Dating according to the Jilted Cinephile

By: KDP

It is a universal truth that dating has been a headache since the beginning of time, BUT! I think most millennials trudging through the modern-day muck of cheaters, hipsters, and ghosters can agree that it’s a trial trying to find another human being worth sharing your heart-shaped Valentine’s Day pizza with. Some accuse TV and literature for setting our expectations too high. Sure, this may be true. But come on. Cinephiles have more fun. If for no other reason, it’s because we see the world, including the awkward, harsh, desolate dating world, through a unique perspective.

As Rick Castle says,“There are 2 kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers.” Might I add a third, Mr. Castle?

You know how it goes. We’ve all been grilled by those well-meaning family members, friends, random people off the street who feel qualified to offer free, unsolicited therapy.

They all have one thing in common: they think you’re picky. You like to think of it as “having standards”…

Picky? Good taste?

They know the perfect person for you! And that person is…wait for it… SINGLE! Said person eats nothing but sushi and likes cross fit and practices taxidermy in their free time, but they are unattached. Compatibility issues? What compatibility issues??

You’ve seen your friends breeze over the minor issue of similar interests before. What’s dating if not an elaborate game of “Ha! You thought I was someone else! But now we’re committed, so too late now!”

But there are some things you can’t be expected to fake, even in the name of dating. You know that drawn-on eyebrows are about as convincing as gluten-free brownies. Miracle Whip is better than mayonnaise. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are soul mates. On these things, you will not bend!

So at this point, being the independent adult you are, you decide to take on the dating search on your own. (Mostly because you binge-watch crime shows and know that your internal organs will turn up on the Black Market if you ever try a dating app.)

You know what you want. “Of course my expectations aren’t too high! I just want an attractive shepherd-turned-prince who is so completely taken in by my highwayman act that he follows me around until we have a thrilling battle with bridge trolls and his mantra becomes, ‘I will always find you.'”

But nooooo. You are lost in a sea of dudes who look like they’ve borrowed your jeans and all they want to know is if you’ve seen the latest trending YouTube video. “Um, of course I have. But we’re supposed to be battling trolls here.”

Another common setback in the searching stage is the mystery of which team your potential beau is playing for. “This is so great. We’re having a real conversation! You like all the same things I do! Oh, you’re so sensitive! It helps that you are super cute! We are hitting it off so well, we are totally soulmates. Oh, you’re gay. K, fine. But couldn’t we have established that before I envisioned us cosplaying as Flynn and Rapunzel at Comic Con? I should’ve seen the signs…”

But then, you meet a somewhat promising candidate! You’ve been hurt before. Your guard is up. But you got through the first few interactions okay. They even came back respectably clean after intensive Facebook stalking. Thank you, social media.

They even picked up on a few of the obscure movie references you tossed into casual conversation as a test. And so there you are! On your first date! It’s going well…until they start to get way too handsy for someone who hasn’t even committed your last name to memory yet. Whoa there. Slow down, Barry Allen! “The Fastest Man Alive” doesn’t qualify as a hero title when in the dating realm. Slow your roll!

Or there’s the other kind of “fast.” Seriously, does every guy in the world have their own internal Harrison Wells hissing in their ear, “Run, Barry, RUN!” making them a constant flight risk? Even when things are great, they suddenly remember unresolved mommy issues and decide the past is more worthwhile than the now?

Sometimes though, things progress! They do! Finding that special person that texts you so often that your text conversations flow almost as fast as real-time speak is a pretty cool thing. They’re into you! They think you’re a catch! Or at least interesting enough to talk to from the minute they wake up until the minute they hit the hay. This is a good sign! You finally feel secure enough to admit to yourself that maybe you’ve actually found yourself a keeper! Your own modern day, personalized Gilbert Blythe. Hope springs eternal!

Oh, wait. He’s actually a raging sociopath who is allergic to commitment and bails as soon as the chase is over. Cool.

But it’s all good. Despite everything, you’re still not about to resign yourself to pretending like sushi is a desirable food choice. Besides, takeout with a side of Netflix has always been an immensely satisfying solo activity. And you were always a 5 season-build, slow-burn shipper anyway.