It's scary to get back out there and start dating after a divorce. Especially since I've purposely avoided the inevitable for longer than I choose to admit. For one, I like being selfish right now. I like the freedom, the random dinner times, and sleeping with all the pillows in the world.
But, I guess being in my late 20s and really knowing who I am as an individual has its perks in the dating scene. I know I don't want anything remotely close to being serious, but I'm not in the mood to just kill time with someone I don't thoroughly enjoy being around.
I figure, if I'm going to do this, I want to do it whole heartedly.
But dating is so exhausting. It's awkward and somewhat embarrassing.
Exhibit A: The perfect Conversationalist
A and I talk. Like all the time. Our conversations range from easy breeze stuff like work and school and cool no name bands to deep, dark shit like past lives and our greatest relationship memories. We laugh and veg out to Drunk History. He's tall, handsome, and put together. Job he loves, awesome house, and is a fellow Audi lover. Strangers comment on how well we look together (which I still find interesting because we are total opposites. I'm a super square prudie tudie to his rockabilly greaser look). Sure, we're attracted to each other but with A it's more like a flirtationship. All we ever do is flirt. The spark, however, is non-existent. I realized this about 45 mins into our first official date. But it was way more awkward when he realized it for himself at the end of the night... We're still friends in spite of the wonky first date (which was about 2 months after we started hanging out). He's like the hot best friend who safely puts you to bed after a gnarly night out with the girls... And then wakes you up with an egg white omelet, peanut butter toast, and a mean cup of coffee. Close, but no cigar.
Exhibit B: The whirlwind Love Affair that will destroy everything
B and I hit it off in a way I never saw coming. He is sarcastic, adorable, and totally wrong for me. B and I have already come to terms that we just should not exclusively date. Here's why: It started off with innocent intentions on both our parts. Isn't it funny- they always do. He's tall, handsome, and a musician. Job he loves, adorable house, and is a musician. Did I mention I'm a total sucker for musicians? We can spend hours upon hours together without realizing it. Next thing I know, is 4am- three days later... and when Monday morning comes around it mutually sucks to part ways for the week. The passion between the two of us is undeniable. But, with all that spark... shit hits the fan in the most dramatic way. Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the fact that we are not really in a relationship and started to expect things of each other as though we were. I'm not one for dramatic outbursts of emotional chaos. Which is all we are when we are together. It's either mad passionate puppy love or total psychotic screaming matches. No middle ground. Ever. The heated arguments over absolutely nothing outweighs the sweet moments we have.
Exhibit C: The (other) One.
Where to even start with C? He's THE ONE I could totally see myself with. He's a little broken, likes his booze and handles it with class, and is what I consider the epitome of a man's man. He's unbelievably gorgeous- it hurts to look at him. He takes his health very seriously which I find super attractive. Cooking for him makes my heart sing. He's chill and is the perfect amount of available to me that I need in my life right now. Not remotely clingy, but attentive and eager to please (gosh that sounds disgusting...) We should NOT be this comfortable with each other so soon. It almost feels like we knew each other in a past life. I think about C all the time and I know that even though I don't talk to him for weeks on end, when I do make contact- he picks up right where we left off. No questions or guilt trips. Which I appreciate so very much. As far as what we have in common, well- not much to be honest. He possess a hell of a lot of qualities that I recognize in my closest friends, which I actually love. But he is also different enough to not bore me. I enjoy talking to him about his history and life goals.
So here's the kicker:
I'm still hung up on the idea of the "perfect" relationship... I think there should be a good amount of push and pull. I need a strong person to run with. I want someone who can recognize when I just need a damn hug and is the kind of person who knows that I'm ok with not needing to be fixed, despite how broken I may actually be. These cracks, boy do they run deep and I'm proud of how it has molded me into the kind of person I am today. I appreciate all the hardships that I've had to endure, big and small, silly and trivial as many of them can be. But it makes all the sweet moments so much sweeter because I know that sometimes the sweet stuff doesn't last as long as we all want them to.
I've decided that in order for me to be the best version of myself, I must first be comfortable with not being everyone's cup of tea. I'm sure we all have some kind of experience that has forced us to cope with that very idea- when we try to please everyone, we end up hurting ourselves. It's tough to be everyone's cup of tea without losing your own identity. We all have to compromise a little piece of ourselves to accommodate our partner and that is garbage in my eyes.
Red flag numero uno! CrisM should not be in a relationship if I can't accept the fact that compromises can be a good thing.
The way I love is vastly different than the way he loves. Perhaps none of us know how to love at all and that's red flag numero dos. Who is to say that there is a right and wrong way to love? There should be a mutual ground that both parties appreciate unique ways of loving one another. But if one person thinks that doing dishes is equal to saying "thank you" and the other person believes holding hands in the grocery store is equal to making the bed in the morning, well shit- we're just comparing apples to oranges.
And I think the biggest issue for me regarding exclusivity is the fact that it is so damn unnatural. I can favor one person over the other on any given day. Because I am human, I am fluid, and I move with the moods, the tides, the fucken moon for crying out loud. Red flag numero tres! People say when you find "the one" all the things you desire, admire, and appreciate are wrapped up in one body. The things that used to irritate you are now cute little peculiarities that you don't find yourself upset over. The "compromise" is simple and therefor a non-issue. So for me, the bullshit pros and cons list is like a relationship death sentence. Love should be simple, love should be kind. It should be natural as you and I breathe. My heart should flutter and my anxiety should be quelled. I should be able to enhance my partner's life, big and small. I should be able to understand when he needs his own space, I shouldn't have the incessant desire to "fix" him either.