Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friends Without Benefits

TrishWanted: Meaningful Overnight Relationship

Meet Trish Young, single mum of seven years and penner of the above dating site tag-line. Trish, who obtained a level of notoriety by reaching the No. 1 spot in the RSVP Top 100, was interviewed for The Age’s Green Guide of 2/8/07:

What’s your dating policy?

I always maintain five men in my life who take on different roles: a man I go to the movies with, a man I have amazing in-depth conversations with, a fun partner who is great with tickle fighting and joking around, one I am intimate with and the last male is on the way out to allow room for another to come.

Classy! Oh to be a fly on the wall as each of her five current cohorts reads the above! Presumably Trish has typically been intimate with No. 5, whom No. 4 is replacing, and No. 3 could more than likely also get a look-in. But it’s Nos. 1 & 2 that are most likely to be vexed by discovering how they’ve been commodified and manipulated. They’re not lovers. And they’re not friends. They’re friends without benefits.

The five roles that Trish ‘maintains’ do not include a father-figure for her child/children. Seems she’s decided to bring them up alone. And you can bet she’s rationalised that decision as being in their best interest. In reality, it’s simply in the best interest of her libido.

Right now Trish is feeling good about her lifestyle choices. The 3,000 ‘kisses’ she’s received on dating sites and high ranking on RSVP have made her feel desired. But she’s setting herself up for a massive fall. As age plays its hand, and the kisses fall off sharply, she’ll have a tangible — literally — sense of loss of desirability. And as her kids approach their teens resentments will mushroom. The life of Trish Young is a house of cards.

Links: Love vs Sex, Susannah’s Regrets

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Anonymous Anastasia said...

No matter how many people try to sell me online dating, there is always a story that illustrates how superficial it can be, or how much of a sport it can be, and that I know first hand from trying it myself. I'm amazed how it's become such a big thing now, years ago it was like engaging in a clandestine encounter. One never discussed online anything with friends, or I didn't (this was 1999-2001), and now people go to town: the buy who is the dinner buddy, the friend with sexual benefits, the opera buddy, the phone-agony aunt, the phone sex buddy, it can be anything, much like a wardrobe, except it's the human variety.

I don't mind what people do, but I've had colleagues and friends try to convince me that their activities are functional (and my avoidance of this pastime is abnormal LOL), and they're anything but.

9/18/2007 1:28 am  
Blogger Al Cad said...

Thanks, Anastasia. Yes, these are strange times; unfamiliar territory. And our psyches, expecting tranquil village life, struggling to make sense of it all. Internet dating can be approached a lot of different ways. I’m right behind people who meet on dating sites, perhaps leading to a string of love-letter-like emails and an eventual bond every bit as strong as a ‘pre-cyber’ one. But a huge proportion of people using the service get mesmerised by the possibilities for sexual variety, and whether or not they admit it to friends, family or themselves, finding their soul mate becomes either a low priority or actually undesirable – a drag, as they see it, that would curtail their fun! My problem with that isn’t a moral one, it’s that, like I said in the Love vs Sex posts, they’re in fact diluting their ability to love deeply in future.

9/18/2007 8:27 am  
Anonymous Anastasia said...

I just read your post Love vs Sex.

There are people who use online dating sites with serious intent, but I'm a diehard skeptic. Most of them eventually get sucked into the variety of it, or the idea of 'finding someone better' with the next click, eventually, if they themselves reach that point where they dilute their own original objective or move beyond it.

I haven't experienced that, only because I'd be more affected after a relationship or encounter went to shit; I wouldn't bother clicking. I'd take a hiatus and try again months later. That said, I'd find that those men I'd date, moved beyond their original intent, and transformed into savvy pussy shoppers online. It was like eBay to them. The thing about online dating is that it's impossible to satisfy a definitive list, as it is impossible to find someone with all the attributes one expects (by forming a profile to begin with). People have a higher tendency to lie online. Face to face, and one quickly evaluates the bullshit in a shorter time frame. The time it can take to meet a person from the web is longer (the safety issue, and anxiety factor, for some).

9/22/2007 2:16 pm  
Blogger Al Cad said...

Nicely put. (I especially like ‘savvy pussy shoppers’ – the phrase, not the protagonists!)

When we feel heartache we should actually celebrate in a sense – it shows that our ability to love is in good shape...

9/25/2007 12:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry guru, i disagree. Having a variety of male and female friends is required for a balanced life. Not everyone is after a relationship, some people enjoy their own company and like to be single. This woman used the dating site for her advantage. Dating sites is no different to a bar, where you find all types. Internet dating is another form of dating, you make it as positive or negative as you want. ....Why would she need a father figure, how can you assume the children don't have a father in their lives already? I've had many friends hook up on the internet, actually one of my gf got married last week, she meet her man on the internet. It's all about attitude, if you see it as fun, it will be.

2/13/2012 11:27 pm  
Blogger Al Cad said...

Anonymous, the question to Trish was ‘What’s your dating policy?’ Those five men were not friends. They collectively gave her, she hoped, what she sought from an intimate relationship. And they had expiry dates.

My piece is in no way an attack on internet dating, which can be great. I’m just pointing out she’s probably harming herself, her child and some of her commodified short-term partners. There’s some extrapolation going on there, obviously, but it’s hard to see how she could shelter her seven-year-old from her fractured personal life. As for her enjoying her own company, I suspect that is the root of the issue – she doesn’t.

2/13/2012 11:58 pm  

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