no brainers

In ALL, INTROSPECTION by Stephanie Klein14 Comments

I drank endurance through a straw as I joined the earlier risers on the streets of New York.  Save for doctors, no one should be outdoors at 6:30am.  I was in last night’s jeans, with my gold Coup Detat heels, wearing his t-shirt home—the one I slept in at his place after seex.  I looked as if I’d just been attacked by wolves, a bush of hair, smeared mascara, and a sluggish gait.  A woman in a blue bathrobe walked her brown dog.  A couple parked a car.  A yellow-haired girl ran in red butterfly shorts toward the corner holding a NetFlix envelope.  For a moment, I remembered I had four at home I hadn’t watched yet.  My doorman “well, well, well” ‘d me.   I’m going back to sleep; the endurance didn’t work.

It never does.  It’s why I end up alone, every time I try to date.  I just wasn’t built for it, for dating a bunch of people at once, remembering which stories were told, how many siblings, if they drink coffee at night.  It all seems wrong.  I’d rather be alone than torn and divided by choices.  I’d rather be at Gari alone at the sushi bar, where the only choice is toro or tuna.  And that’s not even a choice; it’s a no brainer.  I need a no brainer.

And for the love of fatty tuna, please don’t go telling me, “you can’t win the game if you don’t play.”  I don’t care about the damn game.  I care about being with someone who knows my worth, whom I respect and believe is extraordinary.  I don’t have room, though, for the anxiety that comes with finding it if it means being with someone who hasn’t figured it out yet.  I told you, I can’t do endurance by myself.

The worst part is, after the walk (the only shame is if you didn’t have fun), I went back to sleep.  I dreamt he told me, "I believe you’ll know love when you find it.  You’ll just know; you’ll feel it.  There won’t be questions."  But now that I’m awake, I don’t know if it was something I dreamt or something he really said.  And then, I don’t know which he said it.  It’s exactly why this is hard.  And I don’t believe that.  I know there’s more than one person out there for all of us.  I don’t believe I’ll "just know."  I’m too gun shy and prudent for that. 

Comments

  1. What's ironic is that the no brainer you want (and we all want) is basically to have some higher power be picky for you and present you with Mr. Perfect so you wouldn't have to go through the bland dates. You're too weary to sort through all the choices, but if you really have only two choices you'd flip. It's only OK if the only two choices are two that you like.

  2. Ahh, the walk of shame. Yes, I did so love to watch those in the early morning hours at my campus.

    Dating sucks man. It's tough. But I disagree, I think you do care about the game, but you just don't like certain aspects of it currently. We all get fed up now and again, but as with all great games, we all go back for more. No worries, champ. You'll find your dream guy. You'll know it when you do because all the others will seem much less important suddenly because they quite simply, won't measure up. Hopefully, you're dream man will also be a healthy choice for you as well.

  3. Being alone isn't so bad. I'm glad that you don't completely talk down on people that are single like most other people do…

  4. It's like you've taken the words right out of my mouth. I want to be at that stage too, that comfortable stage, where we know each other so well we can sit side by side and not have to talk, where he knows my favorite dish, he already knows my family history, he's well aware of all my annoying habits…and he loves me anyways. It's just that getting there, to that point with someone, seems too challenging and daunting. So for now, like you, I remain where I am – alone. (or doing the walk of shame!)

  5. " . . . the only shame is if you didn't have fun." I agree where there are two consenting adults involved. That said, it is a shame if all you had was fun, but what you really wanted was a great deal more than fun.

    You WILL know it, when you find it (that was certainly my experince — it was like being struck by lightning). The problem may be, however, that the "it" you're really looking for isn't the "it" you've convinced yourself you ought to want. Why beat yourself up if you're not ready to settle down or are not anxious to start a family or don't have some other good reason to go exclusive?

  6. Matt, the problem is, I am anxious to have a family and to meet someone I can love who loves me back, just as we are. The REAL problem is the anxiety I feel when I'm dating someone I know is dating other people. I just can't do it. I'd rather be alone. Because THAT makes me way too anxious.

  7. I know exactly what you mean. Even assuming the other person is also really looking for a mate (never a guarantee, either of outward truthfulness or inward self-knowledge), If we really like that person, we end up anxious to be the one chosen for the role.

    I think there may be no way around initially dating someone who is dating other people. If after a few dates, though, you don't both want to go exclusive (and you should get some sense even before you have the "exclusivity talk"), I would move on and look for that rare individual whom you think is without peer and deserving of someone as amazing as you are, and who feels the same way about you.

    The key for me to reduce the anxiety (no avoiding it, though) was to look at the first few dates as if I were meeting a new friend or colleague. Call me old fashioned, but I'd also avoid having sex until things were explicitly exclusive; otherwise, it's too emotionally confusing, and I, too would rather be (would rather have been, I should say) alone.

  8. I think Matt has a few excellent points there.

    Remember, too, that people that are unattainable or a person that is dating other people can sometimes seem more appealing to us than they really are. It's a competition and if you win it means that you have been chosen over another (or others).

    This is going to sound incredibly stupid, I'm sure, but ideally, you should probably become friends with the person you are going to date before you date them, which is obviously easier said than done.

    Don't fret. It will happen when you least expect it and when you stop looking so hard.

  9. What you call prudence, I call doubt.

    Have a little more faith in yourself and your judgement. We all make mistakes.

  10. i have been there. I have done the walk. I have been so very anxious and then I stopped. Dating…putting myself out there or at least putting out…and really just enjoyed the hell out of life as much as I could. Then i had a dream of someone hugging me and feeling so safe and a voice that said "just be patient", really it wasn't until then that I was truly patient. yes i met him (several years later), yes he loves me for me and makes me feel special and wanted and he married me. Stephanie–trust me…it's so worth being patient.

  11. "and believe is extraordinary.

    I know you've probably done this many times, but can you define that for me? I know it means the guy will treat you like a princess and put you up on a pedestal and not give you your way and be great in bed and love music and food, yada, yada, yada. Does it also mean that the guy MUST have certain status and wealth? Is that correct?

  12. Youu looks like a honest. But i do not understand one thing: why do you put on line all you life details? Do you think that it is very interesting for the other people? :-))
    Ciao Gabriele

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