Bait and Switch

It never ceases to amaze me when my single girl friends get it into their heads that what a guy wants from a girl is an easy, no effort, laid back, casual ‘thing’, and by agreeing to this easy, no effort, laid back, casual ‘thing’ with him will somehow morph him into the perfect boyfriend.

Yes, Hollywood is showing us the new and improved way of attaining the storybook ending of relationship dreams: Friends With Benefits, No Strings Attached, When Harry Met Sally… The post modern idea that 2 people looking for nothing but mutual satisfaction will follow the path that leads to love because that’s how 80s and 90s babies are dating.

Really?  

Let me set the stage for you:

Emile had a … well, I personally did not believe it was a ‘date’ as it was later in the evening on a weeknight at a casual but fun drinking establishment with gourmet pub grub.  The invitation had been sent by text and the response as well.  The boy was looking forward to enjoying the patio and beer AND said so in anticipation.  Emile, taken aback with his response but withholding her witty tongue, brushed off the comment and attributed this to his ‘laid back, casual’ style.  I had mentioned that it was an off comment to make but could be nerves or whatnot, and the ‘date’ was set.

Before heading over I offered a bail-out call from my work (to make it seem official, of course).  Throughout the night I received positive messages, how much she liked him, how well they were getting along… and I passed on a piece of advice given to me by my friend Bobbie: “Make good decisions”.  She had text me that very message 3 hours into my first date with JD, and seeing how I was on my crimson wave I happily (drunk on 4 glasses of wine) text back that the good decision had been made already by my week free of birth control.  Years later JD and I are happily coupled, and Emile mentioned this the days before her first date that, although meeting in similar circumstances, my situation turned into a relationship and that she was not ready or looking for serious commitment.

The next afternoon (hey; I like to sleep in!) my phone buzzes with the note of Emile confessing that she may have made bad decisions.  Seems the night went SO well it continued into the morning, and boy had just left.  Being mature adults the mutual satisfaction that had occurred was met by both as a ‘fun, casual, laid back’ event and that she was looking forward to the next time seeing him.  Luckily (?) for her, the next time would be that evening, meeting up late again, dancing with a group of friends only to retire together for another midnight session.

Text messages would follow and I would hear all about it; and each time I asked if that now, would a proper date happen.    These questions were met with halting answers: Emile did not want to pressure boy into fancy dinners and public outings, she was happy with backyard talks and sleep overs, text messages over phone calls and avoiding the drama and complexity of the beginning stages of a relationship.  This ‘thing’ was just what she was looking for; easy, laid back, no effort, no pressure or demands that ‘other girls’ would place on men in a dating situation.

But that is how far it went.  A few text messages throughout the day and the final being a booty ‘call’ found Emile confused and frustrated.  Why wasn’t he putting in any effort? Why must I suggest activities beyond what we’ve already done?  Why aren’t I meeting his friends? Why won’t he join me with mine?

The next few weeks I was flooded with ‘If he doesn’t start putting in effort I’m going to get bored and move on’ when clearly boy had already done so.  The difficult and equally frustrating task of tiptoeing around the fact that:

a) fucking on the first date sets a precidant of continued and further fucking without anymore effort

b) casual and laid back = no commitment, no rules, no accountability

c) he just doesn’t have to DO anything to get you in bed

raised my already climbing pulse and blood pressure.  Finally I wrote back exactly what she was looking for with a guy: someone to date but not date officially, someone who was allowed to ‘see’ other people but not fuck them, someone she didn’t have to call or be supportive of in work, school, money, activities BUT would show progression in meeting friends and family and put in visual effort in activities and planning a week in advance for outings.  Turns out that is exactly what she wants, and all I could say was “great!”

For someone ( and it’s not just her; I can rattle off a gaggle of girlfriends with similar perspectives of post modern dating ) who proclaims to want an ‘easy, casual, uncomplicated, drama free, laid back thing’ –  the above addenum that sounds a hell of a lot like work.

A LOT more work than “Would you like to have dinner with me?”… “I am not dating anybody else.”… “It’s been 6 months, I should probably tell my mother about you.”… “This is my girlfriend Chloe.”

I can understand the appeal of an easy arrangement: it allows a slow re entrance into the dating world while satisfying a carnal need for sex and a human need for companionship. But if that’s ALL that you want, be sure to STICK to it.  It isn’t fair to entice a guy OR a girl into an arrangement that begins mutually beneficial then turns into a backdoor crack into a “well we’re already here so may as well be a relationship”.   It’s like promising me Michael Kors and showing up with Payless.

Now I’m not saying that anyone who agrees to this situation is akin to a pair of Payless shoes: on the contrary, they are usually the Michael Kors of the dating scene.  Emile is a pair of Michael Kors shoes.  She is beautiful, she is smart, she is employed, living on her own and doing just fine.  She is a girl worthy of effort – effort as simple as a 7PM dinner on a Sunday night.

And you are too.  So why would you waive that right to a proper date?  Because you think that’s an easier way to attract a man?

Well, you’re right.  It IS an easier way to attract a man.  But what after will keep them? The goods have been given: the V-power  vanquished at your own hands and the mystery and anticipation dismissed as a barrier and not the best damn foreplay you’ll ever have.   Plus, even if you DO wait before fucking, what more can he or she gain by committing into a relationship with a person they didn’t want one with in the first place?  Why would they give up a guaranteed lay while remaining on the prowl for more? It’s essentially the best deal EVER: automatic sex with a hot guy/girl while continuing to date for more potential sex.  Giving that up IS a commitment, no matter how you say it.

I guess what I was trying to convey is that before entering a FWB situation, you have to be real with yourself and your expectations.  If deep down you want something that might resemble a committed relationship despite your denial, be honest with yourself before entering into a fuck buddy arrangement.  If you want more, you gotta tell them: because the last thing you want is to waste your time while leading someone else on who actually knows what they want and are mature enough to handle getting it.

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One response to “Bait and Switch

  1. Well said! I think if you’re happy with the FB thing then totally go for it, but if you start to feel like a pro bono hooker then it’s def time to move on. If you think you can change it into a relationship then the chances are extremely slim. But then why would you want to try and MAKE someone be with you? They’re not good enough for you if you have to force it, you should be with someone who makes you feel fabulous:)

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