I've been back to the dating scene recently with a clean mind. Now at 29, I think dating holds a very different meaning, and the dynamics have humbled me.
It prompted this self-reflection, and while they say admission is the first step to self-improvement, I also want to capsulate this as a reminder-to-future-self.
After being in a largely unhappy relationship for 2 years - with little intimacy and emotional/intellectual engagement - I felt starved. Attention was empty and kisses were hollow throughout my previous relationship. My mistake, that I needed to be more honest with myself in the past. As much as I encourage my friends to leave unhappy relationships, I did not hold such courage myself until fate intervened on my behalf because I was too afraid. Strangely it took for someone to cheat to gain back my self-confidence. That, and champagne with a very-exceptional Macallan shot offered by a good friend.
I think that emotional and physical deficiency pushed me to almost flirt outrageously, it's a cry for help, a sign that I didn't recognise until very recently. It wasn't that I needed the guys to flirt back with me, what I needed was a wake up call. It doesn't help that YouTube videos on "50 ways to flirt with a guy" catalysed and almost made it permissible. I forgot, being a cultural geographer, local traditions apply to what were US-centric discourses. In any case, it could have been a disaster if not for a very strong wake up call yesterday.
I am human and I failed. But like any other, we need to move on from our failures and learn how to fail better.
Essentially it got me thinking about flirting - so much discourse on flirting is around "getting the guy". I am starting to toy with the idea that perhaps flirting - being the definition,
"behave as though sexually attracted to someone, but playfully rather than with serious intentions." -
I can come across as being disingenious - especially in the early stages of getting to know someone because I make promises I may not be able keep. What does it say about my character, as a person? I think being able to show your sexual side is okay - in fact I almost encourage it within women because we are brought up to fear our bodies (whole thesis on this somewhere in my dropbox). So taking a step back, looking at my throw-away comments, is antithesis to my values and beliefs and does not reflect the person I truly am. Perhaps those that respond to my flirts, are also equally disingenious and superficial and I fear that history repeats itself. We reap what we sow.
We should not abandon flirting altogether - I still find that extremely endearing and fun - but to use it at the opportune time when a sexy playful comment can be followed up with actual promises of things to come. It is this complex layering of being in a serious committment coupled with keeping things light to make life slightly more interesting.
At 29, the dating experience has changed. Perhaps it's time to cast aside my old skin and be more mature. After all, the very act of insanity is doing something over and over again but expecting a different outcome isn't it? So ultimately, if I want a partner in life with a certain character, I should therefore exhibit those myself.
For reservations: my witty double-entendres and puns for that special someone ;)