Cycling beside cars in rush hour traffic often feels less perilous than riding a bike along the northeast BeltLine, primarily because everyone driving had to undergo a modicum of training and licensing, while most people haven’t received instruction on how to walk since around their first birthday.
Some folks are unfamiliar with the etiquette on an active path, others are oblivious to the hazards created by a recklessly extended dog leash, and a few people walk like they were born breech and their feet have been getting in the way ever since, stumbling along the congested thoroughfare like panicked, indecisive squirrels. However notorious Atlanta drivers are, I never have to worry about a car suddenly pirouetting in front of me for a selfie.
It’s surprising how unskilled people can be at something everyone assumes they have mastered, but I’ve noticed a similar overestimation of abilities in the dating scene. A lot of folks talk about being single as if it’s something they’re too good for, never considering how much they suck at it.
Online profiles are littered with complaints about the games people play, but how often has the accuser ignored the flirtations of someone they weren’t attracted to, maintained ambiguous ties with someone they found marginally attractive, and allowed life’s demands or latent insecurities to sabotage a potential relationship with someone to whom they were genuinely attracted? Those are the dynamics of dating, and so much whining seems like a reaction to people we really want to fuck treating us the way we treat those we deem less fuckable.
Of course, there is more to finding a partner than sex, which I know because single people love to proclaim how they have more to offer than (and are ready for something beyond) sex. This is an entirely noble desire, as long as people realize the person who becomes their activity buddy, emotional confidant and life partner tends to quickly become someone they don’t give much thought about fucking.
Everyone knows relationships and marriage “take work,” but just as many people assume they can waltz through singledom without any effort, reflection or behavioral adjustments. While trying to convince others they are relationship material, many sound desperate for someone to rescue them from the boredom and frustrations they unconvincingly blame on others.
Partnership has always been elevated above bachelorhood, treated as an accomplishment rather than an alternative way to navigate life. Queer hostility toward being single will intensify in post-Obergefell America, as every generation from this point forward is susceptible to believing life begins at the end of a wedding aisle rather than at conception.
I worry about resentment and slander against casual sex becoming so fashionable that gay men no longer know how to fuck their way into lifelong friendships and are unable to savor the gradations of intimacy between a booty call and a state-sanctioned soulmate. Hoping every breathtaking hookup or stimulating coffee date turns into happily ever after is as immature and precarious as a baby learning to put one foot in front of the other.