Okay. I’m about to do something I don’t normally do. I’m going to let y’all know that this essay is going to be about dating. I’m giving you the fair opportunity to run for the hills if you so desire!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Dating. We’re all familiar. Being 25, I’ve now done a bit of it. In the time since my long-term relationship, which began when I was just 20, I have begun dating in the “adult world.” I’m going to be completely honest, though…I don’t know how well I like what I’ve seen.
Over the past year I’ve casually dated a handful of guys. A few I went on just a couple of dates with, and a few I saw for a couple of months, respectively. They are quite a lineup…the pulseless wonder, “the stage 5 clinger,” the metro hipster, the Ego, the friend zone, the archetype…all great human beings deep down, despite the seemingly insensitive nicknames, but with behavioral tendencies that sent me running for the hills (they didn’t offer me the courteous disclaimer I offered you at the beginning of this piece…ha!). What was the problem with every single one of those potential unions? I can really only pin it to one thing. It starts with “c” and ends in “-ommunication.”
Communication didn’t get an invite to any one of those dates or potential relationships. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I ought to clarify: female worthy communication. Alright, that’s a generalization. Sigh. Let’s just say, with hindsight being 20/20, I know now that what seemed like decently communicative conversations were really nothing of the sort. At least not in my book. My inquisitive, sensitive, divinely feminine book.
At the risk of sounding incredibly Hi I’m 25 and all I care about is myself, I’m going to say that I don’t feel like I have time for the caliber of “dating” that I’ve experienced in the past twelve months! That’s not at all to say I’m too good for all those guys. They’re great men and they will find (or have already found) great women. What I’m saying is something totally off that topic. It hasn’t anything to do with their worth or mine. It’s bold, especially in my age and peer group.
I’m saying I’m not all that interested in dating.
Does that mean I see myself becoming a spinster cat lady, forever alone? Heck no techno. I love people. I love love. I fully intend to meet someone whose soul speaks the language of mine and pursue abundance together…someday. I just feel like I’m dancing on the edge of this beautiful, expansive desert with my skirts blowing in the wind and all I want to do is go frolicking down into the valley where I can gather up all the goodness and wonder the world has to offer. Find all the sweetness and moisture that even the exotic desert has to offer. I don’t have time to step away from the ledge for another hike or dinner date with someone who is not completely and utterly on my same page. I’m busy devouring the pages of my own book, writing chapter after chapter of my story with my breath, my practice, my explorations, my experiences.
Everywhere we go, everything we do and everything we think is creating our reality. Writing our story. Filling our pages. It’s the same for you as it is for me. Life is your epic, and liberty your calligraphy!
In terms of liberty, one might hear my spiel and conclude I’m dealing with a little bit of fear-based, anti-dating mumbo jumbo. Perrrrr-haps…
But the thing is I have been dating! I always listen to my mother and my mother says Date…learn to date…dating takes practice. Dating doesn’t mean a relationship it can mean friendship, it’s just two human beings getting to know one another… Makes perfect, crystal-ball-clear sense, right? So date I have. But I’m not diggin’ these fish, nor am I diggin’ the hours spent in the boat when I could be actively pursuing my life on land.
My life according to me, that is.
It seems I’m just not interested in making room for anyone right now. Which I’ll give myself. Fair enough. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s because I’m afraid, although I do acknowledge the shadow of fear, and I challenge it. Lots of my friends say I should do some pursuing. Oh that guy seems so great and so perfect for you! Call him. Guys just need us to tell them what we want, they don’t know on their own.
Umm, I’m calling BS.
First of all, some men do know what to do, all by their big boy selves. They do know that communication is important and, heck, polite! They don’t need harassing or stalking or careful manipulation.
I have pursued. While I’ve not stalked, nor have I harassed, I have carefully manipulated a relationship so as to be more available. Why did I do that? Because I knew I’d not see my partner, otherwise. He sure as heck wasn’t going to conveniently organize his day so that we could spend the evening together. That was my job. I’ve played that role, and I’m not interested in playing it again. Been there, done that, bought a t-shirt.
Now, I realize relationships take work. I’m not saying they should be all sunshine and roses. I think of it like a garden – or anything one plants and expects to grow, for that matter – it takes dedication, patience and daily maintenance to keep anything growing, thriving and, eventually, blooming. It’s just a fact of life. How does one expect one’s kale to grow without loving attention and water? Mother Nature even diligently douses her wildflowers with sunlight and rain. It’s an art. It’s a dance. Such love requires tending.
I am grateful for my dating past. I’m grateful for the dates to come too – because let’s face it, I’m never going to stop listening to my mother…so when the next interesting person asks me out, I’ll likely give it a go for tea despite my current attraction to dating abstinence…because who couldn’t use another friend 😉 No matter how mediocre, mind-boggling or absolutely scintillating the date(s), there’s so much to learn in every single one. So much to learn about human beings, personal interactions, social situations, I could go on and on (please don’t let my future boyfriend be reading this and concluding that I’m only looking for dates as science experiments to further my understanding of human interfacing…or let him, and maybe we can conduct the experiments together).
I’ve been working on this essay since this morning. It came to me out of nowhere. Sometimes I get inspired to write something when I’m just walking around the house and, instead of sitting down in the chair at my computer like any respectable person would do, I sink to my knees and type right from the floor. Eyes wide, fingers racing, breath stilled. That sort of happened this morning, but then I ended up in my chair. This piece has been written in three different spaces, now. It has been mulled over from my dining room floor, kitchen table, stove, yoga mat, car, massage table and shower. Now here I sit finishing it up.
Whilst on my yoga mat today, in the sweaty hot cool down section of the practice, I noticed the couple beside me holding hands during simple spinal twist. I’d seen them in the lobby of the studio when I was coming in, they’re new, and I mused over how their respective kinky curls were tied up in matching buns. How cute, I thought as I drifted past them, slipping off my pink sparkly Toms and sticking them in a cubby.
Flash forward 60 minutes and said couple is making me mouth awww as I lay, all alone, on my mat in simple spinal twist. Their arms are touching, hands interlaced, bodies close. I momentarily consider lovingly touching the foot of my friend on the mat next to me. I quickly think better of it, startling and tickling someone who is neither your boyfriend nor someone you want to be your boyfriend is a surefire way to disrupt the cool down period of yoga. Keep your hands on your own mat please, miss.
So what did this adorable, canoodling hippie couple bring into my consciousness this afternoon? Was it that I want an equally holistic, wellness-dedicated, yoga practicing partner to share my own life with? Yes. Totally. Was it that I want that right now? No. Not even. Was it that I need that? Yes. But not like I need food to survive. I want it like I want an organic mattress. It’s something I see in my future, but in the meantime I’m surviving just fine without it. In fact, I’m sleeping like a baby.
Image courtesy of the stunningly talented and spiritually electric Hannah Lapolla.