I met a woman briefly a couple of years back. I was recently single, and a little wobbly….I didn’t expect or particularly want to be single again and there I was…talking to this vibrant woman who was a bit older than me, all on her own, and happy about it.
She said she’d been single for ten years. She had an OkCupid account and she dated sometimes, when she wanted to. But often it didn’t really appeal to her. Mostly she did other stuff and the wisdom of doing other stuff was written all over her face: she had an easy smile and a wonderful energy about her. She went places and woke up without someone else’s agenda hanging over her. I wanted to be this woman.
As much as I wanted to be her, and as high as I tried to hold up my chin…..I was still a sad little puddle, mostly. I kept going because I had no choice, and I thought of this woman. At times I was vibrant-ish. But home alone I was palpably alone, and lonely.
I didn’t really date, though I did manage to find myself in two consecutive relationships with admirable men who were just wrong for me. Finally I shut it all down and weathered the winter with good books and no desire to be with anyone but my kids and a few friends. And even that kind of being with wasn’t very often. Mostly I did alone, when I wasn’t working. Mostly I did Netflix and I talked to myself. I did, I talked to myself…..walked the dog every day……listened to music….contemplated my own navel…..wiggled my toes…..and when my back itched I felt sorry that there was no one around to scratch it for me. I used a hairbrush.
Then something made me get up and get out there. First Tinder, the OkC, and when I discovered that I could date people and not just one man, it seemed a lot more approachable and far less frightening. Though still capable of losing myself in connection and intimacy, I was for the first time in my life, afraid of it, at least with one person. I was afraid of another round of devastation. Being alone can be great…but being alone while recovering from devastation always holds a sad note. You keep swimming but there is always a thought in the back of your head…..when am I going to feel regular, and just okay? When do I get to stop trying and get to just be? When will I stop feeling hurt, wrecked, beat up?
Soon the man-dates showed up and many were nice, decent people. I chose a few and found I could have feelings and one of those feelings I felt is more alive and playful. It sparked some creativity and I started doing more things, not just more people. Dating seemed like a very good idea all of a sudden. I was less aware of myself, and the tired and beat-up tide started to recede. I was having fun.
A couple of people tugged at my heart. I wrote a song for one of them. Another I felt super close to, almost like I did when I had a boyfriend and we were good. It was just easy. These two….my favorites really….are both out of the picture now. Which is sad cuz that hella connection doesn’t come around every day. There were issues, and issues are sometimes more important than connections. I hate that it’s true, but it is.
I have one good man who is gentle and stands where I expect him to. His is 35, with two young boys, and is just trying to settle down after a confusing divorce. He is pleasant and smart and responsive. He’s in England with his children visiting family right now. He’s a man who will take a long time to get to know, but his kindness makes it worth it. He makes it easy to put one foot in front of the other, and easy to show up. He is no drama, and I am a drama mama – but given that I have grown weary of unnecessary drama, I am attracted to him because he makes drama unnecessary…he just shows up. Brilliant.
There are a few people I met from this last round that I have to be in contact with. Between surgery and crashing my car and kid issues, some people ended up circling and I do intend to get to that second date….the timing has just been off.
I also put myself out there a few days ago and was meant to have a meet up yesterday morning, but after a big chase that involved multiple texts from him gushing about his excitement waiting to meet me (No, Josh you can’t come to my office, I’m working, but I’ll see you tomorrow..) he cancelled at the last minute. Of course he did!!!! Stuff like that is just part of the game, and I was happier hanging at home anyway. But, gah. Another guy wants to know what I am doing this weekend and I cant even answer because I am staying home alone and cleaning my house. And I’m firm about that. No I DON’T want to meet for a drink.
Reflecting on the past couple of months, it’s hard not to think that perhaps I am reaching a point where all this dating doesn’t really appeal to me. I got things…….and I’m ready to do things and not people. People are just so HARD….
Originally I was hoping to find a few regular frisky, smart testosterone-laden companions for ongoing sweetness and hangouts…and I still think I will. But the appeal of just doing my own solitary thingie is starting to outweigh the need to escape loneliness….I am not really lonely anymore.
I am seventy percent on my way to being that woman I admired. The other thirty percent doesn’t know what the sh*t she’s doing, but I am getting somewhere. I can feel it. One day I will radiate all that I have learned from this rocky rollercoaster journey….if I can breathe through it all. Count to five and exhale out the parts I no longer need, and inhale what’s meant to be next…….it’s a pretty mighty wind, that’s for certain.