Were someone to call a woman a “loser” for being, say, a career grad student or some kind of lowbrow service professional, I feel it would be met with cries of “Hey, at least she’s trying! ” Of course, the joke’s on them, because justifying someone’s career choice undermines that person’s freedom of choice, and chastising one group for judging another while encouraging the same thing among your own group is the very opposite of equality.
Unfashionable as it may be, I’m going to go ahead and say that, in 2013, men need to stop dating losers. When women deride a man as being a “useless loser,” what they really seem to be complaining about is someone who blindly, uncompromisingly places his own prerogatives above all else, often at the expense of others.
The man on the first date had been seven years older than me. In between the two freelancers, I went on hundreds of dates. Both members of a date having dead parents used to end in making out, but now I couldn’t even have empathy sex. “You seemed pretty nonplussed back there.” What happened was that I had stopped being able to fake it, to push my way through to intimacy with strangers. One week in, I’ve learned that I really enjoy not hearing from strangers.
I can no longer listen to 29-year-olds who don’t have full-time jobs make self-deprecating remarks. We could be cranky together, console each other that we still looked young. Instead, after a tepid kiss by the East River with the most recent 29-year-old, I deleted every dating app from my phone.
Much as the death toll of WWI caused a shortage of marriageable men in the 1920s, today’s widening gender gap in college enrollment has created unequal numbers in the post-college dating pool.
The first online date I went on was in 2002, and I’m fairly certain that the guy and I met without seeing pictures of each other. “What does “It means my mommy still pays for my health insurance.” My last internet date also took me to the Williamsburg waterfront. I never tried Match, JDate, Lava Life, e Harmony, Bumble, or Coffee Meets Bagel. I am Celiac, a fact that I have explained on hundreds of dates.
My hair, I’d thought, could pass for dirty-blonde, but when I got home, I changed my hair-color setting to brown. He took me to the not-yet-revitalized Williamsburg waterfront and told me that he was a freelance graphic designer. I was on Nerve, then Ok Cupid, then Tinder, then briefly on Hinge, then even more briefly on a very poorly designed app for men with beards and the women who love them. I kissed men on my corner, felt nothing, and excused myself to go home.
One of those insufferable TED talks was making the rounds last week. Not once, though, have I ever heard someone tell a man, “Dude, why are you dating her?
The gist of it was that 30 is not the new 20, and that grown women really ought to be getting their sh*t together in their 20s. Don’t refuse to get a full-time job as an excuse to figure out who you are. She’s such a loser.” The more I think about why, the more depressing the can of worms becomes (and a can full of worms should be depressing enough on its own).