505 Circles of Hell
Circle Two: Dating in Burque
If you live in Albuquerque, I assume you understand the struggle of trying to date here. Everyone knows each other (at least by extension), so it's difficult to meet new people unless you do something out of the ordinary. Let's be honest though; we're all relatively busy people and doing anything like that takes effort. Being New Mexican, we're all about that minimal effort (it is the Land of Mañana). So we want novelty but without actually doing anything. For me, that resulted in angst and disappointment.
When I was freshly single around a year ago after a serious relationship, I went on a lot of dates. Before that relationship, I hadn't dated very much, so I was basically brand new to the scene. Prior to the serious relationship, I dated people that I had met through my friends. I got over that pretty quickly because none of them could keep a single fuckin' thing private (I'm talking mainly about myself here, no judgement).
This time, I turned to online dating. While I can rant about that ad nauseam, my summary is that it was weird and kinda fun but was usually disappointing. The only true advantage I can think of is that it's useful to find other queer people. Alas, I only used it for fuck boys (wtf, past Megan, get your shit together). Fuck Boy culture is alive and well in Burque. A guy I was casually dating on and off for awhile would get mad at me whenever I would hint that I had been with other people, so one day I asked him if he had seen anyone else since we started dating. He avoided answering the question for a few minutes, but since I was so tired of his bullshit, I was persistent. Eventually he “answered” my question; he said he couldn't remember. We had been seeing each other for nine months at that point and he couldn't remember. This experience echoes through several other relationships I've had. One guy said “All other men are jealous of me because I steal their women.” Another wouldn't leave my home after I told him to leave for almost five hours. Someone else ordered me the strongest alcoholic drink after I said I wasn't going to have anymore drinks at the end of our date. And another told me that my sexuality was a trendy phase, I'd be over it soon and be back exclusively to real men like him. Asinine fuck boys are just after fulfilling their personal interests.
Dating in Albuquerque is bordering incestuousness. It's hard to find a new circle of people that are truly compatible for us, not only regarding romantic relationships but friendships too. That's why more often than not, we date our friends' friends, until we date everyone in the same social circle and then move on to the new group of people that you were introduced to by your former S/O.
For example, once I ran into one guy I was dating—let's call him Tom—when I was on a date with another guy. Other guy had literally just walked away to use the bathroom at Sister. This instigated one of my worst fears: being around all the people I'm dating or ever have dated, at the same time. I'd like to think it would go over well but my anxiety tells me that it will be disastrous. Will they talk about my weird laugh? What about how I don't understand computers therefore I'm stupid? Will they talk about how my boobs are lopsided? Will they discuss how I was a shitty partner? I have no idea and I never want to find out.
Tom went back to his friends shortly after he said hello, and again, the other guy literally came back as soon as Tom left. I grabbed him and ran away to Burt's. Later I found out that Tom and that guy had dated another lady before dating me around the same time. I have yet to meet/date her, but I'm sure I'll make my way eventually.
After all this, I feel it's important to share some (logical) dating tips for people to not completely suck at dating.
1. Be honest 100% of the time. Do you hate the way they pronounce theater? Tell your person. Do you think they could really benefit from researching cultural appropriation? Tell your person. Do they ever make you uncomfortable? Tell your person.
2. If someones expectations don't match yours, leave. It hurts more to be with someone who doesn't value you and respect what you need than it hurts to be alone. 3. Don't go to the same bars all the time or you'll run into people you are trying to avoid and forget.
3. Don't be a fuck boy. Ladies talk. We warn each other of creepy guys. Also, don't you want your reputation to be more than “Stay away from that guy who always wears weed socks, he only grinds when he dances and he will buy you drink after drink. As Liz Lemon would say: shut it down.”?
4. Use protection. Duh.
My final note: For those of you who don't even want to touch the dating scene, Self Serve is a wonderful store where you'll find many goodies for yourself. #treatyoself.