I remember when I first moved to Toronto I totally believed that the men of the Harlequin romance novels that I had grown up reading would be waiting on every corner for me to stroll down Bay Street. They were waiting to whisk me off my feet and into a world of romance, passion and, hopefully, luxury. I was sadly disillusioned in a very short span of time.
Alright, alright. I didn’t really believe that. (Mostly. I mean I 98% didn’t really believe that. That’s still an A+ on the Reality Check.) I did, however, believe that suddenly spending the bulk of my days in the big city would mean that meeting new people would be a lot easier than it turned out to be. Trust me, I’ve spent a lot of time in the years that I’ve lived here wondering why it’s not. My single girlfriends and I have huddled around bar tables, pondered it in the group chats and while we haven’t actually figured out why it’s hard to meet new people, we’ve come up with some pretty good excuses for why we would rather not make the effort.
First, we’re tired. At the end of my work day, I’ve already been on the road for almost ten hours and those big, green GO Transit letters hold all of the promise of the comforts of home. Promises they’ll make every effort to keep. They’re not going to say they’re going to call tomorrow and then not call. We’ll take you to your bed, they say. Why don’t you come up to my quiet zone and rest your head awhile. At the end of my day those are the sexiest words ever. Chris Hemsworth could be standing at the corner of Bay and Front and I would walk right by him.
Also dating is work. First you have to choose your platform: Bar scene, club scene, grocery store, dating app? And then you have to make yourself available. Chatting, screening, finding that perfect balance of sharing and withholding, all the while praying that whatever the other person is withholding isn’t the stuff of nightmares. Choose the part that you want to play and execute it perfectly in order to achieve a desired result. Control that RBF. Smile brighter than you mean.
It’s not that I absolutely hate work. I recognize that all work comes with benefits. My job pays for my home and lots of stuff I like. Dating offers companionship if you get through the frog kissing part. The truth of the matter is that it’s so hard to commit to the game when we have the means of faking it so well. A good romance novel will take me through all of the feels I want to feel in whatever time I have available in my schedule. Ten minutes on the TTC and I really want to remember the warmth and tenderness of that first kiss, let me skim through whatever book I’ve got on me to reread that part. A little more time late at night and looking for a little (or a lot of) heat? Any number of my favourite authors will service that need. Do you, Baby. Literally. When you’re all done, tidy away all of those emotions and get some sleep. We’ve got work to do in the morning.