicably, yes. Agreeing that if either of us changed our minds about what we were looking for, we should reconnect.

But, neither of us are any better off for having found each other both date-able and desirable. A lunch hour I'll never get back.

Perhaps I'm naïve thinking I could persuade him by saying I've tried casual relationships and, that while sometimes they work and are often fun for a time, they are no easier than being in love or being committed. They still can take up your time, still can make it hard to sleep a good-night's sleep, still can be rife with unfulfilled expectations.

(P.S. Being naïve isn't easy, either.)

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