Ugh … On Dating

I’m just warning you … you don’t want to read this one. Also you. Also you. Honestly … if you’ve had a romantic thought about me ever, just don’t read this one.

I don’t know where to start. Sex? Sex is a thing we do. With the right amount of communication and comfort, its a pretty fantastic thing. Definitely up there with reading a good book, cooking and eating a fantastic meal, playing a good game, spending time with friends.

Except its not. There’s no analogy. Someone once said to me, post-coital, that that moment, right after its all done, after the fireworks, when you’re just there, literally and figuratively naked, just two people alone together in this moment of euphoria … there’s no more vulnerable and beautiful moment in life. And you’re sharing it with another human being. And who knows … maybe you’ll never see them again. Or maybe you’ll be with them until the day you die. Who knows? But when you do it right, the reward isn’t the completion of the biology. Its exactly that moment, entwined, vulnerable but trusting. Sharing a rare profundity with another human being, even if your minds and hearts are worlds apart. Endorphins and hormones racing through your body, like you just ran a marathon, and all you want now is a contemplative moment of achievement. It’s a weird sense of solidarity while coupled; an intimacy of being both alone and together.

And then you walk around naked, taking care of mundane things as if your nakedness doesn’t matter. Because in reality, it doesn’t. You’ve borne it all at this point, so who cares if your hairy ass is visible while you walk to the bathroom to clean up? Who cares if they see your weird mole, your awful birthmark, your hairy nipples? That deal has already been struck and concluded, and for just those fleeting moments, there is no judgment allowed. It is oddly a sense of peace.

I talked to Julien about it tonight. My thing was serial monogamy. From 15 to 30, I dated 2 women. So I’m not good at trying to date. Kinda sorta terrible about it. Awkward. Poorly placed first kisses, and bad reading of situations. Constant weirdness. I’m new to all of this.

There are so many pitfalls. Some of my own creation, and some where I try to swing over the vine and land on the alligator and he eats me anyway.

Pitfall. It was an Atari game.

The effective of my divorce, as I told Julien, was threefold: I’m not interesting, I’m not attractive, and I’m not someone anyone wants to stick around with. Two years later, I’m over those things. I’m a happy, proactive, successful (defined by job happiness), passionate about my things (cooking, brewing, Kir), and so loving of the wonderful people I have been lucky enough to meet, and to call my family. Plus my real family. They’re pretty amazing too. I love and I feel loved. I’m so fine being just me, alone or not.

Which is, I guess, why I figured it was time to try dating. Cause I was finally at a place where I had something to offer to others.

The first failing was trying to find a One. So many “meh” dates, so many disappointments. You don’t like me. I don’t like you. Not in that way, anyway. But when you’re looking for Love, you take it so personally.

So then, after so many failings, you take a different tack: let’s just meet, and see if we like each other. Let’s have fun. Let’s enjoy being two cool people who like each other’s personalities and like each other’s bodies. Sex is a thing we do freely, and with much smiling and gasping and general enjoyment. I like you: let’s fuck, cause who cares? And we like it.

I won’t name him, because he wouldn’t appreciate it, but I got a gchat message last night from one of my friends. He is legitimately afraid he’s going to end up alone. He’s a serial dater, and he finally found a woman he liked. She didn’t feel the same. So she left, and he went out on more “meh” dates. And none of them were as good as her.

But she was gone. She’s not an option. What we want is not what we get to keep.

It’s so treacherous. Unless it works right, you go on a date, and someone likes someone else. But maybe they don’t like you. Or maybe they like you but they can’t say so, and its the only thing you need to hear to make it work. Or maybe they feel strongly about how you could be the one to fix their life. Or maybe they care, but they’re just so broken from other shit that they have no way to tell you that. Or maybe they just want to fuck, and don’t care at all about your feelings. Or maybe they’re just so scared. Or lonely. Or broken, like we all are, but they don’t think you’ll understand that. Or maybe all of these things are simply projections of my own fears; failed predictions and self-sabotage.

Or maybe, they’re perfect.

Its a long con. How do you hide enough of your terrible flaws to make someone like you, while simultaneously waiting for them to reveal enough about themself to make you trust their intentions?

I truly believe the people still actively dating are looking for someone to Love, someone to be their person.

But we’re all so broken at this point. In ways that matter profoundly and simultaneously in insignificant ways.

There’s no resolution to this one. Dating is a complicated part of being an adult. I just wish we all had more compassion about how tough it is to be busted by life and still hopeful.

I hope I never give that up.


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