It’s a sort of pastime for my regulars to try fixing me up. Though, Stano (76) is probably the most persistent. He’s consistently going on about the merits of love, the need for people to have companionship and so on. I dread making eye contact some days because I just don’t have the energy to dodge his next volley.
I adore him. I do. I frequently remind him that I do love love. It’s great. Who doesn’t love love? But it has traditionally come at a very steep price, namely freedom, autonomy, and often personal dignity and voice. Stan’s an optimist, though, and extolls the virtues of how the right situation would mean not giving up any of those things.
Gotta love the optimists, right?
I joke, because as Stano has harassed me about dating and partnership for months. Some of our conversations go like so:
Stano: Oh, I see. You’re one of those “love ‘em and leave ‘em” kind of gals.
Me: Naw, I’m more of a “leave ‘em, leave ‘em, leave ‘ em” kind of gal.
Dude just doesn’t relent. Every day it’s a new attempt to trick or troll me into talking about love or dating.
I thought my resolve could beat Stan’s resolve any day any time. Until I had a frank and vulnerable conversation with my sister.
Conversation short notes are: Loneliness can sneak up like a thief. Preparing your community and life to be open and available to partnership opportunities means having a better chance of finding the right partnership when the days come when one would actually want companionship.
I’ve had twelve fabulously independent years. With one or two blips of “relationship” that lasted a couple of months. Twelve years single is not a record by any means, more of a testament to the fact that I dig not being entangled.
Then a writing friend mentioned my writing was feeling a bit dry in the emotional department. My erotica series was hot, emotional and electrically vulnerable…then bam…dry as the Sahara Desert. She wanted to know why my writing energy shifted.
I began to wonder. Ponder. I’ve been on a man diet for a few years. When the sexual complexities and erotica get heavy and life overwhelms, a celibacy break is refreshing. But the break has become an isolation…and even I’m beginning to recognize the potential long-term problems of being an emotional island.
The trouble is, I’m not actually lonely. I’m happy and centered and loving life more than I ever have. Which makes it difficult to risk, because I have such a great thing going on. I so desperately don’t want to lose this happy fulfillment.
But as it was mentioned, being in a place of wellbeing is probably the ideal time to be open to someone who matches that level of happiness. By waiting until I’m actually lonely, it opens up a whole new level of unhealthy possibilities, including an unhealthy match.
I hated to admit it, but, Stano might be onto something. Damnit.
So, I’ve been pondering. I sent out a few tentative notes and tests to see what’s on the market in terms of dating in my area. To be honest, I’m in a terrible spot geographically to meet like-minded eligible men. My attempts were duds.
My first thought was, “Aw, shucks, well…I tried!” Thusly relieved of the burden I went about my week.
Then, of course, Stano came in on my next shift.
True to form, he brought it up again. The joy of partnership, yadda yadda. If nothing else, he’s been a metronome counting ticks on the other side of the argument. Calmly. Calculating. Relentless. But finally, once my mind began opening to the idea, it was harder to dismiss Stano as he extolled the virtues of the adventure of partnership.
Adventure? Now, that’s more my speed…
I’ve gone all over the excuses. I don’t want to have to shave my legs, lose weight, get back into fighting form. I don’t want to give up writing time, or personal space. I don’t want to have to shop for cute underwear, because that would mean I’d be required to actually wear underclothes.
I’VE BEEN A HERMIT FOR OVER A YEAR.
There are certain privileges and perks of being a hermit. Such as not doing the dishes if you don’t feel like it, not wearing panties… or pants for that matter, not shaving legs, or dying newly gray hairs. I don’t have to suck in my stomach, or track down matching socks.
Let myself go? Bet your ass. And I had a blast doing it. Not one fucking regret.
But the excuses wouldn’t hold up in a courtroom with Stano, and I know it.
Proactively, I opened up my sparse makeup drawer to see what I might be able to do for a quick fix up. Unfortunately, what makeup I did have has separated, and some has actually turned rancid. I tossed a lot (kept my favorite lipsticks).
So I’d even have to buy new face paint. This just seemed like too much. Too goddamn much effort for someone who’s potentially going to steal my hard-won freedom and happiness.
Nope. Never mind. Not gonna do it.
I locked down my mind and closed back up. Fuck dating.
That week Stano showed up, and when he started in, I interrupted, “I can’t talk right now,” I said. Then filled his coffee and went to the other side of the restaurant to hide.
He smiled and offered me a hug before he left. “Seems like you’re having a rough week with your car being broken, and some other stuff. Can I give a hug?”
He left and I sat at the bar and wondered why I’d allowed his consistency to get under my skin. He means well, and he’d not doing any harm. All he’s doing is stirring the embers of an old longing that I thought I’d safely squelched. Not his fault at all.
I thought about where I’m at. I thought about some conversations I’d had with my sisters. Then, I pulled out a notebook and started writing and came up with a plan.
A way to go about the adventure on a new set of terms. A way to embrace the vulnerability without the risks of the unknown human elements.
I will agree to a matchmaking plan. I don’t want to do the online dating profiles and random hookups. I’ve tried them all and it’s demoralizing. I need a better, safer way to screen. I need a filter that weeds out the easy targets, meaning the guys who want a convenience connection. I need an anchor point, and a set of reviews, and a way to have people close to me help vet the progress and potential matches.
I think what has been stressing me out so much was the idea that I wouldn’t have a say in the terms of the dating process anymore, and it would be just one shitty date after another until I lose all respect for the opposite sex. I don’t ever want to get to that spot again. So the quality of the date needs to be better than it’s ever been before.
So I decided to set up a little spot on my site to be my static dating profile, with a dating resume and testimonials, then a vetted contact method. I can leave it there, not worry about it. I won’t actively pursue dating, but I’ll let the universe know I’m open to possibilities. People can pass the link to anyone they believe is a match, and go through the process that way.
Open to possibilities…that’s a new headspace and it will take some work on my part. But it will take some work on the Universe’s part to bring truly viable and worthy possibilities in order to encourage me to keep that open mind…. Both sides have to buy-in.
Once I made up my mind and started on the web development, I felt so much relief. Like, I don’t need to go out on the demoralizing emotionally dehydrating rollercoaster of “dating”. I can let my friends and family, readers and connections become the benevolent messengers and voices of potential people they know I’d have a chance at connecting with.
Once the site it live, I don’t have to think about it. My message in a bottle is out there. I can do my writing, live my happy little life, because, my friends and family would never connect me with someone who would risk that happiness. I MIGHT MAKE THAT MISTAKE, but the people who love me never would—so I’m putting the power in their hands. I’m not leaving it to heartless mathematical algorithms to connect me on a dating site, or a professional matchmaking stranger who doesn’t really know me. I’m asking people who know me to be intermediaries.
Trust. Faith in my people.
But, I remind myself, this is the site of perpetual schadenfreude… what could possibly go wrong? I joke. Sort of.
The site is being built. It might take some time to situate it and set up the filtering and vetting process, but I’m content with this plan to reach out beyond my community – through my community.
The site can sit there indefinitely, because I’m happy as I am. If nothing and no one comes along who’s a fit for the happy, fulfillment, and joy I already have for life – then no harm no foul. I just go about my merry business. Thinking about it that way has already lowered my blood pressure. This. This I can do.
I just wanted to give the heads up so it’s not a total shocker when it shows up. I’ll blog more about it as it goes live.
I’m open to suggestions and ideas!
Now I just have to break it to Stano….