Thu | Apr 27, 2017

The Dating World: Through the eyes of a Young Bachelor

Published:Monday | May 25, 2015 | 5:00 AMKrysta Anderson

In every woman's pursuit of happiness, she can relate to having had bad encounters with men.

Let's face it, we all want Prince Charming, but when he comes knocking on the door, only a select few accept the offer of a lifetime.

When did opening doors and pulling out chairs on dates become a strange phenomenon? When did calling her just to say hi or check up on her become 'too attached and needy'? And when did opting out of having sexual intercourse on the first date in order to not complicate things start coming across as being weak and uninterested?

Well, let's find out from 27-year-old Thomas Linton*. The young professional who once embraced the exciting world of dating with open arms is now singing a different tune after paying one too many visits to Heartbreak Hotel.

Born and raised in Jamaica, he pursued tertiary-level education in the United States and it was there that he was first introduced to the concept of dating.

finding a life partner

"College, to me, is the perfect time to find a suitable life partner, because as you embark on the real world and start working, all roads generally lead down the aisle. If you missed that train, then it's all downhill into the abyss of desperation. And it's unfortunate to say, but women have a shelf life so their desperation often soars to new heights."

While he had this route to romance all mapped out for his then college sweetheart who resided in Jamaica, she had different plans, and decided it was best for them both if she moved on and spread her wings in a different direction.

Linton lamented in the months that followed, and when she didn't return, he knew he had to close that chapter for good.

Suddenly, when he least expected it, he got a call, "It felt good to hear her voice, and while it hurt to know that she now had a new boyfriend, what struck me was her reason for calling," Linton remarked. He explained that she went on to complain about her now boyfriend not doing the sweet things that he once did for her so effortlessly, like take her out on surprise and planned dates, open doors for her, shower her with compliments in person and otherwise, and in particular, call her just to say 'hi' and check in. Linton was surprised to say the least, not only by the complaints but by the fact that she held these gestures in high regard now more so than then. He kept his cool, telling her some men know what they want and who they have faster than others, so he would come around in time.

As time progressed, so did this trend. He realised time and time again that he would date women, show them a whole new world, only to be dropped for a substitute, the tables would turn and they would come back with similar complaints.

Today, Linton sits as a man discouraged, confused as to why his chivalry is misunderstood for a sign of weakness when it should be seen as one of strength. Or why it is that he has to lower his standards to mediocre statuses such as a one-night stand, Mr Convenient Call, friend with benefits or the famous 'it's complicated', just to be an active part of her life? Armed with a bachelor's degree in economics and a thriving career which he loves, all that is missing for this eligible bachelor is a lady love or a wife with whom to share the experiences of life.

Fumbles and Flaws

In pointing out his wants and needs, he also highlighted a few faults he has unearthed in the dating world. "The idea of traditionally building a family is growing extinct. The concept of dating, too, is deemed unorthodox. Women prefer to live it up in the club with men who have several women. A man carrying you to a club is not a date, it is a booty call. What connection can you truly make in a club? The dating world is dying if it isn't dead already," he revealed.

He continued, "People have less affection for other people and more attraction for phone Apps. All they see is words on a screen, but you can't hear their tone, read their body language, look into their eyes, hold their hands. Social media platforms show how we present our lives, but not how our lives really are. It's like while we're connected, being Internet savvy and all, we're disconnected at the same time in person."

What's next for Linton? Well, he will continue to dig deep in finding Mrs Right. Until then, he is bracing himself for rocky roads filled with potholes when it comes to the dating world. "Chivalry is not dead; maybe it's just not welcomed by some women."

*Name changed upon request

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com