Millennial Dating Angst

I am tired of dating. Not for a lack of dates, but because I am simply tired of looking for dates. However, since I just turned 28 and am not getting younger I can’t just stop dating if I want to find my future wife.

Hopefully I don’t sound too depressing, I’m just trying to be real. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person and how to be respectful to women from every dating experience I’ve had but boy howdy am I jaded by the dating scene.

I have lived in LA for two years and seriously dated two women, and have been on dates with many, many more since I moved here. I’ve been on dating apps off and on. Swiping; looking at group photos trying to figure out which person is the one with the profile; perusing profiles of people who may not even be real (in existence or mindset); sending the first message hundreds of times; being asked to add random women on Skype so I can give them money (get out of here with that bullshit); uninstalling dating apps after a good date; reinstalling them when good dates don’t pan out or when relationships end; et cetera. It’s gotten old.

You’re probably wondering why I don’t just go out in public and meet someone. Well, I’ve been shy my whole life and am an introvert until I am comfortable to open up to someone. I also have a tendency to trip on my verbiage when I’m nervous, and talking to girls that I haven’t met can turn my sentences into word salad.

When I moved to LA I didn’t know a single person my age within an hour’s distance, so going out with friends wasn’t an option initially, and drinking alone at a bar and trying to find a date is not my idea of having a good time. Hence my reliance on online dating. Compared to dating in Portland I will say at least there are a lot more women in Los Angeles, because when I lived in Oregon using dating apps only led to a handful of dates in the same period of time as I have lived in LA.

In terms of starting a conversation, the risk for online dating is fairly low. If a woman does not respond, it doesn’t phase me and it is easy to move on. I do not understand why so many guys have to be assholes when rejected online, I really don’t.

Nobody owes you a response, and women get hundreds and hundreds of messages a day on these apps, so give them a break. If she didn’t respond before, you are not going to get her to reply by being a dick instead, and you’re only showing her she should steer clear of your potential bullshit down the road. If a woman does not respond to your first message chill out and give her time, and if she never responds to more: get the message. If she does respond, don’t be a dick.

There is a pretty funny double-standard in online dating regarding the first message. Often times if you read a profile a woman will say “If you only say Hey, Hi, or something unoriginal I won’t message back” yet in the vast majority of times I have been messaged first, it was with a simple “Hi” and I didn’t care at all that it wasn’t a deep introductory message. I find this kind of hilarious, but this is anecdotal.

After you talk for a while you might have a date, but a promising first date and a good time with someone means nothing if there isn’t chemistry. Even if there is chemistry, dates that seem to go great may not lead to a second date or a serious relationship. Such is life. Don’t be a dick if she says no to a second date and move on.

Good things come to those who wait, and I get that because rushing into relationships usually doesn’t work out. The reality is that when you rush into a relationship you are both looking for the same thing at the time you found each other: most likely companionship and an escape from single life. You may get what you need at the time. You won’t find out that you are not compatible for weeks or months later though. If you don’t try at all you’ll never know what could happen. You won’t learn anything about yourself or what you are looking for if you don’t date.

Overall, I don’t believe in the concept of one true love or being meant for someone. Nobody is meant for anyone. Maybe at the place you are at in your life at the time you met your soulmate they were the perfect person for you, but if you had moved across the world before you met your true love you are with now (if you are with someone), you would find a different soulmate in that place eventually. If I still lived in Oregon maybe I would be with someone, maybe I wouldn’t. Love is real, but the concept of one true love for a person is an illusion.

That’s enough millennial dating angst for one day. As with anything posted online, a future date of mine could see this angst as a dealbreaker, but frankly I don’t really give a damn. I would rather be real with my thoughts and share them. End rant.

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The Story of Azzurri (the dog, not the Italian soccer team)

You are supposed to do things you love on your birthday, right? Well… I love my dog and writing, and it is my birthday, so today I will tell you the story of my dog Azzurri.

It was the winter of 2005 and I had not applied to college yet for the fall of 2006. I was uninspired and only wanted to go to one school: the University of Oregon in Eugene. So, I sent in my application with a somewhere around 500-letter essay on the phrase “Mens Agitat Molem,” which is Latin for “Minds move mountains,” and also the University of Oregon motto.

A few months later as I went along with life as usual, a letter came in the mail. I had gotten into my dream school, the only one to which I had applied. It may not have been Harvard, Yale, or any other prestigious Ivy League university, but it was my dream school nonetheless.

The day I was accepted I was already fortuitously going to the Nike Employee store. A store built in my hometown of Beaverton next to the Nike World Headquarters. A store that is there solely because of the legacy of Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman who created Nike at my future school. How fitting!

Naturally I did the only thing a future Duck should do: tell all my friends I got in and go buy Ducks gear of course.

Before that day, I had never spent $300 on a pair of shoes. However, when a green and yellow pair of University of Oregon-themed shoes with orange embroidered duck feet shone their beautiful green and yellow aura to me at the Nike Employee store, I knew I had to have them.

Fast forward a little bit to freshman year, I enrolled in an entry-level Accounting class and needed to find a seat. The whole class was almost full and I spotted a few empty seats scattered across the lecture room. One seat was next to a guy who looked Persian, so I walked up to him, asked him if the seat was open (it was), and then if he was Persian (he was). We have been friends ever since.

Sophomore year, my friend from accounting was looking for a roommate to get an apartment with near campus the next year. We ended up getting a place right by Dough Co. on 14th street at the Hilyard House. Things went great junior year and we lived together for his senior year in the same building but in a different unit.

During that year, he dated a girl who had a dog named Bella, and I would dogsit for her while they went out. I am a homebody and not much of a partier, so Bella was my little pal. I had never had a dog before and she was so adorable it just made you happy to have her around. Well, her owner and my roommate broke up, so I wasn’t dogsitting her anymore, but I had a random idea: ask for the breeder’s email and see if I can adopt a dog from the same parents.

As luck would have it, after I emailed the guy he let me know that Bella’s parents were having another litter of puppies. I jumped on the opportunity to reserve one. It was not a traditional breeder, it was just a guy who had a Papillon female and a Maltese male and they were having their second and final litter.

A few weeks or so went by without any updates, and I was starting to get worried the breeder forgot about me, but on Memorial Day of 2010, Azzurri was born and I got an email to let me know I would be getting a puppy from the litter. They sent pictures of the puppies and asked which one I would like to have. Azzurri stood out because of his big blue puppy eyes. All the puppies were adorable, but he was the one I fell in love with before even meeting him.

The school year ended; my roommate moved out; the World Cup happened. And then it was time to get the dog.

Azzurri was in Paso Robles, California, and I was in Eugene, Oregon. I didn’t have a car, and I couldn’t rent a car at a good price because of my age. So, I gave a friend $100 to borrow their car for the trip and headed to California to get Azzurri.

On the drive down after I hit the California border all I ate was In-N-Out. One in Redding, one in San Jose, and then I think the one in Redding again on the way back. Mmmm, double-doubles animal style…but I digress. I left drove almost continuously for 12 hours. By the time I got to Paso Robles it was past midnight and I was tired, so I spent the night in the Jeep at the Walmart I was picking Azzurri up at in the morning. It was uncomfortable and cold, but I didn’t care.

In the morning I woke up quite a bit earlier than the time the guy was supposed to meet me. Having nothing to do, I decided to drive around and see what Paso Robles was like. It was absolutely beautiful. A quiet town with lots of rural areas and farms, a welcome change from the scenery of Eugene.

After wasting enough time and gas, I headed back to the Walmart to wait. Shortly after I got there, my phone rang. It was the breeder and he was at Walmart! I found him in the parking lot, paid him $300 for the dog plus $50 extra just because, and then I laid eyes on Azzurri for the first time.

He was so incredibly tiny and adorable. His fur was so fluffy and soft and his eyes were even bluer in person. Since the day I saw him the first time, he has been my baby boy. I had never loved something so much before I picked him up with my hands for the first time.

After saying thank you and goodbye to the breeder I got back on my way. The drive back took about three hours longer because I had to make a lot of stops to make sure Azzurri could take care of his bathroom breaks. Though we also stopped so I could stuff my face with In-N-Out at least once.

When I got back to Oregon, I finally let my parents know I got a dog despite them saying I shouldn’t.

He started out living with me in my apartment but when we had to go home after summer term for a few weeks he had to live at my parents’ house. He started out living in the garage in his kennel, and then my dad suggested we put him in the laundry room. He stayed in the laundry room for a while, and we got a baby-gate so he could see us while in the laundry room. Azzurri has some serious hops though, and ever since he figured out he could jump the gate, he’s been a free-roaming house dog.

Fast forward six years… Azzurri has given me more love and happiness than I ever could have hoped for. He unfortunately developed a tumor and has cancer as of this year, but he is still happy and my little baby boy. His attitude is always uplifting and he is the best dog I ever could have asked for.

I love you Azzurri!