I am done suffering. I have sufficiently grieved my last relationship, suffered through a premature attempt at being friends, and I am now done with that chapter of my romantic life. I want to mingle with people…perhaps go on a casual date or two.
I’m still not ready- or at least I think I’m not ready- to be in a serious relationship, but that’s irrelevant now anyway. I’m not in a position where getting serious with someone is even an option.
So…dating. I haven’t dated in over two years, and I forgot how terrible it is. I’ve only just grazed my toes over the dating pool and I’m already not enjoying it. I haven’t even waded in to my ankles yet!
The toe-grazing began a few weeks ago.
I was feeling quite depressed one day and thinking about how hopeless my romantic life was, when a guy from my previous campaign job randomly reached out to me. Initially I thought he was trying to network because he was asking me what I was up to professionally…but then he invited me to visit him in the city, and that’s when the alarms started going off.
Why does he want to hang out with me? Did he ask me out on a date? Is he dangerous?
While I had worked with him before, we had a strictly email relationship, thus, I had never met him in person. This made it even more unusual and a little scary that he wanted to meet up.
I called a different coworker, one who I actually knew in person and who was also friends with this guy, to get the inside scoop on this potentially creepy guy. My coworker affirmed that this guy is simply very friendly and no, he’s not dangerous or creepy, but yes, it could be a date. He said there was only one way to find out.
Well, I went to find out! My sister, her friend, and I all drove into the city and we met up with this guy and his friend. It ended up being a super fun, casual night of chatting and getting to know each other. We did a little bit of bar hopping and then called it a night around midnight.
I surprised myself because after that night, I began to really like this guy. During the months following the infamous breakup, I thought I was closed-off to being attracted to someone, but my sudden attraction to this guy proved me otherwise. My hardened, bitter heart was not that bitter or hard after all.
Then I did what most people with crushes do: text their crush and obsess over their text messages. We didn’t text much, and I did most of the reaching out, but he had sent me a selfie and told me that he “enjoyed me.” I was super excited about this crush.
The excitement spanned about two weeks before my crush was crushed by reality.
We met up a second-time, but this time we met halfway. The whole thing was set for disaster: we met up on a Wednesday after work, aka the most exhausting day and time for working professionals with 9-5, M-F jobs. Plus we had both driven through tons of traffic.
Overall, we had a nice time, but it wasn’t quite as glamorous or as enthralling as the night out in the city. I also later realized that we weren’t on the same page. It wasn’t a casual date. It wasn’t a date at all. He wasn’t attracted to me, or maybe he wasn’t attracted to how far away I lived from the city.
Nevertheless, this rejection was a disappointing discovery. Rejection, however, is unfortunately integral to the dating process. If I want to start wading back into the dating pool, all the rejections need to drip away rather than drown me.
A podcast I was listening to today explored rejection’s role in growth.
“Rejection is redirection to your soul’s highest evolvement.” – Sahara Rose, Highest Self Podcast ep. 212: Even Stuff That Sucks is Redirection
While rejection isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it doesn’t immediately resolve the issue of loneliness or wanting to meet new people or wanting to go out on dates.
So what is a twenty-something suburban girl to do?
The answer, my dear readers, is return to the dreaded world of online dating. I’m a little embarrassed, but I have four dating apps downloaded on my phone now. I’ve only been using one lately, and it’s been causing me to cross my fingers in the hopes that the non-creepy-email-city guy will suddenly be a teeny bit interested in me. Long story short- online dating is a nightmare.
Dating apps aside, I’ve also been hanging out with my friends and reaching out to people I haven’t seen or talked to in months or even years. These people I’ve lost touch with are solely friends, but it’s interesting to reconnect. Not quite as thrilling as a crush, but it’s thrilling enough.
Do you have any tips for mingling/dating? Let me know in the comments!
Droplets of rain struck my coat and dripped away, joining the puddle at my feet. I hugged myself as I stood underneath the lampost on the corner of the quiet street, waiting. Sighing, I checked my watch again. She was ten minutes late, which wouldn’t have been an issue if the coffee shop wasn’t closed and if it wasn’t pouring.
Eventually, the headlights of a car shone into my eyes as it parked across the street. Then I got a text.
I hurried toward the car, anxious and nervous to meet her. As I neared, she stepped out and took a long drag of her cigarette. Her hair was longer than it was in the pictures of her online profile, and the dark locks were draped loosely over her shoulders.
“Hey, how are you,” she asked nonchalantly, ignoring the rain.
“I’m okay. Wet.”
“I’m sorry for making you wait,” she said.
I shrugged, feigning indifference.
After some deliberation between us, and despite my hesitation to get into strangers’ cars, I climbed into the passenger seat beside her. The stench of cigarettes and cologne consumed me. She took one last drag of her cigarette before flicking it out of the window and shifting the car into gear. We drove a couple of blocks to another shop, which was also closing.
Desperate for a place to hang out, and despite my reluctance to invite strangers into my home, we were soon walking through the halls of my apartment building. She carried a case of beer and her backpack, and I fiddled with my keys in my pocket. I figured that my roommates would notice if something had happened to me in the living room.
The second we entered my apartment, I went to my room to change. The layers underneath my raincoat had become soaked not from the rain, but from my nervous sweat. When I returned to the living area, I found her already at home, sprawled out on my couch. I took a seat across from her, perched on the edge of my seat.
She passed me a bottle of liquid courage, which I graciously accepted. First dates are the worst. I didn’t even know if this constituted as a first date.
Was she having fun? Did she like me? Did she want to just be friends? Did she want to see me again?
My anxious thoughts were interrupted when she said she had just gotten out of a nearly two-year relationship.
I supposed dating was no longer on the table.
© 2019 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
I’m going on a week-long conference starting tomorrow. I’ve both been dreading it and excited about it…hopefully it goes well. I made fancy business cards and I have copies of my resume…so I’m prepared at least.
I’m going to blog a little about this trip to reflect upon what I’m learning. Here are some things I want to get out of the conference:
- I’m hoping this trip will provide me with some clarity about what I want to do upon graduation.
- I would also like to network, possibly land a summer job.
- I want to explore the city too.
I have some other posts coming up as well. I made a Cinnamon Goals list for 2016 with a vision board, I’m pretty excited about it! I think it’ll help keep me on track this year because I felt like this year I fell a little off the wayside.
I hope y’all had a great weekend!