or…how i want to be loved…swapping need for want can be easily done here.
I can’t think of a less worthwhile pursuit than sitting at a restaurant assessing each other’s suitability.
–Seen on an eHarmony profile
I don’t think it’s cynicism at play here, it’s cutting through the pretension of dating, the kabuki dance, the game-playing we all do. But hey, that’s the socially acceptable thing to do–and it helps keep restaurants in business.
From my scattered writings…
this dating thing is really a grind, a bore. it truly is. i went out on a date the other night, and it was fine, ok. no sparks, but it was nice to go out with someone who’s really still a stranger. i often wonder what is wrong with me in terms of this dating thing…am i overthinking things, or what. friends say that i should show some more vulnurability. like some of the vulnerability that i show to them. it just takes me time to open up.
but i’m bored of the process. i dated a woman at the beginning of the year. two dates, that’s all. she was a lawyer, attractive, funny, but we really didn’t connect. probably because i felt, in the middle of that second date, that the process was dull, to the point of stultifying. the dating routine for me is ritual. go to a site, see someone you’re interested in, email them, then hope they return that email. or, what’s more likely for me, have someone reach out to me. then you trade emails, looking for some connection. then a phone call or two (note: if you’re quiet, hoping for me to hold up a conversation, that will be a long call). then the working of the schedules to find the right night for a date. and then, the big night. pick the right time, the right restaurant, the right wine. it’s really a performance. i have to be a performer. that’s not to say i’m lying as i’m on the date, but there’s a part of me that has to come out, another side of me, that i don’t bring out often. and sometimes, that performance is tiring, and i sometimes wonder why, in the middle of the date, i’m there. to combat some fake loneliness? to be social acceptable? what? why?
i’m not saying that i don’t ever want a life partner. and i’m not saying that i’m stopping trying. it’s like a combination lock–there’s a combination that someone unlocks that gets me open. and that’s only happened twice in my life.
i’m lucky to have a few close friends. i don’t want many–i want good ones.
self-examination is a tough thing. in the job-changing process i’m going through, it feels like some scales are falling away from me. self-examination is not a bad thing for me, or for anyone.
here i am again, bored of dating and bored of the process. just once, it would be nice to have a woman just fall into my lap, without having to leap through the requisite hoops. won’t happen, so what to do? keep trying, but remember something–you’re fine. you’re ok as you are.
i’ve put myself on a dating moratorium. no more dates for a couple of months. it seems like that’s all i’ve been doing for 14 or 15 months, with varying degrees of success. and in that time, it feels like i’ve lost some sense of me, of who i am. in brussels, talking to my old girlfriend, she said the notion of having to date sounded awful. and recently, I read a story on how the French and the Americans differed when it came to sex and love, and a young French woman also thought the idea of dating sounded dreadful. and for me right now, it is. It’s very set-piece like, with an unofficial checklist and boxes that must be ticked. and both parties are on their best behavior. The very anthesis of humanity. I think the thing I hate about dating is that being me, may not get me a second or third date. I’m quiet, a little awkward, very observant, willing to listen. i’m a little standoffish, and may not always be willing to make the first move (yes, even at my advanced age). Dating sometimes feels like a test, and I don’t always pass it the first time around. So, for a couple of months, I’m not taking the test.
I’m noticing a theme here…
I’ve been toying around with the idea of rewriting my OKCupid profile, to better reflect reality, to better reflect me. This has given me some incentive, especially this passage.
We all are flawed and have been broken. But, too often, we date people on a surface level so we can tiptoe around that seamier part of ourselves. We don’t let our core flaws show, and try to hide them, or purposefully suppress them for fear of our partner judging or rejecting us. We are even willing to fight to deflect them.
The fact of the matter is, eventually we realize that lying is lying, whether it’s to ourselves or to our partner, and nothing good will come from a relationship that’s built on suppressed truth. We begin to see it’s about letting it all hang out.
This is something that I’ve been fighting for for a while–or to put it a better way, something that I know. The goal is to be fully human, flaws and all. I know my flaws, and I’m always working to improve them. They come with me everywhere.
Even at that nice restaurant at night, across from that attractive woman.
For there to be true intimacy, you must begin with the process of truly knowing, understanding and falling “in love” with yourself. A healthy sex life cannot rely solely on your partner, it must begin with you and the relationship you have with yourself.
– from a Huffington Post story, The Search for Intimacy
2013 started on a sunny, but bitterly cold, Montreal morning, sitting across from a woman I hadn’t talked to in five years. I still remember the moment along the old port when she said “it is what it is”–a phrase she used to hate.
It continued in the spring, emailing again with a woman I hadn’t spoken to in a year and a half.
They say three of anything is a trend, so the line continued when a woman I hadn’t spoken to in four months reached out. and we went on a 15-mile bike ride.
I’m not sure what’s happening here. Has this year been the year of reconciliation? Possibly. Things happen sometimes when you aren’t looking for them to happen. Carrying drudges or harboring ill will does no one any good. You have to grow up, and continue to grow up. That means forgiving, letting go of hurt and evolving. Maybe that’s what i’ve done this year.
i’m not looking to get back with any of these women. I’m looking to clear the air, and let go of some weight that doesn’t need to be there.
Maybe I’m looking to close a circle. Or some circles. While I was in Brussels in November, I had dinner with another ex-girlfriend. We spent a very good night together, with her sons, as we reminisenced, reconnected–and her asking me a couple of questions that have stuck with me ever since.
And just after Thanksgiving, the cycle repeated itself, back in the U.S. back in New Jersey. She went from girlfriend to life coach, and really helped to sent me on my way to many of the life changes I’ve made.
As I was driving to see her, I asked myself, again, what’s going on here? This year, I’ve either dated, or have talked again to women I’ve dated. What does this all mean? Is there some greater meaning here? What will 2014 bring?
Loved the quote embedded in this post…
By looking at “love” as a goal instead of a process, we are set up for despair and failure.
I hear people saying that they want to “be in love.” So, my question is: once you’re there, then what? We all want love, and to be loved. But, we should think of love as a garden–for it to be beautiful, it has to be tended to, or it’ll be overrun with weeds.
Love is a conscious effort.