Monday, March 14, 2011

Crappy, Girly Dating Websites

Every so often, I get into doing this thing where I read dating and relationship blogs. I'd love to know why I do this, because the heteronormativity of it all drives me insane after a while. So, let's explore that. Also, I'm sitting in my Geology class and I'm bored.
Question number one: Why on earth am I reading relationship columns? Honestly, the answer is kind of TMI...

I'm hormonal. Yeah. Sorry for that. I think there's more to it, though. Like, why crappy dating websites and not rom-coms? (Apart from the fact that I hate rom-coms at any time of the month.)
Part of it may be that I'm searching for some kind of a relationship model. By the standards of the blog I'm reading, I've been single so long I should take up spinning (as in yarn or thread, not as in the exercise bike thing my Grandma does). This means that I may have forgotten how to date- at the very least, there's a part of me that thinks I'm doing something wrong. By reading about the kinds of relationships I might like to have, I imagine that I'm trying to learn how to do what these women are doing. Typical me, trying to read something to learn how to date.
The other aspect may be an attempt to find a specific kind of vicarious experience. I get to read about the ups-and-downs of a relationship and daydream and live through the writer, but I neither have to be hurt myself or feel envious. I can watch the writer's relationships happen but I can't watch my friends'. The writer doesn't always have other dinner plans. (Well, she does, but I don't care. I don't count on her to eat dinner with me.) I can enjoy the light drama without it ever affecting my life.

So, that explains why I would read junk like this. Now lets talk about why it eventually drives me nuts. This is as simple as my first reason, and half as embarassing for you...

Hereonormativity. Yeah. That. I highly doubt that the writer has anything against GLBTQQIAAP such as me (or us, if you identify that way, too) but of course her experience is of a straight, sexual woman. This asexual girl has a really hard time identifying with that experience. So much of what she writes is about whether she was sexually compatible with her date, or how fast they did or did not have sex, or whatever... One of her lists (I like lists) is of things to remember now that she's in a relationship and one item on that list is to remember how much she would have enjoyed regular sex with a loving partner when she was single, and so not to say no too often- not in a sense that she owes it to the guy for some reason, but in an attempt not to take for granted a part of her relationship that's special to her.
Obviously I can't relate to any of that. She does redeem herself to me, though, my putting that farther down the list than the reminder not to forget about her friends and family, and to be sure to make time for the other people she loves.
The last aspect of this that I dislike is that she is clearly a person who prefers to spend 90+% of her time with the boyfriend, when she has one. People like this make me feel like an afterthought and also uncomfortable, so I can't identify at all with the way she percieves her relationships.

Fact is, though, that I'm not nearly done reading everything on this website. Chances are this is what I'll do with my evening (and put off the reading that I should have finished by the time I pick Rūta up at the bus station tomorrow).

Can't wait until my hormones calm back down...