Thursday, January 11, 2007

Why I Hate Dating (or How That D in Chemistry is Still Haunting Me)

As my friends well know, I have a disconcerting tendancy to get bored and troll craigslist personals ads. Occasionally I'll post one of my own, just to see what kind of responses I get. I posted an ad a while back hoping for something to break up the monotony of my life.

So the responses flooded in, I wrote to a few of them and now, a month later I'm still in contact with 4. One of them is moving here from Georgia in a couple months and we're keeping in touch so he has someone to show him around the city. No romantic potential. One I had lunch with a couple weeks ago and decided during the course of the meal that we should be friends. Again, no romantic potential. Guy number 3, I've been on a couple of dates with...things seem to be going well, I'm intrigued by what could come if it. The last of the remaining suitors I met last night.

After meeting #3, I honestly didn't intend to meet anyone else. I have no desire to over-complicate my life, but #4 called me over the weekend and I was drunk and chatty, so we had a fairly long conversation. It was genuinely great talking to him. He had plenty of interesting things to say and I felt like I was talking to someone who respected my opinions and treated me as an equal. So I agreed to go out with him. I decided afterwards that I should probably cancel, but alas, I forgot to do it, and having no good excuse I didn't have the heart to say no.

So we had coffee and things were going well and I wasn't particularly interested in him, but we seemed very compatible. It's not that he's unattractive, he's totally cute, I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't know if he was interested in me or even interested in a relationship, so I didn't stress about it. We closed the coffee shop and ended up sitting on my stoop talking for a couple of hours. When I got cold, I told him I needed to go inside, but if he wanted to keep hanging out he could come up.

Big. Fucking. Mistake.

As my dear Emily so eloquently put it, "I realize 'hey, do you wanna come up' means something on TV, but in real life, it usually means exactly what is said."

So we walk in the door and sit on the couch and suddenly he's kissing me, and I didn't know what to do and it'd been a while since I got any notable make-out time in, so I went along with it. This goes on for a while and I try to dissuade him and eventually things settle down and we're just sitting and talking again. When he gets up to leave he asks if I want to get together this weekend.

Ugh. The post-makeout endorphins were saying "sure, a little more of this can't hurt" but my head was saying "one more night like this and things are gonna get messy." So I say, "I'll have to check my schedule" and he leaves.

My weekends aren't particularly structured, but there are patterns I've fallen into in the last few months. Wake up Saturday, go to Fluid, go to Christy's, get drunk watching Buffy, go home. Sunday, get up for brunch with the girls, go to Christy's, back home at a reasonable hour. These are patterns I like. A lot. I don't want to give them up...not for making out with a boy. Especially one I'm not sure I really like.

And then there's #3, who I'm still not sure about (definite potential for misogynist assheadedness), but I'm interested enough to keep seeing it through.

The problem here is Chemistry. I've got it with #3, don't got it with #4, but #4 seems to think we have something...I could tell by the mushy puppy looks he gave me (which were cute and ego-boosting, I gotta tell ya....but all in all, kinda frightening)

And this is just so typical of my life for the last few years.

I'm beginning to think that most people settle. I know that sounds pretty cynical, but I really think it's true. Everyone dreams of feeling those fireworks with someone, but how often do we get that? We chalk it up to fairy tale nonsense and pick someone sensible. Someone compatible. A situation that may be good, but is never great. We sacrifice passion for companionship so that we can finish off that checklist: Married by 30. Kids by 35. Soul-less republican yuppie by 38.

So here I am, on the verge of my 24th year, craving romantic intimacy and always coming up short. How do I know I'm coming up short? Because I refuse to give up my Saturdays getting drunk and watching Buffy. Because I'd rather sit at Fluid on the weekends, talking to Christy while she works than make plans with some guy I have half-assed feelings for. Because even though I remember how great lazy Sunday mornings in the arms of your lover can be, I'd rather be shooting the shit with my girlfriends at Sam's over a plate of Chile Rellenos and Eggs.

In my heart, no, not my heart. In my soul, I know that someday I'll meet my other. Someone who really understands me. Someone who excites me enough to balance my friend life with my love life. I'm not descending into some shmoopsy-poo-there's-one-person-for-every-one rhetoric. I don't believe that. I'm sure there are lots of people with whom I could be happy.

But, I'm too young and idealistic to settle for something less than greatness. And I really hope that's something I never grow out of.

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