A friend of mine recently asked me how I would describe the American dating scene. As a girl in her 20s, I’ve had a pretty nontraditional dating history. So, a week ago I would have reflected on the candle lit dinners, the martini brunches, and upscale cocktails. I never really identified as belonging to the typical ‘American’ hook-up culture. I would have informed her and you, my readers, that we Americans are doing all right, that, while men aren’t all prince charmings, the frogs are easy to spot and avoid. This morning, I’ve had a change in perspective. Beware the nice-guy-who-is-actually-an-epic-player. He’s harder to spot than your average frat-star player. Call him a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Better yet, let’s call him ‘Hank.’
Hank and I have been friends for about a year. We have mutual friends and have spent time together sans alcohol. He’s generally well liked and always the complete gentleman. In the past, I’ve only ever gotten physical with boys that I’ve been seeing for a while. With Hank, I made an exception. I genuinely thought he was different, and so I broke my normal rules. Don’t get me wrong—my “hook-up” was completely PG. I took my place in the next morning’s pageant; completely satisfied with the way my night had turned out. Then truths started to surface.
Hank Likes Girls
It turns out Hank has a reputation. He likes girls, lots of them. They’re almost interchangeable to him. How did I miss this aspect of his personality? I think I saw what I wanted to see—hunky Hank, smart Hank, funny Hank. I was blind to womanizer Hank. We’re friends, so there’s some level of respect between us. But I feel like another conquest, and that hurts. There were no promises made; Realistically, I knew that one night of fun would not turn into an immediate relationship. Yet, I had expectations because I thought he was different.
Yeah, we could bash him and go on monologues about why boys are dumb—don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of such monologues—but really, us girls just have this false expectation that the Hanks in our lives are destined to be someone significant. We tell ourselves, “Oh, now I’ve found one worth keeping. This one’s different,” and, you know, maybe your Hank is different.
I hope he is; I’m not a complete cynic after all. Every girl has to go through her share of frogs, so don’t let the probability of him being a ‘Hank’ stop you from putting yourself out there. Just be careful, because the blasé—on his part—hookup is very much the “relationship” of choice among us young American singletons.