The new-age dating world is not for women. It was never created for women and it certainly does not work in our favour.
As a recently single woman, I have found myself once again in the deep dark world of new-age dating, and I can honestly say that it is an unnecessary rollercoaster of sorts. There are high points because it is intriguing and you get to explore certain things that you obviously couldn’t whilst in a relationship, such as sexual freedoms.
But then it has its awful points like having to deal with ‘fuckboys’ and their tendencies to be manipulative creatures who could care less for our hearts.
I think new-age dating is especially difficult for women, because we are almost forced to deny our intrinsic nature, as a mode of survival. Women are naturally loving, emotional, affectionate and easily attached human beings, but it seems that we have to deny that reality to accommodate the distorted contemporary forms of relationships (hook ups actually) that we engage in. We have to reject our feelings and lie to ourselves that we are not hurt by the fact that the man we are casually dating is sleeping with a myriad of other women, and probably whispering the same sweet nothings to her as he does to us. We mask our disappointment when he says that he will call and does not. Or when his actions make you feel like a booty-call.
We’ve been lying to ourselves for so long that we have denied ourselves solid truths. We want love yet we behave paradoxically when we accept toxic hook-up situations. The dating game just does not work for us.
The latest trend I have seen amongst beautiful and ambitious young women, is something called ‘sisterwifedom’. I have seen many a feminist adopt this way of life (if you will) however, I cannot seem to reconcile what sisterwifedom stands for with my own feminism. And not just my feminism, but my pride and dignity as a human being. Essentially, sisterwifedom is about acceptance. Acceptance that the dating pool is full of fuckboys who do not want to grow up. It’s acceptance that the guy you are sleeping with, has a slew of other women and nothing will change that. Not even you. It is acceptance of the other women in this man’s life, hence the term ‘sister wife’. From a realist dimension, this is perfectly plausible – if you can’t beat them join them, right? – but then in the same capacity, it is simply not tenable and it is downright damaging for young women. How much would you have to reduce your standards and expectations of a man for you to accept such a situation? How defeated must you be to accept sisterwifedom as your reality? Some women feel like it makes them feel empowered, but there is nothing empowering about a definitively disempowering situation. I say it is disempowering because at the end of the day – no matter how one tries to tell themselves that they are a hard-core bad b*tch who doesn’t give a f- that she is one of many – the man is still puppeteering you and all the others. You may think you are in control because instead of being a deer in headlights about the situation, you have accepted the situation and decided to make light of it, but in actuality, the man is setting the pace for the dynamic, while you continue to deny your truth as a woman, in a bid to survive in this nasty new-age dating world.
I get that we don’t always want our hook ups to develop into something more, but what we do want – which we should stop rejecting as the truth – is decency and respect from our hook ups. Respect me enough to call when you say you will; to not sleep with women that run in the same social circle; to acknowledge me in public as you do in private; to not use me for your personal gain.
It seems that men think the respect factor flies out the window when you are just hooking up, because hey, you are just hooking up! And I mean, I sort of get it, you don’t want to give someone who is not your girlfriend, ‘girlfriend privileges’. However, a woman does not have to be your girlfriend for you as a man to treat her like a human being, respect her and be considerate of her feelings. It does not make you less of a man to treat your hook up decently in that regard.
At this point in my life, I am not looking for anything serious, a hook up is fine for me. But that hook up must meet the expectations that I have. And to put it simply, I expect respect and I will not tolerate anything other than. I cannot settle for this new-age dating scene that has consented to the disrespect that seemingly comes along with hooking up. And that for me remains one of my biggest challenges while in this dating game. Just the other day, all of this got me thinking. I can now see why some women chose to stay in broken relationships that are not working. It’s because the dating world is really no better than the sucky, broken relationship that they’re clinging on to. And if you are lucky enough to find a Mr. Right amidst all the frogs, it probably took some wading through lots of disrespect and steady knocks to your self-esteem and peace of mind.
Why not just suffer with the devil you do know – at least then you are dealing with pain that you have become accustomed to – rather than go out into the dating world and suffer with someone who isn’t even your boyfriend!
I get why Tara and Amina keep fighting over that low life Peter Gunz. And why so many women keep fighting for meaningless relationships with men who want to have their cake and it eat. It is out of fear and also an inherent acknowledgement of how dark the new-age dating scene now is. It is much easier to fight for your status quo that you are familiar with (no matter how undesirable it is) than to set sail into the new-age dating scene, only to be met with a new situation that further chips away at your already fragile and vulnerable heart.
In the long run, the new-age dating scene could only have detrimental effects. Prolonged years of masking built up insecurities could only spell a recipe for disaster. Nothing in this world is more dangerous than not being self-aware and how can one be self-aware if you continuously lie to yourselves and deny yourselves the right to be you openly and unashamedly. As women, we often fall prey to defining ourselves through someone else, and in doing so we lose our self-awareness and identities. Now imagine being in a situationship, wherein the man is setting the pace for the dynamic. The woman would in essence be defining herself through this man, as she denies herself of what she truly wants. As women, losing our sense of identity and self-awareness is especially problematic because then we forget how truly powerful we are. We forget our true worth and deceive ourselves that disempowering situationships are actually empowering.
And that’s simply not okay.