How did people date before the days of the internet? Did you have to actually talk to people when you were out places? That means you had to go out to places to start with. Ugh. Sounds awful. The internet became commonplace when I was about 13. I am definitely part of the impatient "I want it now and how dare this page take 1 minute to load" generation. Immediate sharing and knowledge. I like taking in all the information and then deciding what to do with it later. That goes for people, too.
As an introvert, I'm happy to have grown up in the internet age. On the plus side, it makes in person interaction less necessary. I can browse someone's online profile and know if we like the same music and movies and if we may have similar senses of humor. I can also decide if they are a douchebag who takes a lot of chest pics and has Nickelback tattoos. That helps me make the decision to not spend my energy on getting to know someone where it is bound to go downhill from there.
On the down side, it makes in person interaction less necessary. How much can a single page and a few pictures tell you about someone? If that's all a person was going by to "get to know" me, I'd probably be screwed. Okay, so she's sort of cute but weirdly into Peeps and Justin Timberlake. Crazy alert! Next profile...If someone is a horrible person who hates Peeps, it's probably best we never talked to begin with. But maybe there is more to them and to me than a strong preference about ridiculous amounts of sugar. Nickelback tattoo guy seems like a major douchebag, but maybe he made one bad drunken decision and isn't so terrible. Now we'll never know.
Dating sucks. It's hard work. You're opening yourself up to rejection on many levels. Being an introverted personality and dating is even harder. I was burned out in under a month. I met 7 different guys in about 3 weeks and I longed for a night at home alone doing absolutely nothing. I needed to recharge. Meeting people in general gets to be physically exhausting. Meeting people for the purpose of dating even more so because I am having to talk about myself, decide what bits of information are relevant, and where the line is between honesty and oversharing.
That is a big question. Where is the line between honesty and oversharing? In a world where we now expect so much immediate information, how do you decide what is relevant and what is going to make you sound fucking crazy, but probably wouldn't be so bad once they've already gotten to know you? If I met someone in everyday life and we went out to dinner, I wouldn't feel the need to tell them everything about myself in the first hour. I spend half of my life around coworkers who don't really know all that much about me and my personal life and that's been working just fine.
If there is a mutual interest and things were going to get more serious with someone, I would want to delve further into certain subjects. There are things that could certainly be deal breakers for someone and I'm not intentionally hiding them. "Oh by the way, I'm dating a guy who is married." That would need to be said at some point. To open with though, I've left it at "I'm seeing someone but we're not exclusive." If someone is bothered by that and seeking a serious monogamous relationship, then we know to go our separate ways.
The relationship status is something I state up front, though don't go into all the details unless asked. Kink is a whole other matter. At what point do I mention what the hell is in the box under my bed? Where it is that I'm going all the time and how I know so many people across the country when I've mainly been a resident of Utah? Why I have bruises at the point they are seeing my body? Maybe it is a bigger deal in my head than it would be to the other person hearing about all of it. I don't know.
I've only mentioned it to one vanilla date so far since he was someone I went out with 3 different times. I opened with, "So do you like anything kinky?" He didn't really know what that meant so is definitely vanilla, but said he's open to trying things. I didn't say anything else until later he asked me why I asked the question and if I'm into something kinky. I said yes, I'm involved with BDSM groups and like to be spanked. He didn't ask any questions and I didn't offer any further information.
This is a part of my personality.
And so is this.
A potential partner does not have to want to participate in that with me. But at this point in my life I'm not willing to hide such a big thing to ensure someone else's comfort. Kink is not my whole life, but it is part of it. It is how I know many different people. It is how I spend some of my time. It is why I travel across the country twice a year. It is the reason I sometimes grimace and then smile when I sit down. It is why I'm texting so damn much and often laughing. That is a lot to just leave out.
The simple answer may be to just not date vanillas. It's not that simple though. I know a lot of truly awesome kink friendly folks. I don't like the idea of only fishing out of an already small pool. Do I want to date all of them? No. Are they all even available anyway? No. Do I want to end up having 10 poly relationships at the same time? I don't know. Do I like the idea of having someone to take home for family dinner who isn't married? Yeah. Is that a completely unrealistic and outdated expectation? Maybe. I have a lot of questions and not many answers. These are my rambling thoughts for today. In summary, dating sucks.