I fly into the US and set foot on its fertile soil blissfully oblivious to the dating culture of this new foreign land. After months of dwindling self-esteem and confusion as to why men bolted in the opposite direction at the mention of grabbing a coffee or, even worse, having dinner I disentangled the mystery. I had come to a place infested with a hookup culture.
Let me set another scene for you, so you understand where I am coming from.
You meet an alluring man at a bar, he buys you a drink or maybe two, you dance, flirt a little and decide you quite fancy him. The situation and your mood dictating whether or not you grace him with a kiss or maybe even more. This particular night you decide to give him your number, after all he asked so very politely.
It is after this first encounter that things get interesting. He texts or, if you’re lucky, gives you a call expressing what a lovely night he had. You may talk for a day or two but no more without the decision of meeting up being made.
You casually go for a coffee, preferably at a quaint café. This latte does in no way speak of a serious relationship on the horizon. You may even continue seeing each other, raising the bar to dinner without fear being stricken in his eyes.
I, with my European ways, did not recognise the weight a latte carried here in this college town. Even in the absence of a situation that could possibly resemble a date guys tended to jump to conclusions. What I thought of as casual texting in which I commented on that we should meet up soon would generate what almost seemed like an automated response:
“I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”
A phrase I’m positive most of you ladies are all too familiar with. The irony lies in that, most of the time, neither are we. Despite the fact that I am still navigating this culture on Bambi legs I have some ideas for ladies whose self-esteem is also being compromised by this relationship trend.
- Know you’re not alone. By reaching out to your friends you’ll see that many of your experiences are mirrored in them.
- Know that it’s just a trend. Once you reach a more mature age relationships will be approached differently.
- Know how to approach guys without scaring them. Give them time; slowly show them how great you are until they realise it too.
… let’s be Bambi together.