Every hopeless romantic, millennial woman on the dating scene who grew up watching Sex and the City reruns can relate, when I say that I finally had my “Charlotte York” moment. The moment of pure exhaustion when it comes to years of dating and trying to find the elusive “white knight”. We all remember the famous line spewed from Charolette York’s defeated and hungover mouth hunched over a cup of strong coffee and plate of fruit that resonated with so many of us:
“I’ve been dating since I was 15. I’m exhausted. Where IS he?”
Let me start off by saying that if there were a pill for heartache, I’d have overdosed by now. When I fall, I fall hard and if that’s not enough, I carelessly give up my soul to anyone over 5’11 with a job and a sense of humour. Who needs a soul I guess, when influencers on Instagram are telling me that a box filled with beauty products for $49.95 a month is going to be the spiritual overtaking that I’ve been searching for my whole life? If that were the case, I’d be officially ordained at the church of Fab Fit Fun – begging them to cleanse my sins endured from countless failed relationships with micellar water.
In the past, I’ve treated choosing a mate the same way I would a bottle of wine, usually, I only look at the price, the region it’s from, and if it’s good enough to bring home to Christmas dinner. Sipping my tall, dark, and handsome glass of Chardonnay from a region just a few minutes west of my high school, I realize that Chardonnay is just a giant glass of sour grapes. I could easily switch to a less attractive, more reliable cab sauv in IT, but where’s the challenge in that?
As a woman, we are pretty much taught at a young age that change is good, possible, and necessary if we’re going to have any success (or body confidence), so why couldn’t we also expect such change in our significant others? Just like wine, men need time and a temperature-controlled room with Scarface posters on the wall to mature and age to perfection. So, where are my George Clooney’s at?
I never understood the complexity of a relationship and why everyone describes them as work. Find a guy whom you hate the least, have him take you to dinner, and in return, tag him in memes all day. Sounds pretty effortless to me. The simple truth is that men and women were probably never meant to co-habitat outside of procreation. And if you’re not planning on creating offspring together, that just leaves two people in a constant battle of not living up to the other’s unrealistic expectations and arguing over throw pillows.
I’m not unlike any other woman who’s experienced heartbreak and disappointment in dating. We’ve all dated the same men over the years: The cheater, the substance abuser, the control freak, the emotionally unavailable, and the dreaded artist type that usually falls under all categories.
My experiences aren’t different than most, but my Charlotte moment came just a few weeks ago when I realized that simply loving someone isn’t always enough and that the pure mental exhaustion that I put into finding my white knight is both defeating and belittling to my self-worth.
As an only child, I’ve grown quite accustomed to being alone, even though I’ve been a serial relationship-er my whole adult life, it’s my mere moments of single-dom that really teach me about myself and allow me to grow. With each failed relationship the stages that follow are usually the same, revenge weight loss followed by a series of “look how amazing my life is now that you’re gone” Instagram photos. We tend to present our best selves when we’re not half of another, but why does that have to change once we begin a relationship?
For years, single people have loathed being labeled “single”. For some reason, the word itself has a looming stigma surrounding it that creates the perception that we are all sad and lonely people….which we are, but we’re still out living our best life on the gram so how bout you leave us the hell alone OK, AUNT PAM?! The moment we walk into any room, I imagine the aura surrounding us visually looks something like the cloud of dirt swirling around Pig Pen, Charlie Brown’s most socially unaccepted friend. In our case though, the dirt following us is the particles of emotional baggage endured from being lied too, cheated on, and taken for granted.
Surprisingly, bitterness hasn’t quite gotten the better of me yet, getting divorced at the tender age of 28, you’d think I’d be a raging feminist force to be reckoned with on the dating scene, but don’t forget, that I’m really a Charolette at heart. Although I have my “burn the bra” moments, I refuse to give up on the idea that chivalry and romance are dead, so I did what so many of us single, hopeless romantics have done, and dove into the scary and vulnerable world of online dating. Just in case you’re not aware of the online dating site options that are available to us these days, here’s a quick rundown:
Tinder = SexPlenty of Fish = We probably already hooked upeHarmony = DivorcedMatch.com = All the left overs that those cute couples from the tv commercials didn’t wantBumble = BaggageChristian Mingle = The Duggar’s (AKA The Ashley Madison-ers)Our Time = Where we’ll all eventually end up, broken, defeated and looking for someone to share the cost of Depends
Countless dates later, with surprisingly not the worst people, I met whom I thought had white knight potential. After what felt like forcing a relationship on and off for a year and giving up every ounce of myself and getting virtually nothing in return, I came to the realization that something needed to change.
Love shouldn’t be forced or even difficult. If all you’re doing is fighting for someone’s love, attention, and time, you’re never going to win. It’s easy to lose yourself in the arms of a blue-eyed man who’s telling you all the right things and who shares your opinion of putting pineapple on pizza, but at the end of the day, my standards need to be as high as Snoop Dogg on tour.