DEAR ROCKY LOVE 5.21.14
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Dear Rocky Love,
Being an outdoorsy, athletic single woman, I meet a lot of eligible men who share a passion for recreation in our stunningly beautiful environs. Last month I met a wonderful man at a bicycle race in Colorado. He is attractive, well educated, intelligent and funny. After some pleasant conversation, he suggested a date: a road bike ride and dinner afterwards.
The morning of our date he texted me with the proposed route. I Googled it and discovered it’s actually a bicycle racecourse that contains a 17 percent climb on a rutted dirt road surface. The hairs on the back of my double X chromosomes bristled! Another date where the guy wants to see if I can keep up and not whine! As it turned out, I held my own on the ride, and he complimented me on the fact he couldn’t “drop” me.
Now, I’m as comfortable in a muddy pair of hiking boots as I am in a little black dress – and I’ve been told I look great in both. But where-o-where has romance and chivalry gone? Sometimes I just want to feel like a girl without having to put on pink-colored, women-specific cycling gear.
Signed, Damsel in Distress
I agree with your assessment of Mr. Colorado: he was testing to see how badass you are. There is a brand of athletic dude out there who only wants to date women who can keep up with him. Your man made his agenda clear. Why take the bait? Instead, next time, put your own agenda forward. If what you are after is the nice dinner date and the romance, why not just say that?
“Thanks for the invite, but I’d really rather just go to dinner with you.” See how the guy responds. Or, when you discover that the “ride” is actually a tryout, call him on his bullshit and suggest an alternative. If he tries to shame you over your lack of interest in battling him on the trail, then he has revealed a giant reason for you to walk away.
However, Damsel, dearest, I fear you are a bit conflicted about what you want. I’d offer this thought to help you clear your head: Chivalry died for a very good reason. It’s MEDIEVAL. Meaning that chivalry was part of an entire societal system of behavioral codes including the OPPRESSION OF WOMEN. You don’t get to be a princess and an independent modern woman. It just doesn’t work that way. If you really want fairy tale romance, you have to play the part. Some grown women do opt for that, but I have a feeling playing tittering helpmeet to a Knight In Shining Armor would chafe your spirit way more than any bike ride ever chafed your ass.
My advice: Don’t even bother with the guys who want to test your athletic mettle. From what I see in Jackson, if a guy is obsessed with his physical prowess over you from the get-go, you can assume that’s always going to be the dynamic. You will become the tether around his neck, the thing he has to reject in order to be himself.
If you want some good lovin’, look for guys with hearts out on their sleeves, not buried in their toolboxes. (Hint: you can find those guys at bike races too. They are the ones lacking the jousting sticks and armor.)
In sisterhood, Rocky Love
Dear Rocky Love is an advice column on dating, sex and relationships in the Tetons. Send your letters c/o JH Weekly, PO Box 3249, Jackson, WY 83001 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org