Jun 26, 2013

Date Night of the Living Dead

Dear Ask A Punk -
Is it impossible for a girl to be punk rock and manage to find romance? I'm NOT saying I want to date boys in bands, I already did enough of that to last a lifetime. I'm talking about how difficult it is to find a decent person to date who also happens to be one of "us" if you know what I mean. And don't suggest online dating, I've done that too: eharmony, okcupid, match all of them. They're all just digital singles bars full of guys looking to hookup and thats about it, although eharmony wasn't quite as bad, but it was just a little creepy, and there sure as F*** aren't many punks on there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the occasional hookup, but I also want something more real than that. It just seems impossible. If I have to spend one more Friday night rallying my girlfriends to go out to a show after everyone is wiped out from a week of work, or a week of looking for work, I might have to go on a crying jag and that is so not punk rock. Maybe none of this is exactly punk rock. I sound like a whiny sorority girl or something. I don't want to get married exactly, or not yet. I just want a boyfriend for a change not some "guy I hand out with." -- No Wallflower I.

Dear NWI -
I don't know for sure, but aren't there actually specific "punk rock dating" sites out there on the internet? I would research this for you myself, but I wouldn't want my girlfriend freaking out if she saw that popping up in my search history ...but seriously folks. I understand your frustration. Finding the "right " person is a very rare thing. Not impossible, just a long-odds situation. 

I've had a lot of friends - male and female - tell me the same thing about online dating. I never tried it really because I actually am a bit of a wallflower I guess. The fact that people (including you) can click through profile after profile, like shopping on ebay or amazon or something, really lowers the stakes for everyone. People meet online and break up over texts now. I get it. But on the plus side, the increased volume has to improve your odds of finally landing on the right person, no? I have heard tons of online dating horror stories... but I also know several people who met their wives/husbands online. It does happen.

Even though people say the internet has changed dating, the truth is, we're still the same old hard-wired humans. A profile picture is just eye candy. No matter how good the email banter is, there is no way to tell if there is that rare electricity until you're actually face-to-face with that other person. Maybe it really is all about the pheromones. 

I'm going to now wade deeeeep into the cliche' pool. Here goes:

The best way to find the right person is to GET OUT INTO THE WORLD and engage in the sorts of things you like to do. By that, I don't just mean "go to punk clubs and scope out the boys". I'm talking about everything. What else do you enjoy? While I love punk rock, I also love old movies. I met my girlfriend at a movie theater and we've been together for nearly 10 years. I'll admit I went to thousands of movies before I ran into her, but that was OK because I liked being at the movies anyway. See what I mean? So, in addition to punk rock what are your other interests? Do those things, and while you're there - look around. 

And that leads me to another point. My girlfriend knew pretty much zero about punk before she met me. She probably cared about it even less than that, and after nearly a decade together, I don't think the needle has moved all that much, but: she understands how and why it is so important to me. That is what really matters. You don't have to find someone who enjoys everything that you like. You have to find someone who is cool with whatever you're into, whether they personally dig it or not.  I say this because you made the point that you're not looking to date punk rock musicians, so try imagining a wider range of possibilities. The cliche's continue: Opposites DO attract. 

...and before anyone starts hassling me about how non-punk all this talk of dating & romance is, all I can say is: Punk or not, we're pretty much all hard-wired to seek a level of intense one-on-one intimacy. Sooner or later.  

Sorry I don't have any new revelations in the realm of romance for you... apparently I'm too busy practicing my alliterations... As much as we think "everything is different now" here in the digital age, we are still pretty much the same species. The scary part is that you have to remain open-hearted, no matter how many times it gets stomped on. It sucks, but it is worth the risk. 

Good luck.

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