Catfish chronicles and death to dating headlining the cybersphere has you wondering wtf is up with your love life. Founder of the WTFlovelife.com, Jessica Massa, is dedicated to helping us explore that very mindf*ck. Jessica, Harvard graduate and columnist for the Huffington Post, offers an in depth and hilariously on point evaluation of modern romance (or lack thereof), in "The Gaggle."
Her thesis statement that we are "always and never on a date" may seem oxymoronic at first, but even the skeptic will find that she's got some valid and extensively explored evidence. A book full of them actually. "The Gaggle" introduces the idea that every girl has a gaggle,or group of guys that each play a specific role in her love life. She evaluates the outdated rules of monogamy that our generation was born into.
It's the 21st century and no one is safe from being your (sort of) lover. You may find that the men in your life currently fit into one of these categories: The Accessory, The Hot Sex Prospect, The Career Booster, The Boyfriend Prospect- to name a few.
Sound familiar? At first you may cringe at such labels. Objectifying men is not necessarily the best remedy to modernizing our thought patterns. But Massa does more than reduce men to names in our little black blackberry. She also reduces men to names in our little black blackberry.
She alleviates some of our self blame at confusion about relationship rules, giving us validation in thinking it's all a bit complicated. And also encourages us that the new ways of contemplating dating are weapons we can use in decoding our love life.
Jessica is empathetic, yet stern, about how to recognize when things are heading in a healthy or unhealthy direction. She describes how the rules themselves have gone straight out the window and how a new era of relationships opens up the possibilities for a more well-rounded chance at companionship(s).
Massa challenges us to think outside the suffocating labels that trap us in antiquated ways of relating to the opposite (or same) sex. It's rarely ever black or white anymore. But that just means it's inherently kaleidoscopic -- and I'd reckon that's far more entertaining anyway. Reading this book is like recapping your manscapades over brunch with your gay best friend, and at times it can be that slap in the face you wish someone would give you, so you know you need to get it together.
Why give your heart (or time or worries) to just one dude when you can expand your horizons and acknowledge that 99 problems don't have to include a dude. Why waste time staring into the gaping hole of textual abyss when you can breath, stretch, and on to the next one?
Maybe I like this book so much because I find it validating in my hopes for a man harem of my own one day. But whatever your motivation for reading, there's sure to be something in this cross-country and cross-cultural investigation of modern love life. It is a testament to the inevitability of altering our way of engaging like, love and lust in the 21st century.
"The Gaggle" isn't here to solve your problems, just to offer insight into the new way things work. To eliminate self hating for the pangs of attachment to ancient ways. After all, who better to make up the rules of love than you, for your own damn self?
Alyssa | Elite.