I hate to leave things hanging so now that it is almost the end of September, I should tell you how my August dating challenge ended up. The goal was to go on one date a week and I managed to almost do that (if going out with the same guy in two different weeks counts and I say it does) before things with the Sommolier came to an end in late August. Technically, I was one week short but I did go out with one more guy (“the artist”) in early September. As a recovering perfectionist, I say this counts as success.
I won’t say too much about “the artist” at this point except that he is a very interesting (and cute) guy who has managed to get to a fourth date, which does not happen often.
Earlier this week, I reflected back on my dating life and realized that I have been on dates with more guys in 2013 than in the 5 years before 2013. And there were no long-term relationships in those 5 years, just not a lot of dates.
So when people ask me why such a fabulous and attractive (and clearly modest) woman is still single at my age, I can definitely say that one big reason is that I didn’t really date.
I may have mentioned (repeatedly) that I don’t like dating. Going out with 8 different guys in 2013 has not been all fun and games. Mostly, it is a huge pain in the ass. Finding a night that works, picking a place, making conversation, figuring out how to end the date, deciding whether or not you want to have another date, getting your feelings hurt, hurting other people’s feelings. Fun, fun, fun.
I’m not sure if it’s getting easier the more I do it, or it’s just as hard, but I keep doing it anyway. In the past, one annoying online date would send me back into hibernation for months or years, and I have stayed in more than one bad relationship just because I didn’t want to deal with finding someone else.
This year, I have managed to just keep getting back out there. I am no longer avoiding it, I am pushing through it. It has been a pain in the ass, but I have also met some interesting people, had some stimulating conversations, learned more about myself, shared some intimate moments, received some hilarious text messages, and opened myself up more. The yin and the yang. You can’t have the good without the bad, right?
The dating will continue. The challenges of the first date are not the same as the challenges of the fourth date. The stakes get bigger, things get more complicated, more feelings are involved, things get more confusing. I do look forward to the day when the benefits outweigh all of this hard emotional work (and logistical scheduling!) But I also realize that the emotional hard work is never really done, not if you want to live a rich, full life with human connection, which I do (with some TV mixed in, of course!)