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By Katie McVay

Last week, I wrote an article for my own personal edification about my labyrinthine dating requirements called “Men Not to Fuck in 2k16.” And – boy, oh boy! – it was a splash. And by “splash” I mean that my controversial “men should own beds” opinion continues to be controversial. Reactions to the list were as follows:

  • Men insecurely sharing pictures of their beds and clothing with each other to try to prove that their choices are OK.
  • Men insecurely sharing pictures of my face to let me know that I’m NOT OK.
  • Men writing me insecure emails to tell me that I’m damaging to womankind.
  • Three women telling me that they were mad about my bed-owning opinion.
  • My mom wondering why I have to swear so much.

None of these reactions were, “Please, we’d like to know more about your very specific dating requirements!” But – like jazz – writing lists is all about the requests that you don’t hear. So, without further ado, here are my top five dating resolutions for the year of our lord 2k16. These are, as I said, very specific to me, but feel free to adapt them to your own life (especially #1, which in my opinion should be universal).

1. I’m a pill, so there shall be no “Netflix and chill.”
Whether this is our first date or our seventy fifth, “Netflix and chill” is not my version of a “good time.” If I wanted to watch Bob’s Burgers while getting lazily fingered, I’d just stay home. If we’re going on a date, let’s both put some effort in. Let’s find an activity to do together that doesn’t also serve as my number one depression go-to. And, if you are using “Netflix and chill” as a cover for “bone with a TV on in the background,” just be straight-forward about it: “Hey, let’s put on an episode of Murder, She Wrote while I murder that puss.” (Please look forward to my book, Ultimate Guide to Sexting for the Unsexy, coming from Random House this fall.)

2. Shared interests should be shared.
Do you know how many anime shows I’ve seen in their entirety? More than one. Do you know how many I wanted to see? Less than zero. I have dated so many men who were so intense about their interests that – being a less solidified version of myself – I ended up saddled with a bicycle that I was never going to use. (You are way too afraid to cycle in the city, Katie!) Do you know how many men I’ve dated that have caught up on Lifetime’s ever-evolving show schedule? Zero. As I continue my search for a three month relationship that I can drag out to six, I resolve this year to make sure that if we’re going to share interests, we’re both going to share our interests. No more of this bullshit where I watch several hours of outer space movies and then propose we watch the classic mid-era Meg Ryan movie, You’ve Got Mail, and watch a man mime killing himself. And, no one ever suggest to me that we watch The Wire. I legitimately could not care about a show less.

3. Dress up.
OK, neither me nor my date need to dress like we’re going to the coronation of the queen (Elizabeth or Nicki Minaj), but a little effort is certainly appreciated. I feel as if every other date I go on is a competition to see who can care less. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if a man showed up in an ironic onesie. If someone comes on a date in a shirt that they actively had to iron, oh how I’ll swoon. Imagine it! Just imagine a man putting on a shirt, seeing that it is wrinkled, and then ironing it. Oh, what a thrill. I’ve stabbed myself in the eye with eyeliner at least six times, just wear something that was hanging in a closet or SOMETHING. Give me this, 2016. I need this.

4. Be as crazy as you are.
In past relationships, I’ve tried to make myself as small (emotionally, physically, spiritually) as possible so that there was more room (maybe, in fact, all the room) for the men I’ve dated. You’ve had a bad day? I’m a chill woman who has never had a bad day, tell me all about it. I’ve chilled myself into a relationship coma that no one can get out of (insert some Star Wars-themed metaphor here)! But, no longer. Truth of the matter is that I’m a woman with anxiety and depression who takes a lot of anti-depressants and is DEATHLY afraid of bed bugs. In 2016, I’m not going to hide all my fears under a bushel basket – mostly because the basket can’t even fit all these fears!

5. Paint a room together and then fling paint at one another and giggle cutely while actively not freaking out about the idea of getting paint on yourself and making a mess in general.
This one is going to require a lot of setup. First, we’re both going to need to magically make more money so that we can afford the kind of place that lets you paint without making a fuss about it. (What if we had enough money to purchase? Just kidding! It is 2016 and we are millennials. Neither of us will ever have the funds to own a home.) After we recover from the economic devastation that the Boomers wrought, we’ll both need to purchase distressed overalls that say, “Hey, I had these in my closet just for this scenario because I look as good in grungy DIY wear as I do in a wedding dress. Put me in a wedding dress.” Lastly, we’ll need a lot of Xanax because nothing fills me with more visceral anxiety than the idea of purposefully making a mess.

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In closing, dating is a nightmare, you’ll never find love, and if you’d like to write me your reaction to these resolutions, consider investing in a resolution of your own, like taking a run or getting a hobby.

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