I honestly haven’t had a lot to write about lately here on the good ol’ Persephone because what I am expected to write about as Awkwardetteâ„¢ is a lot of stuff I am not doing: having sex, dating, etc. Yes, I have reached the fabled stage of female singledom known as Bitterness. I honestly think about the idea of going on a date and meeting a new guy and going through that drama of giving a shit about what I’m wearing or the words coming out of my mouth and I want to die.
Melodrama aside, I may have reached dating burn out capacity. I had many promising interactions and trysts with some quality young men that all turned out to be disappointing and somewhat soul crushing. I am officially single now longer than I have ever been in my adult life, and I am trying not to do what I do best – jump into the first thing that is available because I don’t like being alone.
I’d say my last long-term relationship was entirely built on this concept. He was (is) a very nice guy, with a job, but no personality to speak of. We had very cursory things in common, nothing that I think is essential to me feeling anything like love. He was inoffensive and complimentary. He was boring. But he wanted me around, at least when he wasn’t having an introvert meltdown with all the intimacy we were having, and so it seemed like a good place to be for a year.
It wasn’t. I was unsatisfied, always. I never had enough from him, because I wanted so badly to be desperately in love, to feel the things I once felt for someone else, and it wasn’t there. I honestly thought that this guy is my Last Chance at Love, and if I didn’t make it work with him, I would die fat, ugly and alone and no one would ever care about me except my cat (who died literally a week before he and I broke things off).
Meanwhile, stories about my ex before him would trickle in, and I’d hear about how great he is doing with his new girlfriend and how wonderful things are for him, and all I could think about was one-upping him until I had the ideal life that I always wanted with him. Except with someone else. So he would get jealous and sad, like I was. But that never works, and we all know that.
In other words, I was looking for love for all the wrong reasons. I was looking for all the wrong things that would make me happy, jumping into something with the first person that showed any interest. And now, I feel like I am much more discernable with my tastes, but apparently not discernable enough because I keep getting burned by dating all of these people who do really horrible things.
So I’ve mentally checked out, even when I’m looking at OkCupid or any other various dating site. No one is piquing my interest like they used to. I used to do this thing when there was no one around for me to like where I would essentially make up someone to like. It sounds ridiculous and silly, but if I didn’t have a crush, I’d craft this elaborate storyline in my head with someone. I am unable to even do that anymore. Nothing sticks.
It’s probably a good thing. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take some time for yourself, be yourself, discover yourself, be by yourself. And honestly, I’m sure someone will probably sneak their way into my heart before I know it, because these sorts of things only happen exactly when I don’t want them to. And if it doesn’t, good thing I don’t want it to, right?
Confession: I recently read He’s Just Not That Into You, the entire thing, front to cover, in one sitting. It’s an easy read so this is not quite a feat. I did it in the name of research, curious about different dating self-help books, and this seemed to be the best place to start. I am sad to say the thing resonated more with me than I am comfortable admitting to, and that whole research idea has been put on hold until I am done reeling from my reaction to the book.
What Greg Behrendt says a lot throughout the book is that I deserve better than the crap I keep getting. And it’s absolutely true. I would have never denied that. Except my actions are always denying that, because I am constantly making up excuses for the crap behavior and constantly justifying why it’s okay for me to give someone another chance. So far none of them deserved it.
So why the burn out? Shouldn’t this epiphany be freeing and not like a whole new weight on my shoulders? The truth is, asking for what you deserve is sometimes really hard work. It doesn’t matter in what arena – love life, or asking for a raise at work, or whatever. There’s the undeniable possibility of rejection, and the more you ask, the more rejection you’ll see. Asking for what I deserve might mean a few more lonely nights than if I take the first okay-enough thing that comes my way. That’s a really scary thing.