By: Travon Bracey
I hate dating. Dating is terrible. I hate dating. Dating is the devil.
I haven't had a good experience dating people. It is a phase that we all have to go through when it comes to getting to know someone. However, I came up with a solution for myself on how I would gain patience in getting to know someone without feeling or being pressured. But, I must tell you a bit of a background to my past dating life, especially from recent situations since I've been single.
Living in Atlanta can be a reality show.
I came out of the closet when I was 16 years old and like many, I didn't have anyone guiding me on how to handle the queer life. One of the many things that I felt went wrong during my coming out days was dating because while coming out of the closet, I had to learn how to adjust to men that were completely comfortable with themselves. However, dating around that age was easier than I thought when I came to the realization as an adult. Guys practically threw themselves on to me between the ages of 16 through 21. As old folks would say, 'You don't know what love is' and like many of us, we thought we were in love and we knew what we were during. I did a lot of exploring around that age with different types of men. At 17 going on 18, I fell in love with my first guy. At 19, I was so in love with my first love after he and I ended our relationship I used my next boyfriend just to recover from the heartbreak that I was dealing with to come to find out that I didn't need the boy in the first place because he wasn't the one for me (especially since I was using him the whole time). At 21, I got engaged to a guy that was approximately 22 years older than me. But when I hit 22, after my engagement and relationship ended with the older guy, I was back out into the single world, ready to date other people and let love find me all over again. But, that hasn't gone too well.
One of the key goals for myself after my last relationship was to work on myself socially, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am happy to say that my goals have been accomplished but no one told me the hell that I had to go through with guys during the 'dating' phase that would put me in the independent mindset of just wanting to be by myself at this current time of my life. I didn't expect the drama, the stupidity, the immaturity and the confusing aspect of men. I've been single now for almost two years. I haven't felt the need to want to be in a relationship with anyone that I had come across to since early 2015 and it's almost 2018. It is all because men are dead to me.
Dating takes a lot of patience and time for me. I can't just jump into a relationship with anyone just by having a good vibe with them. I have this rule for myself that I would place a guy under a 90 to 180 day dating probation period where I would not claim him as a boyfriend until he was able to meet every qualification that I wanted. If a guy meets most qualifications by 90 to 120 days, he's considered a keeper, but after 120 days, if the qualifications are still taking its course of approval, then he may not be the one for me and I am just wasting my time. Some of those qualifications include going on a date, having great communications, learning his past life, learning the basics of who he is as an individual, getting to know his closest friends, going out in public with him and having a mutual agreement on dating each other. As simple as that may sound, many guys failed to meet those qualifications. In an old, personal blog that I once had on Tumblr, I introduced the 90-to-180 dating probation period plan but it just didn't work as well as I thought it would in my head. I started to feel that having the dating plan l ruin a lot on why I couldn't get a person to date me because I was putting so much pressure on them and myself by keeping an organized list of qualifications operated on a timely schedule. However, I don't completely blame myself for why I am not dating anyone now for that matter because guys really don't know what they want or how to keep someone's interest.
I have been through many situations with guys since I have been single. Many of these situations are problems that I have to learn my lesson from and will continue to watch out for as I get older and continue to date. Several situations that I was in with guys that were a common cycle was that most of the guys that I tried to date didn't know what they wanted. I don't understand why guys would put themselves on a fucking dating app, write on their profile that they want an LTR (long-term-relationship) but meet a guy that wants what their profile is asking for but then over the course of time of getting to know one another, they would come to you to explain that they don't know what they want. Now, I know what you may be thinking. Yes, lots of guys do change their mind about a person when they get to know a person because some of us to come to the realization that the guy may not be for us. But, in my situations, it would be either because they are still in love with their ex's, they are mentally depressed and having worked on themselves, or they just like to play games with innocent dudes that they seek because they may miss the single life once they get ready to want to settle down. But, why are there so many confusing mother fuckers out there in the dating world? Why can't guys focus on their flaws, work on them, and then step out back into the dating world without causing someone to wast their time and energy on them? Why do they have to make dating so damn difficult? Why is dating so fucked up in the black gay community? Well, that's another conversation that we will save later on in life.
With all that I went through with guys, it was time to find a situation for myself that would mentally prepare me to be happy without the pressuring of getting to know someone. One day, I decided to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH. I was tired of being on those dating apps such as Jack'd, Grindr and Tinder trying to find people to converse and date with. So many guys I came into contact with wanted nothing but sex. However, Tinder was an enjoyment as far as being a customer to their product because I love how if a person accepts you and you accept that person, you both become a potential match with each other when in doubt that still didn't do shit for me because most of who I was matching with were cute with dry ass conversations and if we did have conversations, they would get very personal with me about their mental health, which I wasn't interested in being a life coach to them AT ALL. So, I deleted the apps and put myself on a dating strike. The dating strike consists of focusing on myself financially, spiritually, and mentally, work on gaining friendships, work on my craft, and allow myself to breathe away from the emotional terror of dating guys. So far guys, it's working out great, however, I do get lonely, so I decided to gain a friend with benefits.
The joy of having a friend with benefits does me justice. I can't explain to you how wonderful it is to not be pressured and just remotely have them for your own sensual and comfort needs. But, then one day, I thought to myself, "Travon, you always had great friends with benefits situations in the past that led you to great and healthy relationships." I strongly put that into my mind and thought about it deeply because a lot of my relationships in the past was a gain of interest through a 'friends with benefits' agreement that over the course of time, we established a relationship after organic vibes and connections with no pressure of feeling like we were dating. Sitting back at thinking about this had me like, "Man, I wish I would have thought about this a long time ago." As I recall saying in the beginning of this essay, I hate dating. But, if I am a friends with benefits agreement with someone and the organic feelings occur, it makes it easier for me not to feel any type of pressure of dating the person. I am sure you may be thinking at this point, "Well, Travon that sounds like you have to physically be in lust with someone to then organically mix mental feelings with each other over the course of time to be with them." Yeah, it does sound like that, even though not all of my friends with benefits agreement involve sexual acts. Part of friends with benefits agreement is getting to know the person, their vibe, and understanding who they are. Now, if you are a person that has experience bad friends with benefits situations, this essay isn't for you because with you are the personal problem or you are meeting the wrong people to have an agreement with. That's a conversation for another time. But, if you are a person that hates the dating phase like I do and have had or like to have friends with benefits agreement with someone where you want to have an organic approach to happen over the course of time, then I say go and take my advice.
In the midst of all of this, I come to say that dating is terrible and I wish I didn't have to experience it. Being a queer man requires a lot of work because we are challenged by many things in this life that we have chosen for ourselves and sometimes unprepared for what is going to be presented to us. Dating is the most irritating thing that I have to do in my life but if I have to come up with a way to be satisfied with getting to know someone by establishing a friends with benefits agreement with them and it makes me happy, then I am willing to sacrifice and challenge myself without putting any pressure on myself or on others. As far as dating, however, it is really terrifying to do because you never know who you are going to meet that may fuck it up for the long run.
Do you hate dating like I hate dating?
Do you have a solution to how to date without the feeling of dating someone?
Do you have any advice to give to me about this?
Comment below. I am open to every advice and constructive criticism.
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