Friday, August 14, 2009

Newly Single

Newly single. Back in March, after a bit of good times, a bit of bad and a big lay off, I decided I needed a break for my salvation. Fast forward to July and I'm packing to move from Capitol Hill to Bethesda, MD and he's packing to move home to North Carolina (after 8 months of looking for a job to no avail).

It's an odd thing; letting go of something that's been there for so long; that made a city to city transition with you. An odd thing; but in the end, it is our salvation. In the end, while you can love someone completely - and hate them absolutely - being "in love" is like pulling the petals off a flower: Sometimes they just break in the middle. And you can't put them back together. The individual pieces are still just as lovely, but it just doesn't work. And to really kill an analogy: You can try to glue it, but the pieces of the petal will simply wilt and die. Time for a new flower, new petals. And a new analogy.

So, I now live in Maryland in an apartment I like, so far, with a guy I like, so far: An engineer. So let's clarify: I work with engineers. Friends with engineers. And yes, folks, I now live with an engineer. (However, most aren't the stereotype. Well, some.) Will I date an engineer? That might be overkill.

But dating. How foreign. At 17 I dated a guy who was 6 years older (my parents loved that). That was short lived, but started my spree of serial monogamy. At 18 I dated a friend for a few months after he and his friend made a deal - even though I would have gone for the other guy first: As we ended up dating for 2.5 years. We broke up. It broke my heart - he called me a fucking cunt - and now we're friends and I'm sure I'll seek dating advice from him. This is the definition of my life.

After that I made a mistake - or two - till a little over a year later I met the latest "ex", who I dated for about 4.5 years and lived with for 3. In that time I had moments of "this is so right", "is this right" and, eventually, "this isn't right". The time between the initial "this isn't right" (muddled with happiness in between) and actually getting the strength to say "I have to do this; to end this. For us, for me." was quite a bit of time. I found myself envying the strength of other girls who ended long-term relationships whom with they thought they were "the one". Eventually, with a growing group of friends and personal independence resurgging (today that's a word) and his depression darking, I knew what needed to happen. There were no more "this is so right" moments to put out the fire of "I hate yous" and hurt feelings. The relationship was over. But so far, we remain friends. I hope that lasts.

However, when I get back into dating after 4 years, I wonder: Can you truly remain friends? I also wonder: How the fuck do you date out of college? This is new to me. Like I said, completely foreign. In college, it's easy - you go to class, you go to parties, you go to dorms: You meet people. Now, I am an adult. However, I use that term very loosely: I go to work, I go out. There are other things in between, but that's pretty much it: Work. Friends. Eat, sleep, etc. How does dating fit into this? And what's a date? Is it dinner? Is it a walk in the park? And can someone please tell me we've matured past petty games of high school and college? Because I'm getting a sneaking suspicion that we haven't - and I'm kind of not okay with that.

If dating now can be like in kindergarten, that would be great. "I like you."
"I like you too."
"Would you like my pudding?"
"I sure would." And then hold hands through nap time.



Josh said...

So really, you just want some pudding.

Hatching West said...

And someone to hold my hand. Right on.

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