Coming up on the fifth anniversary of this blog, and after five years of (mostly) singleness and an ongoing quest for "the one," a certain realization has been making itself increasingly clear to me. In an ironic twist, given the tenor of this blog, I have been battling with the idea that maybe, just maybe, I'm actually better on my own.
With this most recent go-around I found myself turning into a person I certainly recognized, but didn't particularly like. As soon as he said the words, "I'm 26," I immediately thought, Why would he be interested in me? And then, Why would I be interested in him? "It will never work out!" the part of me that likes to think it can learn from past experience screamed, and so my defenses kicked into overdrive and I turned into an extra sarcastic, extra mean version of myself. Attractive! I know. "Does...this...ever get any better?" he asked at one point partway into our first date. (First date!) Meaning, this weird, sarcastic, defensive thing you're doing? Does it go away? I was taken aback by the question to say the least. First because until he called me out on it I hadn't necessarily realized I was doing a thing. (What, I am just being me! Do you not find it charming?) I immediately realized, of course, that he was absolutely right, and so my second thought was, What a stupid question, of course it gets better. This is just my hard, crusty veneer that has to be broken down with enough time and patience to get at my soft, nougaty insides. But almost as quickly I thought to myself, Wait, DOES it get better? And suddenly, I wasn't so sure, anymore. I racked my brain for a definitive answer but came up with nothing. "I don't know," I finally said softly.
And so it really came as no surprise that he ended things. The second date did give me a spark of hope that perhaps I hadn't completely ruined everything, but alas. And so, for everyone who put their misplaced faith in me and left reassuring comments like "his loss," thanks, but actually, it was just the opposite. He was a nice guy, and I ruined it.
And hence, this realization. When I'm not dating someone, I won't say that I'm never defensive or sarcastic, but I'm certainly less so. More stable, even-keel. Less anguished, more content. Happier. More me. All of this running around trying to escape the inevitable conclusion that maybe I'm actually (gulp) better on my own. And if that's the case...what happens now?