Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dating, Ugh!

It's 2 am, I'm laying in bed, thinking of course.  This time I'm actually quite exhausted and if I allowed my brain a few extra minutes to adjust to the dark I think I'd find myself ushering into dreams fairly quickly.  However, I forced my laptop open and had to jot down a few thoughts.  It's rare that I feel clarity in how to express my thoughts, so when that clarity comes I have to put it to paper... or keyboard... you know what I mean.

If you're like me, as you drift into sleep your thoughts run wild.  Anywhere from recapping the days events to a memory of making play dough sculptures when you were five.  So what was I thinking about tonight.... Honestly I was trying to count how many guys I have been on a date with.  And truth is, I couldn't even come close to figuring it out.  Every time I thought I'd have a good number nailed down another couple random dates would pop into my head and the list would continue.  I wasn't tallying how many individual dates I have gone on,  more of a count of each man (or some cases boy) I have been out with. Anywhere from years of dating to a one-and-only date. For some reason I have quite a lengthy list.  I'm going to try and save myself in this explanation before I give the guys I work with anymore grounds for making fun of me.  I don't like it.  I don't like that I have a list of dates.  I wish I didn't.  And I don't want to keep adding.

Let's break it down a little.  I've been through several phases in my 10 years of young adult dating. I've been on 'people pleaser' dates because I felt horrible saying "actually, I'm not interested.... at all!" I've been on 'I'm lonely as Hell' dates accepting an invitation because it beat sitting at home watching netflix and eating one too many scoops of peanut butter.  I've been on 'pathetic dates' where I'm the pathetic one, knowing his interest was as small as a pea, yet some how I finagled a date out of him. I spent the entire date feeling as insecure as one can possibly feel!  I've been on 'long distance dates', dating a guy that there was no hope in any sort of a realistic future because states separated us.  I've been on 'why the hell are we still dating after 2 years of misery' dates, needless to say those lasted way too long.  I've been on 'we have mutual friends on facebook' dates, I think that one's self explanitory.  And who hasn't been on a 'there's no attraction here whatsoever so why am I going on a date' date.

If I break down my dating pattern I'd say most of it boils down to loneliness and selfishness.  If I had gone on dates soley based on compatibility than I'd have been able to lay in my bed and count to 4 or 5 quite easily.

Dating had become confusing to me.  I wasn't sure what I was looking for, and I wasn't sure what was supposed to be different when I found it.  It was almost as if every date bled together, and became one massive ocean.  Nothing felt special.  And it wasn't even that I wasted physicality with guys, although that is a portion.  It's more that I wasted conversation.   I wasted time chasing after some interaction to fill a void inside of me. I wasted time trying to be something I'm not to someone I wanted approval from, or.... being something I was to someone I shouldn't.

These days I find myself in a place I haven't been in quite a while, if ever.  Contentment with taking life intentionally slow in this department.  Not that the door is shut on dating, quite the contrary, but in the past several months it's looked different to me.  I've found value in friendship, I've seen the result of spending time in getting to know someone before allowing myself to emotionally jump headfirst.  It's amazing how easily you can see red flags when you allow yourself time to watch for them.  And it's amazing how you can see green flags and build trust when you allow yourself time to see them.  It's been a beautiful thing to build solid friendships and allow them to evolve naturally into whatever category they should fit in.  Here's a metaphoric example.  My friend Joy is one of my best friends. The first time I met Joy I liked her.  We probably went to coffee or something to hang out and get to know each other. But I doubt I drove home from that hangout deciding whether or not she would be my best friend, and I doubt we felt the pressure to make plans within the next 3 days to meet up again. No, Joy and I just naturally evolved into best friends.  It started slow at first, hanging out every couple weeks, sharing more information with each other each time, picking up on each others humor a little more, until 4 months in I could successfully say, you know what I think you're one of my best friends. Why can't we look at dating the same way?  Is that possible?  I'm asking, so please feel free to comment if I haven't bored you to tears yet.

Ok that's all I got.  Late night ramblings with yours truly.

If you read this, and you have thoughts other than 'she's weird', then comment :)