Dating: Do you have Game?
A few months ago I came across this Marie Claire article, “Girls with No Game: Are you a Dating Virgin?” It was as if the author reached out from the pages and slapped me across the face. The subtitle: A new generation of women never learned how to date: Are you one of them? The title seemed somewhat abrupt, a tad accusatory. Since I can’t stand when an individual is too easily offended by the cover of a book they’ve never opened, I read the demeaning article. (Though I think my hand remained over the title of the page as I read it, out of embarrassment that someone might see what I was reading and assume I was indeed a girl without game.)
Turns out the author, Jennifer Miller, is speaking from the vantage point of a single woman, foreign to the world of dating. Blatantly, this accomplished author and a grad student at that, calls herself “clueless: a girl without game.” To lightly sum up the article, Miller questions:
In each case, [cohabiting couples, divorcees, singles] when the relationships end, floods of young women are unleashed upon the dating scene without a clue about what to do there. And the pressure is on to find Mr. Right. These single gals worry about their biological clocks and whether or not all the good men have been taken. So should we all just have heeded Mom, and put off sharing a toothbrush jar until the save-the-dates went out?
Ok, here is where I’m confused. Is dating all about finding Mr. Right or learning to play this “game?” If we are looking for Mr. Right, my biological clock cannot be the pressing matter at hand, or whether or not all the good men have been taken, as if I should feel rushed to settle with a "nice" guy. As the saying goes, "you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince," is Miller suggesting you have to date a lot of duds to find Mr. Right?
Eli Finkel, Ph.D., associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University says, “Dating is a skill. The more you do it, the better you get."
While I understand that the social graces of dating are crucial, and would dare say that the state of our culture's dating scene is in fact an inhibiting factor for why many women today lack the ettiquette that was once expected of them, how graceful can one be weeding out Mr. Right at overcrowded and intoxicated club scenes? It’s hardly a setting that evokes romantic interest for myself. When the point of these dating relationships is to find the “one” (or if you don’t believe in fate, one that your chemistry and values in life matches with; since that topic itself is an entirely different can of worms) why should we feel the need to become experts of the dating scene?
My answer to Miller, yes I would “put off sharing toothbrush jars until the save-the-dates went out.” Actually it will be put off until commencement. Whether or not this record breaking percentage of single women, past the age of 26, have game or not in the dating scene, is the least of my concerns. As a 27 year old single woman, I'm slightly more concerned with whether or not I'm "clueless" in regards to the current direction of my life, career, and values rather than a tireless dating game that feels more like "The song that doesn't end."