“I have a friend I want you to meet…if you’re still single.” I read this in an email from a friend who I’ve known for over a decade. I’ve witnessed this friend evolve from a guy’s guy, to a man, to husband and now father of two. More recently, thanks to Facebook, I know what’s happening in his life and he’s plugged into mine. Or so I thought. Since my friend asked me this question, it made me wonder if others ever question my “status.”
The thing is (again thanks to Facebook), I know who is dating whom, who just got engaged, got married, had babies, celebrated wedding anniversaries. And I have to say, a lot of people have. In fact, everyone I know seems to fall into one of the aforementioned categories. Yet, if you look through my Facebook profile, there are photos of Butters, Airstream Bambi, fried chicken, landscape photos. Judging by my photos, it would appear that I were androgynous, a-sexual, uninterested in the opposite gender.
Or that I’m twelve and just got a new puppy.
Once upon a time, I had a long term relationship, that turned into a husband & wife relationship, that turned into we’re just a good “couple……of friends” (quoting a friend). It has been four years since I was in a relationship. What have I been doing since then?
In a nutshell, I lived beachside in Santa Barbara, made friends, created a New Year’s swing dance party in Santa Barbara, swing danced, rescued a hyper-anxious-attached dog, moved two more times, attended writing & photography workshops, helped my Dad after he had two heart attacks in six months, bought an Airstream trailer, traveled…and somewhere in there I managed to work full time and pursue my PhD.
Going back to my friend’s question of whether I’m still single. I don’t know any other state of being. There has been no time to think about or go on dates.
“What happens when you’re 80 years old and sick? Who will take care of you?” These are the questions my Mom asks me. My answer is, I’ll pay someone who will take care of me.
The more immediate questions are, can I live between now and 80 without ever being in a relationship again? Am I willing to make a fool out of myself in an area I am completely inadequate in: relationships with the opposite sex?
I can present in front of 100 people, be at ease, make the room laugh, keep them engaged. Yet, I don’t know how to interact with men. Most men I know are friends or colleagues and I treat them as such. The flirty, coy, hair flipping that women do, I am incapable of so men don’t ask me out. Well, a CHP officer asked me to lunch recently but that’s obviously a whole other story.
Maybe I just need to continue on the path of self-discovery…but at the same time, be open to the minor chance I may run into someone I like and I won’t make a complete idiot of myself at that moment in time.
Am I still single? Yes. Am I lonely? No. Will there be a Harvey Specter-like man in my future who will sweep me off my feet? Not likely because 1) Harvey Specter is a fictional character and 2) I would act like a moron if I met someone like him.
But who knows, life has surprised me many times over. Maybe there is a Harvey in the future…and if there is, I hope I meet him way before I turn 80.
so, re: the CHP officer asking you out…. does that mean you, butters, & bambi got pulled over? ;P yon – you are so lovely & i am so fond of you! that’s all i have to say. xoxo
Liz! Thank you for making my day!
Touche! You know as a student of psychology this is all BS. The only truly dangerous thing we will do as individuals is to be entirely vulnerable in front of another person. To face rejection. Humiliation. That courage is much greater than jumping out of an airplane with a parachute you know is designed to deliver you safely to the ground. That is why we love RomComs. Those characters on the screen say everything we wish we could say. It’s also the difference between men and women in regards to dating. Men are used to putting ourselves out there and our inflated sense of ego protects our delicate well being. We’d rather be a fool then let the love of a lifetime slip away because we were too afraid to act. To create our own destiny. To connect.
To quote an awful movie with one great line:
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Be brave and you will be rewarded. Reflect on what does happen and don’t be stopped worrying about what could happen.
Thanks JB…you’re a live version of Will Smith in “Hitch”… 😉