Dating sucks in the U.S. I'm sure it sucks elsewhere too but I have no experience with that.
I've written 1000 times about how much I hate it so no need to continue the long list of reasons here and recreate the diatribe
(you can scroll through previous posts or click the tag-thingy on "dating is stupid" if you really wanna see, yeah? Word.)
So here's how I'm all of a sudden NOT hating dating: I think I'm finally doing it right.
But let me unpack that first before some of you get all judge-y like, "well what WERE you doing" type ish...
There are some very common, widespread and sometimes seemingly unbreakable/unbendable social conventions. I think how we date seems to be one of those, or has seemed to be that way to me at least. (Keeping in mind: woman, patriarchy, specific gender norms, etc...)
The way I've dated or participated in this weird process so far has included, y'know, a dude sayin' he likes me, or I like him - largely before either of us knew anything about the other, right? Which means it's really just an expression of physical attraction, maybe energetic attraction, but that's it. So once that's established begins the text messages, phone calls, actual dates where you go spend time together doing something. Hopefully something cool. In my experience, a dude who does not try and kiss me by the 2nd or 3rd date has been an anomaly. Some try on the first. Sometimes i've let them, sometimes I haven't. But overall I've kinda just went along with this approach. I never really tried to date differently. Seemingly caught under some blind acceptance, that I think I was largely unaware of, that 'this is just how it's done.'
In essence, I never really questioned it much. Not the process, the ways of men, the social mores, the expectations I often felt pressured by to be a certain way, (i.e. "ladylike" or overall agreeable), to do certain "ladylike" things, etc. I did begin to push back against a lot of that roughly 5ish years ago when I had a personal revolution. (Yay Me.) But I never revisited the dating process or tried to qualitatively change the way I date. Or even develop a way that I could date that made more sense and felt better to me.
I was still learning. Still am...
But in all, I'll say in short: Right now I am dating a little. Having enjoyed the company of a specific gentleman on 6 or 7 or 8 occasions.
He has yet to try and kiss me.
I have never genuinely loved dating so much as I do right now.