About two weeks into being on the apps I developed something that I call “The Dress Theory of Dating”. Maybe we can even call it “The Great Grand Dress Theory of Dating”, or something. “The Eleganza Extravaganza Dress Theory of Dating”. Lovely.
Intriguing, right? Wondering what it’s all about? Wondering if it’s the idea that someone will want to wear you? Sort of. Not like Silence of the Lambs. Well, maybe some people want that. Stay safe out there!
The theory is this. When you need a new dress, you go try a bunch on. You go to a few different shops – maybe some shops you’ve been to in the past, maybe some new ones. You try on a range of styles and cuts and patterns. You hold things up to your face to see how it looks in the light. If your friend says “oh pleeeease try on this one”, you give it a go, even if you aren’t sure about it.
If a dress doesn’t look right, you take it off, and you don’t buy it. You don’t get angry at the dress for not fitting properly, and you don’t get mad at your body for not being shaped right for the dress. (If you do this, oh honey, please lets us talk about your self-esteem, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with you, sugar.)
This should be the same with dating! Don’t just try on one fella then sit crying that he doesn’t fit and therefore you’re broken. Try them all on. (When I say “try them all on”, I mean, have a drink with a whole bunch of different sorts of people. I’m not saying you should root your way through your city. I mean, I’m not discouraging it! Power to you if you have the energy for it! There’s no slut-shaming here at Let’s Get Milkshakes dot com. This is a place for slut celebration! Slut reverence! Get it, sluts!)
Where were we?
Ah, yes, trying on frocks. I hope I’m not alienating too many of you. I know plenty of people who don’t wear dresses at all, and so maybe you can’t relate to this. Feel free to sub in shoes, shirts, a hat, I dunno. Pick any item of clothing. If you don’t wear clothing either, feel free to imagine a nudist-towel.
Now, one could argue that this is a pretty weak position for me to write this from, to be sharing my great theory of dating, given that it hasn’t actually resulted in A Boyfriend. Should I have waited to see if this theory plays out? If it even works? Well, no. I hate reading dating articles from some smug bitch who you can just tell batts her eyelashes while smirking about how she’s loved up and oh so happy and it can happen to you too if you are just patient and believe in meeeeracles. NOPE. We hate her. You’re gonna get stories from the goddamn trenches. We’re down in this mud together.
Anyway, I also want to make very clear, my dress theory might not have delivered me a long-term fella, but it has resulted in resounding life experience success. I’ve been on dates with 22 new people this year (I have a list in my phone labelled ‘Twenty-Date-Een’ to keep track). I’ve been on dates with short men and tall men and pudgy men and skinny men and an actual bodybuilder. Men from Australia and Mexico and Egypt and Denmark. Men in their 20s and men in their 40s. A few women. (Unfortunately, this confirmed I’m most likely boringly straight, I was as disappointed as you are). Tradies, bankers, someone whose job didn’t really make sense and I think he probably actually just sold weed. I’ve had book recommendations, learned a cure for colds (spiced rum and black pepper?!), and discovered new hidden gems in my neighbourhood. Also plenty of them have paid the entire bill, despite my feeble “um, are you sure?” pretend protest.
All of them have just been dresses to try, it’s just that none of them have been the perfect fit. None that I wanted to take home and… hang in my wardrobe.
Woah. That metaphor needs fixing.
None of them have been the right fit to… put them in a bag? Yikes.
None of them have been the right fit to… take to far-flung lands and hang out with at home? Yes. That’s better.
Some dresses have been appalling. They looked great in the brochure and I wasted hours daydreaming about how great it would be to twirl with them. Then as soon as I tried them on it was entirely wrong. The fabric itched, it was tight in the wrong places, and made me look washed out and sick.
But none of that means the dress objectively sucks, just that it wasn’t the right fit for me. It’s just the wrong dress. It’s not a critique of anyone’s personality or worth. And it’s been a hilarious ride learning what fits me and what doesn’t.
Ultimately I write this from a place of hopeful optimism that I do actually find a frock that fits me. In saying that, I’m not the kind of gal to give up if I don’t find one. I guess… I have a sewing machine? Have I pushed this analogy to a weird place? Am I going to go Dr Frankenstein and just BYO a man to the realm of consciousness?
I guess that’s one way to do it…