As time goes on, the dating world only seems to become increasingly dysfunctional. We are living in a day and age of hookups, booty calls, and a time in which the meaning behind sex has diminished to nothingness for many (not all, but many). What was once set aside for marriage and commitment has been regarded (by many) in the younger generation as an "activity." It's the talk you hear around the lunch tables, in the magazines and in the movies. "He said, she said, he didn't call, he cheated on me, she's sending mixed signals, and I don't trust them."
The typical female conversation these days goes something like this:
Female #1: Sooooo....are you exclusive?
Female #2: Well, I mean we've been talking for like 3 months. We're not Facebook official or anything.
Female #1: Is he seeing someone else?
Female #2: I don't really know. I hope he's not, but some days I wonder. I mean...we sleep together...but I just....I just really don't know. I've been becoming attached to him, but he sends mixed signals.
Female #1: Have you asked him about it?
Female #2: Well no, I mean....I'm afraid I'll scare him off. I just keep going with it.... I hope he asks me to be his girlfriend soon... I haven't heard from him since Wednesday. Last time we were together, he was on his phone a lot. I felt like he might be texting some other girl. I hate not knowing...
OR.......how about this example:
Female #1: Soooooo...do you have a date with Josh again?
Female #2: I don't know. I mean we're hanging out, but I've also been talking to this other guy. I think Josh is seeing someone else and may even still be hung up on his ex, so I'm talking to this other guy, Jason.
Female #1: How many dates have you had?
Female #2: Like 3. I guess if you get to #4, it means you're going somewhere. I don't know.
Female #1: Wait, Josh or Jason!?
Female #2: Both, I think. I don't know. I don't think either one is going to work out honestly.
Notice a pattern? "I don't know" is the common denominator here. Men shouldn't take all the heat though. Women also leave the male species feeling completely confused following dates. Dating, hanging out, seeing or whatever you call it these days has become a game of putting the other person on the edge of their seat, confusing them as much as possible and sugar-coating breakup reasons (if any reason is given at all). It is a often a time of zero explanation and playing with the heart of another as if they have zero value.
And Hollywood movies? Oh, they send us one heck of a message. Hook up with the guy after the first date.....and you'll win his heart. And for the guys? If you just chase her plane down the tarmac, you'll win her back. Girls, if you break up and head for that plane, he's definitely chasing you down for a clapping bystanders type of kiss! This isn't over! That wedding you want to call off? Everyone understands. Just leave him at the altar....he and his family will be completely cool with it. In fact, you're doing him a favor. He wasn't that invested either. You both can now marry the person you actually love. And the nice guy? He always wins in Hollywood. The girl may fall for the bad boy for a bit, but in the end, she'll walk away with the good committed one that she can enjoy a happily ever after with.
Real life? It looks nothing like Hollywood movies. In fact, it's the opposite. Hooking up with the guy after the first date seldom leads to a relationship. In fact, in many cases, it just makes the guy lose respect for the woman. STILL, women continue to do just that....thinking it will win her a relationship. Chase her plane down the tarmac? Security is going to cuff you faster than you can say, "Delta." Cancel the wedding at the last minute? You'll be unfriended on Facebook, removed from everyone's Christmas card list, your ex will be bitter, and you'll be the talk of the town. Your parents would also still be pretty sore at you for wasting all their hard-earned money on a ceremony that never took place. The nice guy? He often loses, even though the girl knows deep down that HE is the guy that she SHOULD be riding off into the sunset with. Oh wait?....In real life, no one really rides off into sunsets, do they?
Since we are living in a time of confusion and dysfunction, at least a million "how-to" dating books exist, which promise results if you just follow some simple steps. The problem? They haven't made our dating world anymore functional. If anything, the mixed messages in the books confuse the single audience even more....and those hateful internet forums? Please don't get your advice there. They'll try and convince you that you should chase the guy that's getting away....because in THEIR situation....it worked. All the advice and all the messages have made "love" a high-pressure commercialized "dream" that so many are failing to see come true. People struggle to be their natural true self because they're worrying about how they're coming off, they're worried about saying the wrong thing, and they're worried about strategy.
Why did I write this book? Because Chick Flicks Lie....and it's about time we all realize that. Male or female. Men - we don't really expect you to chase our plane down the tarmac, though it'd be sweet. We do expect some clarity though, and we appreciate actual commitment. Being a "one woman man" is the greatest gift you can ever give.....it trumps any diamond, any home, or anything material that you could ever give us. You either want the girl or you don't. This isn't a game, and we're not a prize to be won. I'm a real woman with a real heart and real dreams. If you don't respect me.....there's the door. Just don't let it hit you on the way out. Ladies - Don't just throw yourself at everyone that comes along. Those of you who do that just ruin things for the rest of us....and in the long run, you ruin things for yourself. It becomes an expectation.....an expectation that some of us aren't willing to fulfill. Self-respect goes a long way, and in the long run, a man doesn't respect a woman that doesn't respect herself. Finding yourself and spending some time alone for a while isn't such a bad thing either. Don't be co-dependent. Create an amazing life for yourself first. Figure out what you want and what hasn't worked in the past. Just because a relationship is on the rocks doesn't mean you should automatically be looking for the next one. Take a breather and regather, girl. While you're living your amazing rock-star single life, allow yourself to learn a thing or two about yourself, and then open your heart again if your dream guy just happens to come along. You can mix or match the above information to fit both sexes.
Another prime reason I wrote this book? None of us truly know what we're doing.....even the said "relationship experts" with all the letters after their names. As a 30 year old in the dating world, I've come to believe that God is the only one who truly knows what he's doing. I've decided to listen to his guidance instead of my own, though some days I still struggle to do so. Some days I still want nothing more than to run back to the ex that I know isn't right for me.....for selfish reasons of course....not because God is telling me to do so. The real problem in today's dating world roots from "too much self and not enough Jesus." The worldly view of love and romance has sadly destroyed the biblical purpose of it all.
I know I can't change the past, so I've asked God for forgiveness in the areas that I've failed in, and I'm looking ahead. I've made friends with my past, and I'm allowing God to use the bad for the good. I'm allowing him to turn my message into a message. I've decided to laugh off every single thing I've been through. I've decided laughter is the best medicine, and that instead of trying to understand this dating world, we should just laugh it off, work on being the type of person that we're hoping to attract, while staying positive and waiting on God's best for us.
Being a positive pessimist and a relationship skeptic doesn't at all mean giving up or being cynical - it means laughing in the face of that which doesn't work out, being okay whether single or taken, and holding out for what's right.....even if you wait extra long for it. Positive pessimists don't jump the gun when they meet someone new. They listen to their gut and realize the date could be another bust....but if it is? So what? They haven't lost anything because they aren't a participant in the "hooking up" world. They live in a world of their own. They laugh off that failed date, they jot it down in their book of memories, and they move on with their dignity and their head held high. But wait, MAYBE this date could be the one that leads to forever...it's okay to be "open" to that possibility so long as you aren't sold on it.
Oddly, my book is MUCH lighter-hearted than this article, but behind every light-hearted story, there lies some depth and some meaning. This is what was beneath the surface and behind the just-for-laughs stories that I share in Chick Flicks Lie. I readily acknowledge my imperfections, my struggles with falling for the wrong people, my struggle with being the right person, and I give an inside look into what today's quest for love looks like.
Anyways, thus far, I've been blessed to receive such positive feedback. I've enjoyed my book signings, my radio interviews and most recently a movie interview. I'm on a mission....a mission not to settle and a mission to laugh off my disappointments. I feel at peace that way, and I really encourage others to try it. My book is a "hey, I can relate to that" kind of book.....a, "I feel understood" book. Isn't that what we're needing more of in this world?.....someone real to relate to? People who know they're not experts, who maybe don't have the slightest idea what they're doing, but manage to laugh and learn along the way. Maybe we all just need to read a book for the laugh factor sometimes....for the simple purpose of "feeling good." Maybe sarcasm is fun.....maybe it brings healing sometimes. I also was personally tired of the lack of clean comedy out there, so rather than complaining about it, I the non-reader wrote the kind of book that would lure me in.....even as a non-reader.
I may be a "Pop Culture Examiner," but that doesn't mean I buy into the pop culture example of love.......and *gasp*... I don't buy the messages in our beloved chick flicks, though I LOVE watching them. At the end of the day, I'm still just a girl.....a girl that dreams of finding my prince one day, though I know my story probably won't look anything like the movies.....and I'm okay with that. In fact, I'm more than okay with that. I believe it will be better than the movies....because it will be genuine and real. We will be right for one another because GOD set us apart for one another. You can believe like that too.
If you like the depth behind my book, I encourage you to check it out. Though it's available on various websites, Amazon is the quickest and easiest way to obtain a copy. It's available in ebook, paperback and hardback. If you have any questions for me, feel free to sound off in the comment section below, or feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org