Joy’s Rant List Volume 17: Everything I Know about Dating, I Learned from Video Games (OR: The Nerd’s Guide to Avoiding Bitterness)

I am going to drop science and philosophy on you folks today.  Pay attention. You might learn something!!!  

I have been dating since I was a teenager – as have most of us.  After a particularly aggravating break up, I decided to use my SuperNerd math skills to determine my bottom line.  Check this out:

 The average heterosexual American female will start dating around the age of 16.  In a year’s time, she may meet and date around 6 – 10 different males.  These include a) exchange of numbers and no call, b) one date only, c) date for a few months or d) date for years.  Some may even overlap in timing.  For the purpose of this statistical analysis, assume the following numbers for a female from the ages of 16-40:  

1)  Total number of men met = 320 (from long-term relationships to one-night secrets)

2)  224 of these men will have jobs (Up to 30% may be broke, unemployed, in school, or just living with mama)

3)  56 of the 224 will be uncovered as gay, married… or both… (leaving 168)

4)  At least 60% (100) will be just trying to get laid (the percentage is higher in the 20s, when everyone is trying to get laid, but across a lifetime…  It’s about 60%)

5)  Conclusion – Only 68 (20%) of the original 320 are actual relationship partner candidates!!! 

This works out to about 2 guys/year – low odds!  Reasonably, that means you need to cast a wider net.  But you can’t.  Because that would make you a ho.  Even if you don’t sleep around, guys talk, and you don’t want to be Victoria (everyone knows her ‘secret’).  LOL!

 Now, you may fall in love 3 or 4 times out of that 68, and possibly even get married.  By the age of 40, your chances of getting married and staying that way are 1 in 136.  Wait, why not 1 in 68?  Because the divorce rate is over 50%, so that cuts your chances in half all over again.  Sonofabitch

On the other hand, I also researched some statistics on getting pregnant and found that a woman having regular unprotected sex has a 1 in 10 shot at getting pregnant.  Hmmm…  That means you are almost 14 times more likely to get pregnant than you are to get married and stay that way.  Think I’m wrong? Well… Halle Berry is a 43 year old single mother.  Freaking Halle Berry!!  But don’t stop reading yet.   You know I am a ‘silver lining’ type.  Besides, if you’ve already dated 75+ guys (or girls), you must be getting closer, right?  LOL!

 These statistics help explain – to me anyway – why I’ve dealt with so many …characters…in the dating arena.  And after what I have been through, I have every right to be a bitter bitch.  I am sick to death of being the girl (i.e. PROTOTYPE) that helps the guy get his shyt together so he can up and marry the next girl.  Ugh!  But I am not bitter…  Let me just give you some examples of the shullbit in my past, along with what I learned from each encounter:

 Example #1 – “A Teenage Love”:  My first love was in high school, and it was great (popcorn love!).  But he went to college before I did and subsequently broke up with me – he said he knew he would cheat on me and didn’t want to hurt me.  Broke my little heart.  Then I went to college, and I got over it.  But this taught me how to recognize love when I felt it.  We still love each other, even 20 years later.  But it’s different now.  I just talked to him and his fiancé last week….

 Example #2 – “You, Me…And She“:  One guy in college told me that I was his only one, until I called his apartment late one night and his ex answered the phone.  He swore to me that she was a crazy stalker.  And I took him at his word.  But she ended up pregnant a few months later.  (See statistics above!!)  TWO YEARS later, this guy comes back around and asks me – with a straight face – if I had been saving myself for him.  WTF?  Dude, you got your EX pregnant while we were together!!! His response:  “Yeah, but, you ain’t been giving my good stuff away have you?”  All I could do was laugh.  At least he married his baby’s momma.  Did I mention that he was MARRIED when he asked me if I had been saving myself for him?  I learned from this that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably banging its ex-girlfriend.

 Example #3 – “My Boo”:  One guy that I dated – and subsequently fell in love with – told me that I had never said to him how I felt so he never felt emotionally attached.  He broke up with me and told me that he had never really considered me his ‘girlfriend’.  He then married the next girl because she got pregnant (statistics!) – and they are happy.  After that, I made it clear to all the rest that I wanted the ‘girlfriend’ title and the respect/benefits that go with it.  I’m not your boo, I’m not your friend.  You will introduce me as your girlfriend or your lady.  Or else stop calling me. I also learned to say what I feel.

 Example #4 – “HomieLovaFriend”:  Years (lots of years) ago, I had one guy that I used just for sex.  See, men, it can be done!  But he started catching feelings for me and wanting more.  I told him that he could have more if he could be faithful to me.  Answer: “No.”  Okay, well, thanks for playing.  (Women, please note that I took him at his word, and didn’t try to change him.)  No hard feelings.  I am still friends with this guy.   And, I learned that if I wanted a serious man, I had to be a serious woman.

 Example #5 – “HalfCrazy”:  One guy told me that he was abstinent and a minister at his church.  He kept trying to get at me though – like FOR REAL.   At one point, he actually pushed me down on the couch and started kissing me.  But, I stopped him.  And while he is laying on top of me, he proceeds to accuse ME of seducing HIM.  Huh!???  I tried to slow things down, because something didn’t feel ‘right’, you know?  But he asked me why couldn’t I ‘let him in’ so we could be happy together?  So I did – and still with no sex.  Two weeks later, he tells me that he knows he can’t stop himself from having sex with me eventually (hello, do I get a vote?!?) so he had to leave and never speak to me again.  And he didn’t!  Yep, I learned to trust my instincts on this one.  I had a feeling he was crazy, and I was right.

Example #6 – “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T”:  One guy told me that I was everything he wanted in a woman, and that I would make a great wife.  Once he found out that I made more money than him, he stopped calling.  I didn’t learn anything this time.  But this happens a lot so I left it in.

 Example #7 – “I’mma Do Me “:  One guy told me that I was “it” for him.  He said that he had been looking for me his whole life, and now he was man enough to recognize a good thing when he saw it.  We had great conversations – all about him though.  And he had some ‘mother-whore’ issues and wanted someone who wasn’t so enthusiastic between the sheets.  Umm…..I’ll pass.   I learned that if you change for someone, then they will love who you are pretending to be, and you will resent them for it.

 Please note that with the exception of the closet prude, I was dumped by ALL these guys.  It’s enough to make you want to scream!  And I have, on occasion.  But then, how am I not bitter?  Simple – I am a hardcore GAMER.  I have learned a lot from playing video games, and the one thing that I do know is this:  The game can always be beaten, even if you die a thousand deaths and have to restart it over and over again. 

(YOU MAY NOW STOP READING)

 But, if you didn’t… 

 Anyone who has ever played any video game knows what it feels like to try and fail, and yet you try again…  Why? Because the game CAN be won.  Apply what you learned from the last defeat and start again.  For the folks who have actually played Xbox or Playstation or Wii – you know that there are times when you get so frustrated that you throw the controller to the floor and say “Phuk this!  I am SO done playing this game!”  And you may even turn the console off and leave.  But you come back and try again because you KNOW there’s a way to win. 

 Here’s another video game observation.  You may be playing Super Mario Bros or something, and are trying to jump to the right to get to this next platform, but you keep missing it.  After trying and dying so many times, you just turn the damn thing off.  You are done playing….  But then you turn it on again, and this time, you jump left instead of right. There’s a whole different platform to the left!  The game keeps going, and you are SO excited!  You beat that level!  Whoo-hoo!  The moral to the story:  When you have played the game so many times without progressing, do something different.  And when you do the right thing, it all just comes together.  But you will never know that if you completely stop playing the game. 

 Now when I say ‘play the game’, I don’t mean those childish games like the girl who won’t return your phone calls or the guy who only calls after 10pm.  You need to be honest with yourself and with others to win the dating game.  Remember Rant #16!!!  And even then, things may still derail.  But keep going because there IS a way to win. 

All those guys I listed above were, for the most part, decent guys!  They weren’t all dogs, and they weren’t out to hurt me (on purpose).  But in the end, they just weren’t for me.  THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO READ:  Just because a guy doesn’t do what you want him to do, doesn’t make him ‘no good’. He’s just not good for you.  If it doesn’t work out, yo, it just doesn’t.  It wasn’t meant to be, you know?  It just wasn’t.  ($10 in virtual money to the first person who cites that song and artist.).  If things don’t work out, it may or may not be anyone’s fault.  You can do the “Maybe he….  Maybe I…” list of excuses all day when all you really have to do is learn from the experience and restart the game.

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