Dating for grown-ups is a horror story. Not because of all the anecdotal evidence that there isn’t much out there and what is out there is majorly dysfunctional. Not because we are scared of looking desperate. Not because we are terrified of making ourselves vulnerable. Not because we are worried about our bodies and our sexual athleticism. All of the above is dealable with. Intimidating, sure, but processable.
Dating for grown-ups is a nightmare because we have never really done it. We’ve had sex, often quite a lot of sex with quite a lot of people. Different kinds of sex. Different kinds of people. But dating?
If you were dating in the 90s, you probably weren’t really dating in the 90s. You may have dived in and out of liaisons and flings and relationships but it was not Sex And The City ‘I’ve got a date tonight with a hot lawyer’ style.
The way that we ‘interviewed’ in our 20s and 30s was to get almost insensibly drunk and fall on top of each other. Maybe numbers were swapped. Maybe numbers were texted or even called. Imagine that! But the date certainly came after the first snog and often after the first shag. Fluids then first dates. Was it as icky as it sounds? Sometimes.
So now, when we maybe don’t get quite so steamingly pissed. Or when we are a little more circumspect with our bodies. Or when sex is as much about conversation and laughter as it is about looks and coolness. Now, when we really believe that we should be having drinks or dinner with prospectives – “No pressure, who knows, you might make a friend!” – we are babies. Scared babies. In heels.