Update: This note goes out to all you married or lonely folk who miss the dating life!
So get this—last week, the love of my heart told me it was all over because of an awkward skype call where she didn’t appreciate my bored, passive-aggressive, I heard you and I get it and am not and don’t want to rush things either, what else reaction to being told things were moving too fast (for the fifth time, by her admission)—so that ended five months of bliss in one 10 minute chat.
Then, one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known (never dated, one or both of us is always in a relationship) visited, we had a wonderful hike and romantic non-date (she’s dating someone) dinner…but the possibility of any future profound love between us may have ended at around 930 when I got tired (my back and health has been out since the flood, a bit) and my charm kinda ran out of juice. So, possibility of lifetime of love canceled due to not feeling well for half an hour? Nailed it.
And then, tonight, a new low, I got a thoughtful “Dear John” letter on Facebook…from a girl who had asked me out…who I’ve never dated.
Still miss dating? (smiley-face emoticon)
Top 10 Things I (Don’t) Understand About Relationships.
Love is Heaven, War is Hell, and Dating is a bit of Both.
I’m 36 years old.
I’ve dated a few women in this short, precious human life, so far. I’ve dated some amazing women, some okay ones, and one or two…”wonderful women with whom it didn’t quite work out with.” I’ve spent some time on my own, nursing a few wounds. And I’m proud to be friends, if not out of touch, with just about every ex who’s ever been a VIP in my life for however long.
All along the way, I’ve learned plenty of lessons (and had to relearn a few, too). A few years back 5280, Denver’s main magazine, named me as a top eligble bachelor. Sexy Single, they called it. So you might say I’m a real authority on the subject (you might be wrong).
So lend me your ear and I’ll blog you a list of everything I’ve learned, in precise detail.
Enjoy. You owe me, as you’ll see.
10 Things I Definitively Know, Understand & Get about Relationships.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
All jokes aside, at the ripe old age of 36, I feel like I know and get and understand less than ever. I’m backsliding, if anything. But that’s okay: in Zen they call it Don’t Know Mind: the less you think you understand, the more open we are, the more we rest in Beginner’s Mind.
For now, being alone seems increasingly attractive: I can work obsessively, which I need to do right now; I have time to exercise; and I don’t have anyone trying to fix me except me—and my first therapist, and my meditation instructor—and they both realize I’m fundamentally blue sky, as are we all.
So if I dared to proffer any advice from the trenches (as opposed from on high), I’d keep it simple: be brave. Have confidence to go beyond hesitation. When you feel all alone, depressed, sad, like everyone out there is happy and picnicing and smooching and going out for brunch except you, stop thinking about them. Work on yourself. Get outside, enjoy the sun. Do something kind for someone: never fails to make you, somehow, feel richer. Get out and do things: BBQs, sports, crafts, cycling…get offline (except to check elephant, y’hear). Don’t look for someone who makes your heart go pitter-patter. Look for someone who’s willing to be half-wrong, all the time—to meet you halfway. As a Buddhist teacher friend of mine said, who’s in a deliciously long and happy marriage, he said…be willing to be the first one to give an inch. Even if it’s not your fault, be willing to be the first one to give an inch. I’ve never forgotten that, and practice it constantly (it takes constant practice: it’s hard).
Good luck out there: Love is Heaven, War is Hell, and Dating is a bit of Both.
PS: in comments, share one hard-earned tip for me and the others on being alone or dating with minimal drama, maximal sanity?
Bonus: Say, Kay, bowling or bike trip or weenie roast? Yes, Nick, it’s a date:
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. The Day I Stopped Running.