Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Curse of the Social Butterfly

When you are single, your social life can be pretty important. It's the difference between catching up on TV shows most nights or having 2 sided interactions with real live people in the real world. And let's be honest, apart from the pool of men you are finding online you won't find a parade of eligible bachelors walking through your living room while you're watching Grey's Anatomy. So you should get out there and be social! It's good for you! Easy enough, right? Except who do you go out with? What if all of your friends are already married with small children and all they want to do is meet up for an early dinner and share their potty training horror stories, all while telling you how lucky you are to be single and carefree? Therein lies the conundrum. You want to go out but your friends want to monopolize your time with mommy war stories until it's time to call it a night at 9:00 PM. And you're a good friend, so you actively listen and don't even scan the room for potential suitors during this quality time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some boy crazed savage that has to be on the hunt scoping out game every minute of every outing but if we could steal maybe a minute or 2 to gauge the room, that would suffice.
Maybe it's time to expand your friend pool? However, once you start making new friends there is one thing that you should keep in mind: You must say "yes" more than you say "no" or people will stop inviting you. I used to say "no" all the time. "No, it's a work night and I've got laundry to do."...and I have 2 hours of DVR to watch. "No, I can't make it on Friday."...because I don't want to go there by myself, even though I'm meeting up with people there. People can only handle so much rejection before they mentally tag you as a "no" or don't even think to include you in their plans at all. How do you fix this? Say "YES!"! Say "yes" to everything, well almost everything. "Yes, I would like to go to that play in a theater that I've never heard of!"..."Yes, I will go watch a live version of Mystery Science Theater in that dodgy neighborhood!". Yes, I did actually do those things. Say "yes" often enough that when the next thing comes up they will say "Don't forget to invite Miss Belle...remember when she sang that version of 'When I was Your Man' at karaoke?!" Nowadays, on an early night I get home around 8:00 but most nights by the time I get home it's time for bed. It's exhausting. It's not all partying though. I'm trying to lead a more active lifestyle, so sometimes it's hikes or yoga and sometimes it's charity events. I even went on a blind date last weekend. Prefaced with "He's nice but he has bad breath...". Great. I still went on the double date with the bad breath guy and we talked about music and movies and that was cool (and his breath wasn't that bad). If you're out of practice when it comes to dating it is equally important for you to say "yes" to going out on dates. Especially when you know it won't work out. With less riding on it, it takes the pressure off. Then you can recall this "cooler and more aloof" version of yourself the next time you find yourself out on a date that you're hoping counts. I haven't caught up on DVR in over 1 week but I'm off to an event benefiting children from the foster care system tonight, so I'm not too torn up about it.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Chutes and ladders

Here we go again. An updated set of break up songs in the repertoire and the shooing away of questions that aren't worth answering. How did we get here? Is it something that I did? Should I have tried harder? How do I keep ending up here? Ok, that last one might be worth exploring but let's talk a little bit more about where "here" is. I am in the process of breaking up via the "Fade Out" method with my Cyber Boyfriend. The "Fade Out" isn't usually my style with any noteworthy relationship and I would classify this one as noteworthy, even though it was entirely long distance. However, that being said some actions (or inaction in this case) warrant an equivalent reaction. It hit the floor running, it was sexy, sweet, and satisfying as much as one could hope for in a long distance scenario. We just connected and when you find someone who lets you be you, makes you laugh and curl your toes, well it's intoxicating. Then it began to lose steam rather abruptly. I'm not talking about the normal relationship rut where the intensity down shifts. I could understand that. The thing is, there are certain things you can't go backwards from. You can't throw around pet names and then suddenly stop using them. You can't casually throw in "still love you" into a conversation and then stop having daily texts or phone calls. You especially cannot do these things in the already volatile dominion of the long distance relationship. Where state lines apart may as well be worlds apart and the only relief you have is the smile that crosses your face when you see his name come up on your phone. Yes, it was noteworthy. He also faded out first. I tried to fix it a few times and each time he said it would get better and in actuality it just got worse. So I did a test, which I also don't like doing. The test was for me to not initiate contact to gauge his level of interest. Well now we haven't talked and I guess that answers my question. In the end I may not be the one fading out after all, I may just be complying with his fade out.
Time to get back on the ladder. Where do I begin? There are a lot of dating sites and apps now, the technology is evolving and it's more like playing a game and less scary. Although I've been vehemently opposed to online dating in the past, once  you've let yourself get wrapped up in something that will almost certainly end badly what do you have left to lose? Therein lies the liberation of rock bottom. I just had my heart broken by a guy who lives in a different time zone that I wasn't even initially attracted to, whom I never even kissed. There is nowhere to go but up from here. At least that's what I'm really, really hoping is the case.