Dating

As of March 1st, 2014 at about 2am, I am a single woman. (I remember times and dates like no one else).

Two and a half years of my life were spent with the same person and then suddenly it was gone and I had to figure out a way to be myself again.

This post isn’t about him. Or the other young men I’ve been in relationships with. This is about my confusion with dating.

But of course, a little backstory doesn’t hurt.

I started dating when I was in the seventh grade. I had always been pretty boy crazy. I liked the idea of being in love with someone. Of course a seventh grader doesn’t really know how to love someone, and my first serious boyfriend didn’t come till I was fifteen. I wouldn’t actually be single again for five years.

I’ve had three big defining relationships in my life. The first when I was fifteen. The second when I was seventeen. The Third when I was eighteen going on nineteen.

The first was passionate, but short-lived. We lasted 8 months. But those eight months were a roller coaster ride of infatuation, desire, and drama.

The second was one-sided. I loved him and he used me. We lasted a little under two years. We lived together when I was eighteen and I worked full time and paid for everything. He promised we’d go to college together, and when the time came, he backed out. So I stopped being a doormat and got the hell out of there.

The third is the most difficult and bittersweet, perhaps because it’s the most recent one, or maybe because we filled our heads with ideas of marriage, family, and future endeavors together. We met freshman year of college and within two months we were an item. Now, here I am about to begin my senior year and I’ve never wanted to be single more.

I may elaborate on past relationships at a later time.

“I would rather be alone than pretend I feel alright.” -Ready to start by Arcade Fire

I feel like that’s me right now. I’m still not completely alright. It still hurts some days. But I know in my heart that I’m done. I’m “ready to start”. I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life. Being single and finding happiness within myself. I haven’t been single for more than five months since I was fifteen. It’s about time I get real. I need to be happy with myself before I’m happy with anyone else.

But dating…

Dating sounds fun. Having someone to casually see here and there. Someone that you don’t need but want around every once in a while. I just don’t really know where the line is. I don’t know how to date. Like I said… being single is very new to me.

Someone suggested Okcupid. I was on it all but one month and then asked myself “What am I doing?”

I’m not an online dater. That’s just not me. I like the idea of meeting a cute stranger on the train, or on a walk, or at a bar. That’s just who I am.

Okcupid, Stop trying to make dating happen. It’s not going to happen.

At least not your way.

After my break up I rushed into dating quickly to lick my wounds. Didn’t work. The first guy I dated, Ben, was a pretty great distraction. He was punny (puns always get to me), handsome, and didn’t mind paying for things. He liked that most of the time I had the decency to pay for myself, though. I don’t believe in the woman just not paying ever. We spent most days talking, laughing, watching movies, and moving way too quickly. I met his friends, went out with them on weekends, we told each other that there were feelings there. At one point he even asked that I don’t see anyone else. After about a month things fizzled out because neither of us were ready for anything more, and it seemed to be headed in that direction. Plus, I was nowhere near over my ex.

The most important thing about Ben, though, is that he’s a grad student at a psych school, so he was there to help me on some nights that I couldn’t handle my depression. He’s the one that pushed me to go to therapy and see a psychiatrist about medication. I’ll always be grateful to him for that. We are still friends, and speak every once in a while, but if things kept going the way they were, we might have gotten into a relationship and ended badly.

No thank you.

After Ben I tried just hooking up with people. I thought to myself, “Is that what single people do?” But I still wasn’t ready. And I still don’t think I am. It’s just not me. I always feel the need to genuinely care about someone I’m seeing in any form of the word. So I gave up on that as well. It has now been about two months since then, and I think now, if anything, I’m ready to try casual dating again. I’m not going to push for it, I’m just going to let it happen.

Sometimes being alone makes me feel lonely. But I find solace in the fact that I’m choosing to be single. I’m not a desperate teenager latching onto the first guy that shows interest in me. Overlooking all the flaws between us and in the relationship just to try to keep it afloat. I’m going to be picky now. I’m not settling in any way.

One of the last things my ex said to me was this:

“You’re just not the one. You’re an amazing woman, but not for me. I just know there is someone out there for you, and I hope you don’t close your heart and pass him up because of me. Open up your heart.”

Nice words, but they burned. I remember for a long time I just kept saying it in my head.

Not the one.

Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one.

It was only when I decided he also wasn’t the one for me that I was free. I am choosing to close that door. I’m choosing to accept someone else’s presence in my life. Maybe not a one night stand, or a friend with benefits. Definitely not a boyfriend. But someone in between. Someone who I enjoy spending time with. Someone who cares and actually likes me, but knows where we stand.

There may actually be someone that fits that description in my life right now. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Sometimes I wish I could be Khaleesi. Being a cat sounds a lot easier than being a twenty-one year old single chick.

-Jess

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2 comments

  1. […] Ben was my mini rebound after Joseph who ended up becoming a good friend of mine and a constant help before I started therapy. As I mentioned before he was the one who convinced me to take the leap and meet with a therapist. I will forever be grateful to him. Sometimes we do spend the night together, but it’s pretty rare nowadays because knowing each other these past few months made us realize we could never date each other. We’re just too different. […]

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