By David Berry: For my next several blog posts, I’m going to dedicate myself to shooting down dating cliches. As a man in a relationship that’s approaching eight months, I feel that I’ve earned a degree of credibility on relationships. And I have sold over 500 copies of The 10 Phases of Dating, so there’s that, as well (and a not-so-humble brag).
Today’s cliche is “There are plenty of fish in the sea!”
It’s a popular retort (duh, that’s why it’s a cliche), and you’ll most often hear it used after someone gets dumped, or someone just did the dumping (hehe).
And the refrain of those words is somewhat helpful, in principle. It’s like a Band-Aid for a bullet wound, but when someone alludes to the fact that there are many options out there for you, it’s a first step to thinking outside of your plight. “Yeah, I dumped Donny because he texted me too much, but I guess Ricky is now an option. His hair is so wavy – and he has a lot of Instagram followers! I guess there really are plenty of fish in the sea!”
And what about our friends who got dumped? Well, for starters, they’re crushed. It’s like when you made that big-ass paper mache art project of a stegosaurus and your teacher thought it was absolute shit and told you to try harder next time.
Except this is your friend’s heart, which sucks even worse. So we think, “well, there really are billions of people out there, and the options do seem endless. This sounds hopeful, so I’ll say this thing.”
Except it’s bullshit.
Let’s do some back-napkin math real quick. Let’s say you’re 25 years old. Prior to your latest break-up, you went on a date with someone new about once every three months, or four times per year. Sure, you had more suitors – probably two or three per week – and you rejected all of them. The thirsty dudes who slid into your DMs with a sorry-ass “hey” or the nice guys with no sex appeal, etc. – none of them made the cut. So yes, in reality, you had about 100 or so options per year, but you only said yes to going on a date with four of them in an entire year.
You didn’t even like 21 of them. You tolerated four of them. And you actually liked three of them.
One of them didn’t like you back, so in reality, you only had TWO GUYS in SEVEN YEARS who liked you with the same intensity that you liked them.
And your ovaries are drying up. And you’re still telling yourself “ya know, there was that really sweet guy, Brian, who I met in Boston a few years ago. I bet the guys in Boston are way better than (insert the city you live in). If I lived there, things would be different.”
No, they wouldn’t. And Brian forgot you.
So I guess what I’m saying is this: There are NOT plenty of fish in the sea. If you’re in your mid 20s, you’re basically gonna go on 30 more dates before the rest of your friends are married while you bring up the rear.
So, whether you did the dumping or got dumped, get back in the game quickly. Meet people often. You’re literally running out of options as I write this.
There are NOT plenty of fish in the sea.