I don’t rant very often. I make an intentional effort to not do my ranting on social media because I’ve seen personally how things posted in the heat of the moment can impact your future. Lately I’ve been doing some reminiscing. I wrote yesterday about the month of May and how it always makes me think. I’ve gone on some great trips and have some good staycations in the month of May. But that’s not what my post is about. I decided to once again try my hand at online dating because if I end up old and alone and I want to at least know that I tried. I’m hoping that it will be some small consolation to me in some way. Now that I’m a little more seasoned in the game (because it is a game), I can say that my optimism is still present but skepticism still reigns supreme. It’s literally the equivalent of going through a landfill in hopes of finding something (or someone) that you can dust off, take home, and live with. With this method you’re guaranteed to find some duds or shiny tokens that look like the real thing but aren’t. It’s annoying, frustrating, and hopeless at times. I’ve posted some of my dating stories and while they are hilarious, they all actually happened. I have to say that the most frustrating thing is getting ghosted. For those who aren’t aware of the concept, it means that someone just decides to stop returning messages and calls for no apparent reason and moves on with their life without you and without warning. You meet someone and realize that you have a lot in common with them. You make plans to meet up and then they completely flake without any explanation. This current dating culture absolutely sucks. There’s really no other way to categorize it. Funny how everyone wants to be different than the last person you met but without any knowledge of what the last person did, they do the EXACT same thing. Communication is a lost art. Ugh.
I think that everyone has a standard in their head of what they deserve in a significant other. This standard is based on their own self-worth and insecurities. Like a lot of people, I have a list that identifies the characteristics that I’d like in a significant other. I think of it as a guideline and not an absolute because it’s important to be somewhat flexible as long as you aren’t compromising core values. My list is the equivalent to a high end car like a Maserati. Not too long ago I “met” the Maserati. He was educated (check), easy on the eyes (check), intelligent (check), and really chill (check). I felt like I was in a museum surveying a brand new piece of art or a top of the line Maserati. I admired and appreciated the many perks and accessories. It was just like I had imagined it would be–but a lot better. But by the same token I knew that I couldn’t take the car or the piece of art home. It was just a reminder that what I wanted really existed. That my imagination actually had some basis in reality. And even though it wasn’t meant for me to keep, it was still refreshing to interact with him and have some great conversation.
Today in lieu of being at work (which typically is the case on weekends), I had the chance to watch several episodes of Fix My Life on OWN. I was intrigued by the work that Iyanla does with couples. On a particular episode she addressed a couple who had been married 20 years but weren’t sure if they wanted to stay married. Iyanla brought up the point that wedding vows typically say “until death do us part” but they aren’t specific on what type of death warrants parting ways. Is it a physical death? The death of one’s commitment? Or is it the death of one’s individuality or emotional stability and wellbeing? What exactly does it mean? I think that these questions are up to each couple to define. However, I wonder how many couples actually have this type of conversation? It’s easy to promise something when you’re happy and naive but it’s a different story when you’re in the midst of a relational crisis. This is another reason why I think pre-marital counseling can be so important. It can bring up questions that you hadn’t considered before and help you lay a solid foundation for a successful relationship.
Earlier this week I had the chance to chat with a friend (I’m using this term loosely) that I catch up with about once a year. We usually meet up in person but schedules wouldn’t allow it so we had to settle for a video chat. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and there were SO many things left unsaid that the conversation just felt heavy? It was like that. I was cool and kept it as surface and general as possible without getting into anything too personal. Annual conversations aren’t the best outlet to bare your soul. But as I talked to him I remembered the memories we’ve had over the years. I remember a moment when we were hanging out and I felt both incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time. It was a bittersweet moment in exponential proportions. It’s interesting how conversations with someone can bring back so many memories. I realized that I haven’t met anyone lately who even remotely compares to him education wise and also in ambition. While it’s not a bad thing, it does make dating just a little bit harder. The point is that there are some people in your life who you love but you really should only speak to once a year.
Relationships can be tricky things. There isn’t a “one size fits all” formula that will work everyone. People want someone who will complement them because opposites tend to attract and it’s hard to have a good discussion when someone agrees with you ALL the time. But sometimes a relationship can develop into something like a hostage situation. You’ve seen it. There’s the couple who are always fighting and are constantly breaking up and getting back together again. One partner is always trying to distance themselves but they can’t stay away. The other person knows exactly what buttons to push and what to say in order to have the other partner cave in and stay with them as an emotional hostage. It’s a cycle of dysfunction that has become comfortable. While some people can end a relationship and remain friends, the best way to end an emotional hostage type of relationship is to stop having any contact with the person. Change your number, find a new hobby, move somewhere else, etc. It can absolutely be done but it takes effort, determination, and action to move on with your life and leave the dysfunction behind.
I’m not quite sure why I’m sharing this story but I learned a lot so here goes. At the beginning of the year (mid-January) I got dumped. I’ll have to tell that story one day. After I got dumped I decided that I needed to actually start dating for the first time in my life. A great idea in theory. So I signed up for some online dating sites and the games began. Literally. In my search I met a guy who it appeared I was pretty compatible with. On paper he had a lot of things that I would want in a potential mate. Grew up in a stable two parent home, masters degree, decent job, active in the community, etc. He was also nice-looking and could dress (added bonus). I don’t know why, but I just felt drawn to him. We had similar values and interests and lived within a reasonable distance of each other. We had some conversations and found out that we had a lot in common. Being the communicative person that I am, I made it clear from the beginning what I wanted out of a relationship that was absolutely non-negotiable. Time and attention. We texted every day but whenever the conversation meandered to spending some actual time together (i.e. a date) he would dodge and tell me about how busy he was. It got annoying and then it felt like I was nagging and I didn’t want to be that person. So I stopped and he never initiated anything. I waited a few weeks and then told him that it appeared we both wanted different things and that I was taking a step back. He never bothered to reply. The sad thing was that I think we had great potential. But I can’t make anyone decide to spend time with me and I want it to be entirely their decision. I don’t know what it was but I felt inexplicably drawn to him and wanted to be one of the things in his life that brought him happiness. He was intriguing and complex and was unlike anyone I’d ever known. I would have loved to get to know him better but he never gave me that chance. I had to make the hard decision to cut my losses and walk away because I wasn’t getting what I needed and he flat out refused to even schedule any time with me. Wish there had been a different outcome.
PixabayTo the girl who won’t move on, because she’s afraid that there would be no one else, I beg of you, let go. Stop chasing after a boy who just can’t see your worth. He may have said all these beautiful things to you and maybe, at some point, there was little truth in what…
Absolutely loved this article. Very timely words and they are very true. I think that sometimes it can be so hard to put yourself first because you would rather be with someone than alone. But sometimes you have to respect the choices of others and move on–no matter how hard it is.