“So, I met this super cute guy on a dinner party the other day and we hit it off from the start. I’m going out with him tomorrow and I kinda have a crush!”
– That was me last week.
“He is an asshole, forget that I ever mentioned him, I feel so alone in this new city and how will I ever manage to meet the right guy, he seemed so promising, AAAAAH!”
– That was me yesterday.
So, what triggered those sudden changes of mind and heart? Reality did!
Disney movies, friendship necklaces in high school, mushy songs about relationships, they all hammer one eternal need into our minds: We need the one-on-one. There is someone out there who is the salt to our pepper, the John to our Paul, the Noah to our Allie (sigh now for Ryan Gosling!). And mostly, we are aware that finding this special someone will take up lots of time, hurdles, effort and (probably) a few heart breaks. It seems like there is no easy way to leading us to the One, no way to go about it without compromising something. The height. This one pet peeve in your partner you thought you could never live with. The list goes on and there is one other problem: How do you know that your current date or crush is The One?! Exactly, you can’t.
Last week I went on two dates with the same guy and they both were great. Having drinks in a bar in the trendy Mission District of San Francisco. Hiking up Twin Peaks to enjoy the view over the city at night only to throw ourselves into the hustle and bustle of the Castro Crowd afterwards. Lots of kissing and flirting and long, great talks. My crush grew by the minute.
After 4 margaritas (they were 2 for 1), we walked back to the MUNI station and got into the long good-bye kiss. Then he planted the bomb: “I feel like I should be honest with you: I am seeing someone else besides you. But I really like you. But I’m not looking for a relationship at the moment, I think.” I said good-bye as gracefully as I could and cried my way home (the margaritas were reaaally gettin to my head…) only to be pittying myself all of next day (thank awesome friends for helping me through this part). I felt so stupid thinking that after only a few days in San Francisco, I could be lucky enough to find this great guy, enjoy myself so much and not have a single catch to it. And I felt resented only thinking about the fact that he was dating another person, like…does he not realize that I am awesome enough to be enough?! Well, the truth is, he probably really doesn’t. And maybe, just maybe, that’s because we have only been on TWO dates. Having spent most of my dating life on a college campus, I am completely new to the real dates and the real talks about exclusivity and labels and going steady and I hate it already, it’s so confusing. But even I know that two dates is not nearly enough to ask someone to close themselves down to all other options. I was not a happy camper after hearing him say all that he said… because it burst my bubble! The bubble that safely held the idea of having him be the person that cares for me like no one else, who will always be there for me and I will always be there for him and oooh, can anyone else hear wedding bells in the background? We fault our partners for not being on the same page, but in my case, I needed this burst of phantasy because here is the reality: Neither of us knows the other one well enough to picture anything going anywhere at this point. And while I am generally ready for a relationship again, who knows if O. is the guy I want to have a relationship with? Him dating others will allow me to do the same, explore my options, go out and mingle without putting pressure on anything until I know for sure what I want.
Of course, there is always the risk that I am wrong. That there is this guy somewhere, to whom I am not one of several dates, who is on my level from the start, whom I don’t have to wait around for because he would never leave me hanging. Yeah, maybe I am wasting my time with O., maybe it’s really stupid to think that dating without labels isn’t setting me up for heart break. I guess I have to remind myself of my own previous blog post of advice on how to listen to myself. Being both attentive to yourself and realistic is really tough. No matter how this ends though, it’s good to have a reality check every now and then, to prevent yourself from setting sail to cloud nine only to find yourself on rock bottom.
“I like you and I really like spending time with you but we’ve only been on two dates and I feel like it would be sort of crazy to decide to be exclusive or to try and predict where this is going (or not going). I wanna get to know you better and see how things flow before I’m making my mind up on you. So, at this point I am far from asking you to stop seeing other people or getting yourself into something you might not be ready for…mainly because I myself have no idea what I’m ready for either. In case I notice that we are headed into different directions entirely, I’ll make sure to speak up but how about we cross that bridge if ever we come to it?”
– That’s me today. Let’s see which disasters this is gonna get me into….