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The Importance of Love, Not War

Little Karim is tired of playing dating games. He just wants to make love, not war. And maybe shop a little while he’s at it…

When you're single, there comes a point in your life when you have to wake up and smell the roses…or your single-dom. You may convince yourself that you're enjoying your single life, that you're taking this time to discover more about yourself and redefine who you are outside of a relationship, but the truth is you're alone. You have no one to go home to, no one to release all those pent up emotions and cheesiness on and you certainly don't have anyone giving you an express ride on that orgasm train.

Face it: you're single.

Dating can feel a lot like a battle. Being single is the equivalent of being collateral damage, or a prisoner of war. No strangers to strife, we Egyptians are well versed when in matters of turmoil and political upheavals. Sadly, the same cannot be said for matters of the heart. Dating in this country is a constant struggle of wits, repartee, hidden clauses, loopholes and empty promises. It's a case of who you know and how well you know them just, so you can get to that one person you actually do want to get to know. In short, it's a dirty game of politics. I used to think I was good at that game, the ultimate politician. Now, going on a year and a half of being desperately single and alone, I’ve started to rethink that self-awarded title. In truth, I was more a Sarah Palin of dating politics than a John F. Kennedy.

It seemed that everywhere I looked, politics forced themselves into the picture, unwanted or otherwise. You may try to avoid it by not talking about government reforms or interchangeable ministers, but the truth is you're using it, especially when it comes to dating. You scheme and stalk and plot to "run into" your crush by pure coincidence. You think four times before you send that text and you overanalyze every single word that's being said. Since everything has a double entendre nowadays, I don't blame you. Upon further examination of my track record in dating, I noticed how my love life has been one very poorly adapted biography of some famous politician's life.

My relationship with Big was nothing if not all subtle texts and sly messages to seal the deal, and even after we started dating, I initiated even slyer and coyer remarks to get Big to reciprocate some of the effort I'd been exerting in that relationship. My virtual fling with Artist, however, was the epitome of sex politics. Unsure whether or not Artist felt anything for me, my best friends and I turned into the savviest of political analysts, dissecting each and every word Artist said like some hungry divorce lawyers trying to salvage their client from a potentially destructive pre-nup.

This got me thinking… when did straightforwardness stop being sexy? Whatever happened to expressing how you really feel? Have sex and dating turned into a power play of who can scheme and plot better? When it comes to matters of the heart, has dating become the ultimate battlefield?

Meanwhile, across town from my musings and quasi-deep thoughts, G was facing his own political drama. After exchanging numbers with one of his hottest conquests yet, his life had turned into a dramatic battle of who said what, when and how. Well versed in the ways of G, I knew he was just stalling, being indecisive and avoiding the inevitable date that he had worked so hard to avoid most of his life. The war of the dates was tearing my best friend apart, and it was time to put an end to it. "Just text Conquest and set a coffee date. Stop beating around the bush, don't play the politics game and just do it". We then launched into an extensive discussion of exactly how G was going to ask Conquest out, mapping out what he was going to say down to the last full stop.

That's when I realised… even avoiding the dating politics had its own set of rules and political procedures. You had to know exactly how to phrase your sentiments and seem like you're not one to beat around the bush; you don't want to come off as rude or uninterested or nonchalant, yet you don't want to seem too eager or excited, lest the other party think you're desperate.

Here's the thing: dating is a war. A take no prisoners, all-casualties kind of affair and we all seem to be okay with that. At the end of the day, we'd much rather play the dirty game of lying and scheming, instead of being alone. We plot and twist our words around because at the end of the day, we all like a good chase. It's exciting, it's thrilling and we think it might lead to the epic love story we've all been dreaming about for quite some time now. But at some point, even the best of soldiers can get tired. Being in a constant state of war cannot be good for your nervous system (or your skin, for that matter). At some point, we all inadvertently wander into no-man's land, find a comfortable spot, curl up in the fetal position and never want to get up again. I'm currently in no-man's land and I've had enough. I will no longer be subject to the crossfire and insipid backlashes of the dating politics. I'm calling for a cease-fire. I can no longer take part of the vicious dating wars; I'd much rather go shopping.

Lay down your arms, people. The war's over.   


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