Be ruled by time, the wisest counselor of all.
I'm sorry, but this fascinates me to no end.
I once remarked at how "romance" is a commodity here in America; from formulaic romantic comedies to the steadily growing obsession with weddings to the ever-present pressure for both men and women to look like fashion models, corporate America is making its money.
I was close...but there was something missing.
The roommate explained that Americans, when dating, "want everything now." By the end of the first date - if it goes halfway decently - some Americans either want to be in a committed relationship right now, or they want to at least skip to the sex life right now. There's no wooing. There's no earning and building trust. There's no taking things slow and making productive use of time. Why? Because in a place where food is ordered online, homework and business are completed via smartphone, and where restaurant servers are cussed out basically for being slower than a 24th Century replicator, Americans don't like things which take time...or hard work.
When I was younger, there was a time when every single boy/young man who wanted to kiss me asked my permission first. Yes, peer pressure to have sex was prevalent, but at least most young men offered me the courtesy of asking first. In recent years, however, I've noticed that a guy who wants to kiss me before the first date is even over "just goes for it". They don't wait a for a couple of dates, spend any time getting to know me better, or let me get comfortable...no, no...they want it now. They don't even pause to wonder if I even want their lips on me in the first. When I asked one dude why he thought I was ready for him to kiss me, he said, "I didn't think that at all. I just went for it."
But that's not all Americans want right away...some folks want you to become their chauffeur right away, pay a bill right away, spend the night right away (not for a one-night stand, mind you). In other words, they want the relationship right away, replete with all perks and privileges. They want the home-cooked meals, the foot and back massages, the heartfelt love and trust, and the shacking up...they want it all right away.
Now, this might be the norm for the Text-n-Twitter Generation, but for grown folks, it's a problem.
What happened to the work? Whatever happened to the effort which used to go into looking good and being an interesting conversationalist who worked to amuse and seduce their date? Even writers in Hollywood don't know how to draft a decent, intelligent, deep conversation in romantic films. They instead try to convince the audience that by tossing back a few drinks and sharing some really lame humor, two people will fall madly in love and live happily ever after.
I am a sapiosexual. I am stimulated by intelligence, wit, and humor. I am an educated woman capable of deep dialogue. Bonding with me takes time. I don't give a fuck about your washboard abs, or your expensive smartphone or car or whatever - those are exactly the things which contribute to the "right now" mentality.
I took myself off the market last year when I realized I was always The Interesting One. I didn't use my dates as therapy sessions, and I would dress up every time. I made a point to show interest in my dates as people, and tried to start and maintain conversations on history, theology, politics, media analysis, writing, and world news. The situation always ended the same: they wanted my number. They wanted to see me again. And they wanted me to throw myself at them right away.
This happened recently with a guy we'll call "Nick". I wasn't even on date with him. Nick, the Roomie, and I were at a bar a short while ago. It was a group of platonic folks sharing a drink; Nick does the Roomie's taxes, and I had never met him before. I hesitated "being me" but when the questions didn't end and the Roomie kept insisting that I talk more, I started "being me."
Next thing I know, this dude I just met is hugging me at random intervals and trying to get me to go out with him (read: get me into bed). No way in hell was that happening, of course; the Roomie offered to pay for all the drinks and he didn't put up a fight. HUGE red flag for Moi. But then there's the fact that Nick is boring. Nick makes day-old oatmeal look like a wild night on the town.
Problem is, he still has hopes that I'll come around some day, and the roommate's not helping.
My roommate pointed out also that Americans are not very sensual; sensuality implies time. Heterosexual women in America complain a lot about sex being too quick and unsatisfying. That's usually because men don't have longevity on the mind; they want to get in there, unload, then run off and brag to all their friends. They rush through the date just to get to the sex, then they rush through the sex.
There's a saying about how time is fascinating because there's so much yet so little of it. Interesting how many dates, sex lives, and overall relationships could last longer and be more fulfilling if Americans just slowed down and took their time.