I took a long break, but I think I'm interested in dating again. Only, I'm not really interested in dating itself. I have a renewed interest in just going about my life merrily and bam! meeting the love of my life in some wonderful happenstance. Since that's happened all of never times in my life I recognize how completely unrealistic such an idea is.
I recently met an amazing couple who have been married for several years. I enjoyed speaking to both of them very much. I asked how they met, and they told me they met via internet dating, and while it wasn't love at first sight, it was like at first sight. I hate internet dating. I did it years ago and it was a complete failure. I don't think there's any way to figure out via internet whether this person is someone you would like in real life. I met a guy who liked baseball and the same TV shows as me and being in the same room with him was painful. I met another guy who was in med school and was really nice and yet there was nothing about him that made me want to ask a follow-up question.
After speaking with this wonderful couple I met, I went onto the internet service they used and put up a profile. A picture, some basic facts. I got one note from a potential suitor and when I read it, my mind immediately fast-forwarded to the boring and disappointing personal interaction we were destined to have. It started just like all the others. I know this place. I've been here before. I didn't respond and instead immediately cancelled my account without responding. I just can't do it again. I have dating PTDD. post-traumatic dating disappointment.
A friend encouraged me to 'just get out there' and meet people. I do tend to be a homebody, so going out more than once a week is remarkable for me. But as my friend said, "This is a numbers game" and he's right. I've tried that approach before though, just dating anyone who asked or who was willing, and that's how I ended up going on a string of completely unsuccessful and unrewarding dates arranged via internet. The problem as I see it, is that there is no built-in social network to meet new interesting people at my age. Maybe years ago, this social network was "The Bar" but come on now, that's for young'uns. see also, I'm kind of a homebody, id. I've met many friends of my own friends, and they are all coupled up already. I long for the days of dating excitement, when going to the movies in groups was the height of the dating & social scene. In youth there are endless opportunities. The territory is uncharted - the trails of hand-holding and kissing and lengthy making out with all your clothes on were trails yet to blazed. I'm in my early 30s - those trails done been blazed already. Now it's like walking a worn path through the grass - go out, make small talk, perhaps disinterestedly permit kissing to occur, then go home and wish I had spent the night in my pjs watching Inspector Gadget episodes on Netflix Instant Play [this is truth - check it out!] OR - go out, get a little tipsy, make out with either 1. random guy at the bar or 2. guy you are friends with and are only making out with because y'all are drunk and in the same place and no one else is available. In either situation it turns into dodging the inevitable persistent guy attempts to get you to home, either his or yours, and trying to duck all that pawing and unwanted approach towards ahem, the final frontier, and then you just wish you had stayed home in your pjs watching Fraggle Rock on Netflix [also true]. Sigh.
It's all so tiring.
I long for that interest in someone - an interest that garnered excitement at seeing them or talking to them again. I think the excitement departed somewhere back there along with the hope. I rarely meet or start speaking to a guy and think, 'Now this is someone I want to talk to again' - or even better, 'I would really like him to just kiss me once, right now, and then go back to talking about all these wonderful things we have to talk about.' I rarely meet guys, period, without concurrently meeting their female companions. I wonder where all that excitement went. Is it that our social patterns have developed in a way that have left us devoid of anything interesting to talk about? Are we too worn down by work or general life responsibilities to have that inner shining light that attracts people to us? I don't feel that inner light anymore. I do think that's really what the whole "you can't love someone else until you love yourself" thing is getting at - if you are happy and interesting, then that will attract happy and interesting people. But um, we're all pretty boring, aren't we? This is the first thing I'm trying to work on - remember what I loved about life before the job became my life. To crib from Fever Pitch, I may love the job but has the job ever loved me back? I need something other than just being a public defender to make me a whole and happy person. I'm still working on figuring out what that might be. Most of my free time is spent doing solitary activities - watching shows on Netflix, cooking, reluctantly getting to the gym occasionally. I can't really think of a way that I would enjoy translating those things into social activities on a regular basis. But anyway, I think the key to future relationship happiness might be to stop being so lost. I've tried that for about a decade and it hasn't worked out but I'll keep working on it.
I did once have the perfect date. Only it wasn't a date. I had a boyfriend and he was a womanizer. That evening is worth its own post, but I look back fondly on that event often and think, "That's how it's supposed to happen." I saw him once about a year after that, in a group setting, and I was hoping he'd come up to me and recall that night, or want to pick up where that left off. Not only did we not acknowledge each other, but I don't even think he remembered me, and I think he may have had a girlfriend there. So tragic. In the most appropriate words of Dire Straits, when you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong?
So I'm trying to find that hope inside to extend. For now, just hope that there will be a date that is fun and interesting. And maybe there's something even better than that out there, eventually.