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!