State of the (non)union

As a reader of this dating blog, you may be wondering: where is all the dating?

I go on dates!  I swear!  I ask people out, people ask me out—this is a thing that happens!  Just not recently.  Before I started this blog I’d been thinking about starting this blog for a very, very long time, and during that time I had lots of crushes, dates, non-relationships that were still kind of things.  Now I have none of those things.  There’s not even anyone that I’m interested in.  Okay, there are a few guys who I like as vague objects of fantasy, but no one who I really want to pursue.  And because I’m in that weird place of being about to graduate and move somewhere new, any remote feelings I do have immediately send me into a downward spiral of “but what about when I leave?” thoughts.  Although I have been relentlessly hopeful all year that I will somehow meet a great guy who will be worth staying with after my four-year stint here is through, I’m beginning to realize the cold hard truth, which is that that will not be happening.

And, oddly, I feel okay about it.  None of my college relationships panned out the way I wanted them to, and while there’s a definite sense of disappointment that goes along with that, as I’ve read many times on Captain Awkward, every relationship fails until you find the one that doesn’t.  Some might end better than others, but until you find the person you want to be with for the rest of your life—assuming that’s what you’re looking for—they do always end (as romantic relationships, anyway—maybe they continue on as friendships).  What I’m trying to say is that even though things haven’t worked out as planned, that’s because they weren’t supposed to.  I haven’t met the right guy yet, and that is not something that I feel upset about, because I’m only 22 and, to quote Bye Bye Birdie, “I got a lot of livin’ to do.”  (Did I really just quote Bye Bye Birdie?  Yes I did.)

Of course, there are also moments when I don’t feel okay about it, when I think that my dating experiences have been one disaster after another and wonder why the reality of my romantic situation never matches the imagined version, which is so, SO much better.  Every once and a while I can’t help thinking of that part in The Woman Warrior where Maxine Hong Kingston writes: “No husband of mine will say, ‘I could have been a drummer, but I had to think about the wife and kids.  You know how it is.’  Nobody supports me at the expense of his own adventure.  Then I get bitter: no one supports me; I am not loved enough to be supported.  That I am not a burden has to compensate for the sad envy when I look at women loved enough to be supported.”  That’s a tad dramatic, of course, because I am supported, even if not by a lover, but those instances of “sad envy” are real.

I have a lot of practice being single, and it’s practice that I’m grateful for because it has given me a much clearer idea of what I’m looking for.  It’s funny—most of the time when I’m in the midst of a dry spell I feel antsy, aggravated, like I’ll burst if I have to wait another second longer to find a new boy intrigue.  Right now, though, I’m experiencing a calm along with this waiting.  It’s one of those rare times when I don’t feel like I’m in a rush.  There’s even a kind of excitement about it, because of that whole “good things come to those who wait” business.  I can’t help feeling like there are good things on the horizon; I wouldn’t mind, though, if that horizon didn’t seem quite so distant.


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