When sex is just not enough

As Lauren Peterson recently discovered, modern dating sucks. She had met Michael over Bumble, and they started hooking up every Monday night after both agreeing that they weren’t looking for love, or any sort of commitment in particular.

After six weeks, Lauren had the routine down. Every Monday evening she would walk over to Michael’s apartment, they would exchange pleasantries and then watch a movie and go to bed. Tuesday morning, she would pack her bag and walk home.

And that was all she wanted from him at first. But then she found herself wishing him a good day at class, and then inviting him to go on a trip to the Grand Canyon with her.

That’s when things got complicated. She explained in her article, Wanting Monogamy as 1946 men await your swipe that she wanted to get to know the real Michael, not just the facade he had put up to be successful on Bumble.

And then she noticed the other girls. He had befriended other girls on Facebook that didn’t share any mutual friends with him. And so, after seeing a text from one of them, she realized that just as she was his Monday, there were probably also Wednesday’s and Friday’s, etc.

But as she expressed her interest in something more then just a Monday relationship, he declined. He couldn’t handle monogamy, he explained to her. As she sadly came to grips with the relationship being over, (precisely because she wanted just that), she realized the absurdity in wanting something more from an app that promises that of all the hundreds or thousands of profiles, “there’s got to be someone better then the person I’m seeing right now.”

Which means that monogamy requires more sacrifice than ever. If offered free travel, why would anyone settle for one place when it’s possible to tour the entire world?

Why indeed? What could possibly be better than the instant gratification of sex, without the messiness of a relationship, the ups and downs of getting to know someone? What indeed could be better than that?

The Lost Art of True Love

In the words of Miracle Max in The Princess Bride, “True love is the greatest thing in the world.” In the Princess Bride, “Farm Boy” Westley spends 7 years waiting under captivity to the Dread Pirate Roberts so that he can return to find his true love, princess Buttercup. Some feminists today say that such a tale of rescuing is cliche and old. That being said, there’s something a whole lot sexier about a man who actually has to put in a little more effort than swipe right and send a few racy texts to win over a heart.

What we don’t ever consider, however, is the possibility that men today might need rescuing. Rescued from themselves; rescued from being told those things that make them feel like the men they deep down want to be are are no longer needed – that what’s deepest in their hearts: the desire to find someone to protect, provide for and raise children with – is an outdated idea, and therefore so are they.

And so hooking up is what we’ve got left going for us.

But what if that’s not enough? What if I want to spend the rest of my life with one woman? What if I want to always wake up next to my best friend. What if I want to surprise her by taking her hand and dancing with her in the kitchen while preparing pancakes for the kids on a Saturday morning? What if I want to be the only one to help her zip her dress up as we go out for an evening out? What if I want to whisper in her each evening before falling asleep “Never leave my side, I love you my beautiful Queen?” What if I want to squeeze her hand every time we walk together for the rest of our lives? What if I want to spend the rest of my life surprising her with little ways of letting her know I love her, of telling her she’s the only one, that I will never tire of her, no matter how old and wrinkly we both become?

But I have to wake up to reality. Not only is that a picture that most of us never experienced in our own family because we came from a culture of dysfunctional families. But also, because modern dating favors the superficial, the immediate, the short-lived spurts of emotional ecstasy and not the slow and gradual romantic revealing of one’s personality to someone else, someone who is “the one” because we bothered to give them the space to reveal why they’re special, despite the fact that their could be hundreds of others “more perfect” waiting behind another swipe.

So in the midst of my near utter disappointment in the current situation, I have to ask how the fawk we got here and is there any hope for something more?

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