I only wish I were writing a book about that, because it would fly off the shelves. In fact, this is simply an impassioned plea for someone else who has successfully navigated the waters of dating as a 30+ person in the 2010s. I need help, desperate help, and I'm assuming many others do too.
I've got a few problems to contend with, the largest of which is likely the fact that I had long-term boyfriends from age 18-25 and never actually learned how to "date" since I just sort of ended up in relationships. I mean, when you're in college, you hang out with someone a lot because you have all the time in the world, and then in a matter of weeks you decide if you like them enough to become their significant other or leave them in a ditch for the next sucker who passes by.
The second problem is that I'm an old fart and in my earliest years of dating (college) there was no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, real text messaging or the like. You had to actually spend time with someone. You couldn't have a text conversation because it took 4 hours to type one sentence on the pre-QWERTY keyboards of our Nokias or Moto Razrs.
To me, dating should be simple. If I'm going out with you on a first date, I'm physically attracted to you and checking to see if you can hold a conversation and/or are batshit crazy. If I am going on a second date with you, I sufficiently like your personality to tolerate you again. If I decide I don't like you, you won't hear from me again, unless you're someone I might run into in the future and then I have to figure out how to delicately let you know I'm not interested - likely by the efficient and uber-mature way of getting a mutual friend to mention it.
When it comes to guys, however, I have no idea what's going on. Despite the fact that it seems obvious a guy would only ask a girl out if he's attracted to her, I can never confirm or deny someone's attraction to me unless and until they make a concerted effort to get in my pants - regardless of my response to said effort. It's the attempt that makes it known. How do I know that you don't just think I'm fun and cool and might be a new platonic friend if you don't at least attempt physical contact? I mean I THINK people should be attracted to me. I'D be attracted to me. So it seems illogical that I would default to "not attracted" simply because there was no outward show of said attraction, but I cannot say that my brain works logically.
And now that we have facebook and chat and texting it seems that all the "rules" have gone out the window - someone might ask you on a second date sooner if they couldn't stalk you online or sit in their pajamas eating Cheetos in bed while texting you and looking at your pre-nosejob photos on Facebook.
I now realize I should've gotten an MBA for multiple reasons - I'd have a job by now and I would've had a decent-sized pool from which to select potential dates in a more organic setting instead of 60 23-year-old girls and a few gay guys. Once I left the school environment I completely lost all ability to function and now that people have "work" and "obligations" and can't meet you for lunch randomly on a Wednesday between classes it's really damn hard to meet new people. Couple that with the fact that I have no coworkers (out of three) that are my preferred age and sex and you've got the life of a hermit.
So would a 20-something please write a book about what dating is now? Is there more to a "like" on Facebook than what meets the eye? Are texting rules kinda like rules from the 50s about how and when you should call one another? What the hell do we talk about if we know what the other person has been doing the whole time we were apart because they kept posting pictures to facebook? WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING BEHIND A FACEBOOK RELATIONSHIP STATUS? CAN YOU SEE OTHER PEOPLE UNTIL THAT? I DON'T UNDERSTAAAAAAAAAND GOD HELP THIS OLD FOGEY OUT.
I'm actually a great catch, I'm just a dating moron. I can happily provide excellent references from ex-boyfriends that I consistently won "girlfriend of the year" throughout my relationships. I'm not jealous, I'm not a stalker, I don't have trust issues, I'm up for (almost) anything, I'm not a giant fatty, I have no biological clock, I look younger than I am, I'm smart... And despite all that you know about me I am SO MUCH LESS CRAZY than girlfriends I hear about. I'm not going to key your car if you dump me, I'll just cry a lot. You'll never need a restraining order. But dating makes me look crazy because I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON. In my world, dating should be like this:
"I think you are cute. I don't find you painfully annoying or stupid, we should hang out and see if we would like to date."
"I think those same things about you. I agree we should go to places together to see if we develop a mutual attraction that can be turned into a relationship."
"Great, I will let you know when I find a dealbreaker and must end our courtship."
"That sounds good. I will let you know at what point you don't have to worry about me going out with other people in a direct and concise way so that you won't be confused, ever."
"We have a deal."
So yeah. Why did my dating years have to fall into such a ridiculous time for technology and a complete social gap between people ten years older than me and ten years younger??