On a sweltering summer day in 2017, I was sitting in the passenger side of a Tonka truck of a car with a guy that I had originally met at a meet-up event. It was my third time meeting up with him. This was not a ‘date’ or anything romantic. In fact, this his guy proceeded to berate me for how nice and naïve I was.
“Mary,” he said frustrated like I was a stupid child, “you cannot be so naïve to think that meet-up is a place where people just want to make friends! It is a cover up for lonely souls who are looking for that soulmate! It is a façade of a dating website like Match.com or EHarmony!”
I bluntly said to him, “I do not believe in dating websites. Dating websites feed off of people’s emotions that if you are single or alone then you are lonely and need to find someone because of this stupid societal thought that a single person is incomplete. Also, think about this—if you are getting a list of people then that person and all the other people are getting lists of people. but I do not list people. I have a shopping list of eggs, milk, and cheese, but I do not have a human people list of Billy, Bob, and Ben.”
“Well, now you make me feel bad for going on dating websites. I once dated eight women at the same time,” he said sheepishly.
“I do not think that is anything to be proud of,” I said.
Then, I felt bad because he had all shades of shame colored on his face. So, I said to him, “I can’t tell you how to live your life. It’s not my place. If that’s your thing to go on dating websites, then go on dating websites. But, that’s not my thing. And, yeah, maybe I am naïve and nice. I just want to get to know people and then whatever happens is whatever happens. It takes a long time to get to know people. Relationships and people are not instantaneous and are not supposed to be treated like garbage.”
He said, “Well, that’s a nice and naïve thought this day in age.”
I rebutted, “What a sad society we live in where nice is seen as weak. What a sad society we live in where people are treated like ‘test runs’ and then tossed aside like yesterday’s news and thrown away like garbage if you do not meet unrealistic expectations.”
Before he dropped me off at my place, his words echoed many people who have said to me: “Single opposite sex individuals cannot be friends with one another. There will always be an attraction or a question wafting in the back of the mind of the potential of being with that person. Singles versus couples with children or couples around the same age who do not have children cannot really be friends because they lack common ground in a society that praises having a family over being single.”
My response: “This is all bullshit. You cannot categorize and box in people and relationships. You cannot put yourself in places like dating websites where you can be thrown away like garbage. Just take people and relationships and relations as they come.”
I decided long ago that I would be treated like a priority and not an option, and vice versa. It feels like we live in times when people are just options and objects rather than priorities and people. I am not a saint—I surely am guilty of having thrown out garbage when it was toxic and rotting to me, and I have been treated like garbage. It is a very vicious cycle. The bottom line is to always realize and stay true to your worth and respect yourself because no one else is going to be your worth or give you respect otherwise.
We live in times where we treat people like garbage. It seems like people are treated more disposed off, disregarded, and are discarded than ever before. We even treat objects better than people and people like objects. When have you been tossed aside, thrown away, or just a back burner and option rather than a priority? When have you taken out the garbage, and is it difficult for you to do so? Do you think singles of the opposite six can be friends? Do you think singles and couples with and without children can be friends? What is your worth?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,