i am really not certain where the disconnect has happened. it becomes more and more apparent to me that healthy, successful relationships continue to break down and fail in this day and age. how incredibly bizarre. now, i am no qualified expert but i am the consumer of dating applications and i am well equipped and fully capable of creating and utilising "social" applications in an above average capacity however, i suppose i am rather strange in this aspect: i simply refuse.

there is something greatly harrowing with this current (new) "format" of romantic relationships, if you ask me. personally, i find that it is expected to have everything done the wrong way 'round. i.e. have sex with the person before you decide whether or not you would actually like to pursue a long(er) term relationship. to me: total insanity. to the rest of the world in 2021: more efficient(!) i feel discombobulated and squeamish. like i am either trying to squish myself into a dress 10 sizes too small or putting on one 10 sizes too big—it is always that i am either asphyxiated or engulfed. either way, it is a struggle. i do not know when exactly it was that i became the last person in the room to think of love and romance in the following terms:

  • men pull out chairs and open doors—car doors, store doors, front doors, restaurant doors. and then they say "after you."
  • men ask you what it is you would like to have and then signal the waiter over, read them the entire order (yours first), ask after dinner if we would like dessert and if no, request the cheque and pay.

  • men insist on walking you to your car for safety—not so they can force themselves on to you in a semi-deserted parking garage.
  • men insist that you send a text message confirming you have arrived safely at your location any time you travel alone and make an effort to call should they fail to receive any such communication within the hour.

  • men ask if you would like to accompany them for dinner and/or to the movies and if you should agree, proceed to ask what time will be appropriate for them to come collect you.
  • men spoke to you politely and respectfully at all times, even in times of personal distress.
  • men made note of how you were feeling through non-verbal cues and offered you their jacket if the weather was nippy, the first swig if they were cracking open a bottle of water and always automatically take the heavy item out of your hands be it a suitcase or the grocery shopping.

if there are any hardcore feminists reading this thinking good grief gracious, this woman's mentality is going to completely undo generations of very hard work and progress; please do note that me liking all of these things and finding them to be really quite lovely and romantic does not mean that i am neither a proponent of women receiving low/er wages for the same amount of work a man does nor do i believe that men have a right to disregard a woman's thoughts and/or opinions, perceive and treat her as a lesser living being with zero human rights and/or conduct unto any woman anything men would never want to be conducted unto them. for me, personally, a preference towards "old-school" chivalry does not signify my surrender. it simply means that i appreciate being regarded as precious. delicate. i actually find it to be incredibly respectable. to say that i am mortified at how fast-paced things are expected to take place would be a megalithic understatement. add to that, the inability to clearly define requirements, boundaries and the indecision that comes from having way too many options and distractions—it is pretty evident i am headed for an eternity of solitude. it is disheartening, sure but it will definitely be the better reality than to be legally bound to a human wreck. ironically, at age 20, my greatest fear was that i would end up alone. now, 11 years later, i know that the greater fear is to end up with the wrong one.