I haven’t written in a few days. Been thinking of moving over to a different, more serious platform, and losing the Datergurl moniker.  When I started this, it was meant to be light-hearted and fun.

I assumed I would skip through a couple of years of fabulous dating, have a few laughs and then meet someone wonderful and retreat into everyday life.

That still may be how it all plays out, but I did not anticipate all the hand-wringing and losing my mind and putting myself back together. I didn’t know that dating would mess with my equilibrium quite the way it has.

It is both a salvation and a curse. The salvation is that you can flirt and dream and keep your mojo going if you keep a toe in the water. It’s a way to stay connected with our inner need to…well, connect. It’s a keep hope alive kind of thing.

The curse is that sometimes when you’re dangling your toe in the water, you fall in the lake and get soaked. It’s fine if the swimming’s good. Fun even.

But then you gotta make your way to shore alone because the boat that brought you forgot to reel you in to safety. That boat left you in the middle a big lake – or even a huge ocean….the ocean of hopes and dreams and love and connection. Sometime life just isn’t going to throw you a rope. So swim, dammit!

I signed up for the more serious platform and can’t think of a thing to write about.

I’m used to the safety of this place. This place where I bang around in my head like someone’s listening who actually cares. I have a history here.

The history is….you can count on me to rally. I’ll always keep going. I’ll whine for a few minutes then start the pep talk.

Some people out there are really having a hard time. I know because I read their blogs. This one poor woman, and she seems rather funny and upbeat, well she got involved in a relationship and thought it was going to be a big thing and it almost was but now it’s starting to look like maybe not and she is just crushed. She has no perspective anymore and she isn’t funny. She’s just crushed.

There are a lot of different ways to approach this thing where you are single but you want to connect. One way is to forget the whole thing. Do other things. Just stay away.

That way you’ll either meet someone organically some day, or you won’t, but you certainly won’t waste your time forcing the issue.

That sounds good, but it’s very hard to put a lid on so much desire. I can do it for brief amounts of time but I suspect it’s slightly unhealthy not to be coupled up or at least courting in some way for long periods of time. Not as unhealthy as the wrong relationship, but given the way we live in little pink houses, going it alone for too long can be a little no bueno. You gotta be able to dream a bit.

Unless you’re my friend Hilary who has more energy, sparkle, friends and interests than any human I know. But most people don’t have that much. I know that I certainly don’t. I can do it in bursts but then I get too tired to sparkle.

That’s when I wish I had a built-in friend that I didn’t have to work so hard for.  Netflix and chill or just make dinner. Maybe read the paper in silence.

People who are single for many years have great lives.  They do more things and if they are lucky, have more friends….they certainly have a kind of freedom that is enviable.

I don’t have to envy it, because I’ve been single for a few years now and I can pretty much do what I want when I want. I do love that, and I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever be able to part with. I probably need my freedom more than I need a relationship. That isn’t lost on me.

I’ve mentioned that I think I could manage with a Frankie and Grace best friend, but even those two had their dabblings. Not sure one can avoid love altogether, but I’d be much less interested if I had a Grace.

What happens with friends with me is that we do talk or see each other, but it comes in fits and starts, and frequently weeks or even months will go by without a word from either of us. And that’s my good friends. New friends take me forever….when I’ve rushed in in the past I’ve felt like I’m wearing clothes that are too bright and loud, and the wrong size to boot. I gotta go slow.

So sometimes on that Saturday night, I’m just banging around full of lonely. And maybe too tired to go out or be in the world. I want the world to come to me. That’s when I’m a sad puppy who either drinks a bit more than I should or gets on Tinder (or both!) – that’s about the worst I do.  Sometimes I’m really good and I write or get involved in learning a tune…but not all the time.

I don’t always have the energy to be single.

Because if you do single right, you need to be active, doing things and connected to people.

One way or another, we all need people.

When other people are too sad, I want to shake them and say, go do something! But when I’m sad, I want something or someone to swoop in and comfort me. I want to be saved from all this banging around.

I can’t decide anymore what it is I want out of dating. I can’t even decide if I’m doing it or not.

I said I wasn’t going to at all but then I accidentally did, and I accidentally ended up wanting to see someone again that I’m not going to see, and I got all wonky and off-balance and then to balance myself out I got on Tinder and now today I have a date with another person who I’m thinking I’m really going to like, and that’s it.

I’m already preparing myself for having to keep it strictly in the friend zone, because he already has decided he likes me enough to call me sweet thang in one of his too many texts and that is something that makes me intensely uncomfortable when I haven’t even met someone.

Also, for me to say someone has sent me too many texts is pretty funny.

I can dish it out, but I can’t take it.

Just, STOP already.

I think dating is extra weird because of texting, and all the ways we can inadvertently scramble even the most promising of meet-ups. This guy is letting his dating anxiety get the best of him. I’m compassionate because boy do I understand that. But by last night when he’d sent me yet another video I had to go silent. I mean, we’ve got plans for today, save something.

But I am compassionate because I know that everyone who is single and wants to connect is struggling.

We’re either struggling to be fine on our own, struggling to infuse our friendships with deeper meaning, struggling to keep the hope of love alive, or struggling to bury that hope because it just seems too impossible, or maybe even not worth it in the end.

I’m about to go and listen to my fellow music students in an open recital at the Freight.

Marc will be there because I introduced him to Manning music, and now he takes Mandolin on Gilman. It’s a true community, with constant opportunities to jam or listen or meet up with other folks. Last night’s square dance was one of my favorite Manning spin-offs. Twice a month, bring two bucks for bad beer and get ready to pee your pants laughing. Plus there’s guys in kilts. Love that.

Anyway, I asked Marc if he wanted a ride and turns out that he’s been hanging out with a woman he met at Manning and she’s driving him!

I felt very, very happy for him, with only the tiniest twinge of sadness for myself.

The sadness comes from realizing that I had such a nice man zeroed in on me, and that is gone. It’s the way it should be, but still…sniff. He and I are friends, and I caused him pain, so mostly I’m just happy for him.

Anyway, I’m off. I don’t want to be a datergurl and I don’t want to be stuck in the wrong relationship, and I don’t want to feel the things I feel sometimes.

I’m trying to maintain the courage to fill every day with anything decent that I can come up with.

To that struggling woman who’s blog I read….you have no choice but to do something you enjoy doing today. Even if it isn’t the top thing you want to be doing right now. You can live in sad land or you can get up and grab all that you can.

I say, give it a good quick cry and then do something. Then come back and tell us about it so we can all nod and laugh. That’s really all you can do.