7.7
December 21, 2019

I actually Love being Alone. What if Dating Ruins That?

How does a person make themselves seem interesting online—what draws our attention?

Attraction is multilayered even through a screen.

I stare at my phone, a parade of faces looking back.

Some are handsome, some are strange, more than a few are holding fish. They say, there are plenty of fish in the sea, as a metaphor for dating, but this is a little ridiculous. Every other guy on this site is offering up a fresh catch, smiling at the camera.

Some are big, one is tiny—like the guy is mocking the whole ritual—him, I send a message. “You had me with your tiny fish.” I haven’t heard back. 

Laughter bubbles as I type (okay, honestly, it’s a cackle). Now that I’m feeling healed, at least temporarily of my insecurity, I’m fascinated. I love studying the dynamics between us—men and women, myself and the unknown—that’s how I am beginning to think of dating. I’ve got no agenda here. I like being single. I like me. I like my life. From this place, I can now be curious as opposed to wallowing in my rejection wounds. And I am curious. 

When I’d gotten married many moons ago, it was right after Thanksgiving, and my daughter, now 21, was just a few months old. We held the reception in Big Sky, in a rustic condo. Several photo shoots were arranged in front of the stone fireplace and peeking out between the heads of my ex-husband and I is a fish and a vase of flowers. 

Part of my work as a healer is investigating the unconscious, the symbolic nature of reality. So what does a fish symbolize?

A fish symbolizes fertility, feelings, creativity, rebirth, good luck, transformation, health, abundance, serenity, intelligence, happiness, strength, and endurance. Connecting us with the water element, it represents the deeper awareness of the unconsciousness or higher self.

We are more driven by our unconscious than most of us realize. Apparently these Montana men, beaming pride with their freshly caught fish, are actually displaying a pretty potent message—they’re fertile providers. 

In the same way these guys are signaling to my unconscious that they would make a good, stable mate, I think women are sending some pretty fun messages as well. Let’s take the yoga pose craze, for example. If a woman is displaying herself in various states of contortion, the subconscious is going to look at the elasticity of the pelvic bowl and think: childbearing potential.

I love the practice of honoring our bodies in all kinds of ways and for some, spirituality seems to be about being able to get your legs behind your head. But there’s really only one activity where that’s actually useful, and yeah, it could lead to childbearing. 

Our unconscious is obsessed with survival—that is what it is programmed to do. And there is nothing more survival-oriented than sex; it’s how we propagate the species. I hear it—that collective boo—sex is spiritual and yada yada. Yeah, I totally agree actually, but as Carl Jung said:

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

This is as true with sex as it is in every other area of our lives. 

Painting pretty pictures on our partners (or in our own heads about them) will not actually create a more wholesome or intimate sexual experience. You can’t make out with a mask. More often than not, great sex comes from the abandonment of our masks, both spiritual and emotional. Sex is about raw, primal connection and in that we do touch something ephemeral. And dating is essentially the foreplay to sex. 

Do I sound like a savage? Yeah baby, 100 percent. I’d also say that I am a sapiosexual. I am not even attracted to someone without intellectual stimulation and beyond that, a compatible energetic connection. If our minds don’t spark, we’re not even gonna get to getting naked. Like I said, dating is multifaceted, a dance between the primal intelligence of the body and the mind—both are valid.  

Leaning back into my battered, leather throne—the closest thing I have had to a boyfriend in over a year—I ponder.

For the first time in my life, I’m living alone. I sleep alone. I eat alone. I walk the dog alone. I actually love being alone. What if dating ruins that? 

I picked a photo I took of myself. I’m wearing a little makeup, some mascara brings out my sparkly-baby-blues nicely. I’ve got this great shade of lipstick, made by Burt’s Bees, it’s called Lilac Twilight and it is, as the name suggests, just subtly violet, creamy, and healthy on my generous smile. My nails are painted teal, all my makeup is toxin free, even the nail polish, which is vivid, against the subtle violet of my mouth, fair skin, and dark-blonde hair.

There’s a glint of mischief in my eyes.

I picked a bunch of other photos for the profile too, one with me wearing my violet-framed glasses, silver-sticker-covered Mac in front of me, a common sight, and another with the daughter and I, and another with the cat and dog and some charming photos of flowers, mountains, and the moon—all things that are important to me. 

Writing up the profile was an exercise in self-awareness. Who am I? What do I want?

I am an intelligent, warm, open-hearted, easy-going woman. Honest and dedicated and more than a bit silly, I’m sensitive and sassy. And I love communication. 

I have a grown daughter—who I am close with—who lives in the area but not with me, and a cat and a dog who are usually by my side. 

I’ve run my own business for 15 years. I’m a healer, hypnotherapist, and mentor for people who want to get more deeply in touch with themselves, grow, and offer something of benefit to the world. That describes me too—always growing. I’m a writer as well, and my business and creative passions take up a lot of my time. 

When not working or writing, I like wandering in the hills with my dog, hanging out with friends, going to a sweat lodge, remodeling my house, learning, reading, sipping coffee, tea, wine, and occasionally—tequila. I like to cook and take care of my body. I spend a lot of time at the hot springs. 

In a man I’d like to know, I look for kindness, intelligence, honesty, good conversation, and a sense of dedication, strength, as well as gentleness and emotional intelligence. Humor! Ya gotta be able to laugh at yourself at life and at me, occasionally—but with me more—and appreciate the small things in life, as well as set goals. Someone who values nature, who cares about their own body and the earth. And who believes in equanimity and respects all human beings, this is interesting to me.

I’m coming up for air after a long relationship, and a good deep breath of being single, and I am curious about dating, about getting to know people in a new way.

I’d love a good friendship, set afire! Wanna play?

 

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author: Justice Bartlett

Image: Author's own

Editor: Naomi Boshari