Everyone knows (and I do mean everyone) that I cried for a solid year then pouted for most of the next after my last big break-up. Everyone… from the dry cleaners to the mailman to my hairdresser offered me a hanky at one time or another. A few even rubbed my back but that’s another story. What followed was a period of quiet and stoic self-pity. It wasn’t a pity party because it wasn’t that much fun. I don’t even like parties, but yeah.

I trembled at the thought of meeting anyone new even though I was sooooo lonely on my own. Everyone seemed to be living each day like it was no big whoop. I, on the other hand, was an outsider trying to keep my face on straight and my chin up high. Surviving each day was a little bit of a whoop to me.

I would like to say that I got over it, felt better, and then started dating. But only part of that is true. I did get over it, but I didn’t feel better, until now. I started dating and then I felt better. I’m not sure that I’m allowed to say that dating is making me happy, but it is. I know you’re supposed to be happy first, all on your own, and then take it on the road. I tried that for a long time and the bluebird of happiness never sat on my shoulder for more than a day or two. Until I said eff it and jumped into the diving pool of life, love, dating etc…

The people who like to reinforce that nasty bit of (it’ll come when you stop looking) condescension are invariably paired up themselves. It makes me want to tell them that they will find out that their spouse is cheating on them when they least expect it too but I usually hold my tongue. They are certain they are right. Even though statistics show that people who are part of a duo are happier, healthier and live longer single folks are supposed to quit looking and be happy all on their own. Easy for you to say, you’re coupled up!!

It’s not clear to me how they reconcile this research with their “you’ve gotta be happy on your own first then love will pop up where you least expect it” unsolicited advice. And listen so’s you know….love doesn’t usually just pop up these days. You kinda gotta work at it a bit. And by a bit I mean it’s a hefty part-time job. But according to these helpful uber-evolved souls in marriages I wouldn’t trade my left eyeball for, you should try to not want a relationship, practice the laws of attraction, and love yourself.

I’m not sure how to not want a relationship while simultaneously practicing the laws of attraction. And isn’t part of loving myself giving me what I want (two big arms, a shot of testosterone and a plaid shirt…for starters)? If you love yourself why deny yourself that which extends life and brings happiness to all who manage to find and endure it? Actually the studies show that husbands tend to get more of the relationship perks than wives. To be honest I haven’t found that to be the whole story, but interesting research nonetheless.

Spreadsheet dating, the kind where you have so many balls in the air that you need to keep a ledger, a sense of humor and smelling salts – it’s way more fun than I could have imagined. And it isn’t what you think.

First, you might think I’m hopping into bed all over the place but it is actually quite the opposite. Most of these “dates” last less than two hours and end with hug or a quick kiss on the cheek. Oh, it’s flirty and oh la la but most of the time our tongues are planted firmly in our own cheeks. The only way to enjoy (translation – survive) it all is to keep it light. Easy come, easy go.

It’s just about meeting people, and hearing their stories. You get the juicy bits, the happy parts, what makes them cry. You can just riff, or go deep if the mood strikes. Dates are very accepting and generally are happy if you manage to smell nice and hold up your end of the conversation. There’s very little pressure, and in return, it’s nice to get the random texts throughout the day that tell you that you are beautiful even if you’ve never met the person and you’re having a bad hair day.

So does all this noise mean that I don’t want to fall in love? Of course not! But it might mean that I never want to live with someone again, given how nice it is to be able to come home alone and flop. I also know with complete resolve that I never EVER want to build my life so with or around someone else that when it all falls apart (for whatever reason) I have to completely start over. Me first. Me has to be big in my life, followed by you…and very finally US in intense little packets but not so stirred in that to separate us we need to throw out the whole glass of chocolate milk. To put it another way within the same metaphor…I need to be able to give back the chocolate and walk away with my milk. Sure, I’ll spill a few drops but I’ll still have enough milk to make a milk moustache and carry on.

I thought I was sad and lonely because I didn’t have a boyfriend. I’m discovering that I was really just sad and lonely because I was isolated, and now that I’m not anymore – having a boyfriend seems like something that can take it’s own sweet time. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. Given all the bad relationships out there, being single might not be the worst thing on earth. Of course if any of my married friends on SSRI’s say a WORD I’m going to sneak in at night and turn their toilet paper rolls around.

Actually, it’s ok. I just swallowed my lexapro and that reminds me that we are all one, all alone, all suffering, all lonely, all lucky and unlucky too….
And with our lexapro, eight almonds, squats at lunch and long eyelashes….we got this. We are living the grit-your-teeth-and-bear-it-then-repackage-it-on-FB as-fabulous good life! Or in more old-fashioned terms we are faking it til we make it. And all a person can do is LOL, LTFAO, LTAO or simply 😉

Datergurl, warming up before her day job….trying to LOL.pills