On the Deliberate Destruction of Dating
Dating is a thing. And that's dumb.
No, this isn't a single girl's emotional rant against something she wants but doesn't have. It's a single girl's logical rant against something that she has personally experienced as and observed in others to be a destructive social construct (add it to the list).
Dating sucks. It creates tension and drama that doesn't need to exist. Does he like me? Or does he like like me? Does he think I like him? Is he going to ask me out? Is this a date? Are we together? Does he love me? I think he does, but he still hasn't given me his Netflix password. He must hate me. But good lord I want to just kiss him and he looks like he wants to kiss me and I'm getting vibes and I'm pretty sure I'm sending vibes but maybe we're both misreading ourselves and each other and....
Who in their right mind would want this? Nobody!
Dating is also way too easy to fake. It's so tempting to pretend to be someone you're not--hence the countless articles that have to remind people not to lie about who they are. Why would you even do that? "Because he wouldn't like me if he knew the real me!" Why do you want to date him if you think he wouldn't even like you? "Because he's hot!"
Dating is a disaster waiting to happen, and we all know it. It's stressful. Needlessly so. Thankfully, some friends and I have the answer:
Yes. End it. Get rid of it. Beat it to a jelly, spread it across the lawn, and dance on the remains in hobnailed boots, as P.G. Wodehouse would say. It's annoying and it doesn't even need to "be" at all.
Look at history. When did dating become a thing? About a century ago. That's really not a long time ago. What did we do before that? Arranged marriages, which actually worked pretty well. I don't think I want to reestablish that, but there was also another way: Spontaneous proposals, as seen in Jane Austen. Those worked pretty well too. Here's how it went down: A guy and a girl were friends, then liked each other as more than friends, but didn't say anything because that would make it weird, and let's be real, they both knew the other already knew anyway. Eventually the guy says "screw it, I'm done with this," and proposes. And she says yes. And then they get married.
They knew each other for who they were, knew they were compatible, and, more than that, they knew they even liked spending a lot of time together. No guy has ever met a girl, or vice versa, who didn't ask himself (or herself), Could I marry this person? And never does that question only come up once. You know it's true. And so this couple asked themselves this question, answered yes, and acted on it by getting engaged. You don't act on that by going to dinner and a movie. You go ahead and get married.
I'm not saying dating is inherently evil. It isn't. I'm also not saying that it should never ever be a thing for anyone. It can be a lot of fun, and it definitely gives you an opportunity to learn about the other person more intimately than you might otherwise. You see them in a different way, meaning, you see them romantically. These are good things. But those things don't have to live exclusively in the world of dating. They can exist in a friendship. Especially a Best Friendship, where marriage has been brought up in conversation. Not necessarily seriously and in-depth for hours on end, but even just as a (half-) joke. Just something that gets it out there so you can see if they scream and pass out at the thought.
Think of all the drama that would be avoided. All the sexual tension you wouldn't have to deal with. Girls, think of all the confusing messages you wouldn't have to analyze. Guys, think of all the things you didn't think you had to analyze but were then told were sending subliminal messages. Both of you, think of all the time you'd save.
And seriously. Our best option is to marry our best friend. That's the best way to go. And if you went to college with them, you've basically lived together for years. You know everything about them. They've seen you crazily ecstatic, ridiculously overtired, completely drunk, on a sugar high, stressed out of your mind, sick as a dog, and even without your makeup (gasp!). They've been on the receiving end of a fight. And yet, in spite of it all, they still want to hang out with you, and--maybe even more impressively--you still want to hang out with them. That's love. Why ruin that by dating? Dating isn't what marriage is like. That friendship is what marriage is like.
So skip dating and go straight from "best friends" to "fiancees."
Help me make this a thing. Spread the word. And go propose to your best friend. Get the ring later. And make sure you say yes when your best friend asks you to marry them. Whether you're the one asking or the one accepting, it'll be the best decision you ever made.