Some people feel I am too negative about dating. That I should maybe just relax and "go with the flow" more ( obviously not someone who knows me well).
But, here's the thing, after a fairly lovely 2016, the arrival of 2017 brought just so much bad juju.
I dont want to whine, but what the hell, here goes...
I ended a tumultuous (being polite, it was a cluster f***) relationship a little over a year ago. There were so many things just..wrong with the situation, that it hurt to even think about it too much. I was perfectly happy to become hermit like and nurse myself back to some sort of place with more sanity, with the help of my team of course.
I was happy to do that, but honestly it didn't really happen that way. Because, well, life.
First it was a pay cut at work. A SIGNIFICANT pay cut. By a third.
Think about that.
Take the amount of money you bring home every month, divide it by 3, and then subtract that from your total take home.
I hadn't been living a luxurious lifestyle anyway, but for the first time in my adult life I had been making enough to pay bills and have a small buffer. A very small buffer, but still.
I was so grateful.
That was now gone, and then some.
I was trying to absorb and deal with this while the relationship was exploding so the financial stuff didn't really sink in for several months and by that time it was a crisis. I am what's considered a member of "the working poor". I work my butt off, usually at least 2 jobs, sometimes 3 when my kids were younger. So now i was back to scrambling for part time work along with the full time (draining) job just to pay my bills. Not for extra discretionary funds.
By the way, sorry if this topic makes you squirm, but 78% of americans live paycheck to paycheck, in debt and tenuous. Its a fact of life for millions, I would bet for many of your friends and neighbors. Get your head out of the sand and don't be judgy.
Then, my mother died.
Which came with all sorts of conflicting feelings, since we had been estranged for a long time and had only just reconnected the previous year.
I was so glad for the few visits I had with her and really sad that there wouldn't be more. But it was also one of those situations where her health and quality of life had not been great.
My siblings and I are not on good terms so that added another delightful twist.
I had amazing people supporting me through this uncharted territory but I still felt...raw.
Just kind of sliced open.
While still looking for some sort of part time work.
While still feeling my heart was an open wound.
So summer kind of flew by with me a frantic mess.
And then I got in a car accident.
Have you ever been in a car accident?
It just ....sucks.
I was hit head on. I was ok, at least I was upright and walking. Injuries did not show themselves for a couple of week and I am still, 3 months later, in significant pain some days from the whiplash that snuck up on me.
Yes yes, I am in PT and I did all the other stuff I needed to do which is a LOT.
I have never felt more frustrated or victimized than I did negotiating this mess of insurance, lawyers, medical appointments and car dealerships.
So yeah, break-up, paycut, Mom death, and car accident. all in under 12 months.
And of course add to it all the other normal LIFE things that come along. Job related, kid related, home related, etc.
And yes, I fully acknowledge that I have MANY many things to be grateful for.
Skip ahead to now-ish.
A month or so ago i thought, ok, maybe its time to think about it. I don't feel ready to hang up my spurs quite yet. But also don't really feel like I am on firm footing with the whole thing.
What IS IT with me and this venue??
I was having this exact discussion with a friend recently, about how even knowing how dismal it is, I still go back. She feels it's entertainment, which is true on a bunch of levels.
I mean, here are some quick examples of the headlines on profiles from a recent search and my internal response:
*I'm looking for my new best friend...
No. Just stop.
*I am currently working on my PhD in computer science and puppetry.
*I am on a journey, no... a quest for a woman who will be my lover/friend/ confidant/trusted companion...my partner in life.
Oh, hell no.
And a recent fav: *I lost my passion in life the day I saw the light fade from the eyes of my beloved wife as she slipped away into Eternity 3 1/2 years ago. It’s a good thing that I can type without looking at my keyboard, since it’s so hard to see the keys through the tears that I shed every time I think of her passing.
Holy christ! Hide the sharps!
This person needs therapy WAY more than I even do!!
So, Entertaining? Yes, but its more than just that I think.
It's this damned hopefulness,which in itself is not bad I dont think. Hope that there's someone that will "fit".
That wont have guns, or smoke cigarettes or vote republican. That wont mind that I am not interested in riding on their motorcycle. (I'm not, stop asking).
That I find attractive and doesnt mind the last 10 pounds that I cant seem to shed.
That "gets" my dog and the admittedly codependent relationship I have with him.
That laughs at my jokes.
I have TRIED recently.
I went on dates.
I had an anxiety attack, because I didn't want to be there but felt like I should try. He was a perfectly nice person, and I really enjoyed talking to him, but that was all.
I ended up feeling guilty.
So so helpful.
And, the proverbial final straw was last night. After having a nice back and forth on email with a witty, educated professional man, I suddenly had a hunch.
I dont even remember what it was he said, but I knew he voted for trump.
I asked him directly and he responded honestly.
Why the HELL is this person talking to me?!? My profile on line is dripping with my liberal-ness. I felt violated.
I got a line or two from him about believing in open minds, blah blah blah.
This conversation is over.
I shut down my profile. I was disgusted.
Am I ready to "date"?
Who the hell knows?!
I know I am NOT dating just to get out of the house.
In fact, in February in New England, being in my house seems like the best place to be.
It's warm and cozy and there's always something yummy to eat.
The dog loves me and the cat loves my lap.
I talk to my friends and read and watch netflix.
It is, I think, what I need.
The hopefulness is waning, not gonna lie.
But what I do still feel hope about is that its fine.
To not be beating my head against the dating room wall.
To be content in my bubble, waiting for spring and warmth and new beginnings.