So here’s the thing about dating/relationships/men/women/all of it:
In the words of Solange Knowles, “Some things never seem to fucking work.”
Today’s post is a flashback wrapped in a personal history wrapped in introspection wrapped in highs and lows and tied off with a really pretty bow that I definitely didn’t attempt to make curly because I suck at stuff like that. I never claimed to be crafty.
I’ve written before about my last super serious boyfriend and I’ve written about guys since him, but in looking back (I mean, really looking back) on what’s (or rather who’s) gone down over the past few years in my dating life (the most recent one did not and didn’t like to. I can’t), I have some things to say.
In summation, I’ve “officially” dated three guys since my epic ex. Two 31-year-olds and one 24-year-old. The first 31-year-old broke my heart and took me six months to get over. The 24-year-old was a 145 pound cyclist, which I chose to overlook until he turned out to be Satan’s direct offspring. And the second, and most recent, 31-year-old was just a good ole fashion con man who had me at hello, then pulled the ol’ “THISISTOOSERIOUSOMGBYE” cut and run.
As it usually goes with dating, all three of these male scenarios were pretty similar (except for the 24-year-old because that shit was just cray). They woo’ed me. They courted me. They personally took the time to build a handcrafted house for me on cloud nine for, what I thought to be, permanent living. At least for a little while anyway. The first 31-year-old said he had “never felt like this before” about a girl. He was “picturing us together at his parent’s house during that Christmas.” If an hour would go by without communicating, he’d reach out to say he “missed me” and “how stupid is that? I feel like a teenager with you.”
The second 31-year-old was an expert courter.
Actual dates, serious attention being paid. He didn’t miss a beat with locking me down for dinners and movies and full Sundays together. We met unexpectedly at a mutual friend’s house party and hit it off instantly. We even kissed that night and something stirred deep in my groin. A “this guy is different” stirring. Three weeks in, he was joking (but not joking) about me maybe coming to meet his family one weekend. Four weeks in, he was drunk and told me he was “so proud to call me his girlfriend” and, the big bomb, “I think I’m already in love with you. Don’t let that freak you out. It’s true.” Two weeks later, he dumped me.
These men had a lot in common with how they handled me. Put me on the highest pedestal they could find, and then abruptly chopped it off at the legs with an axe. “I think things just moved too fast” is a phrase they’ve all said when, in reality, they came out of the gate at around 100MPH while I sat there thinking “well, this is for sure gonna crash and burn.” I’ve been bruised, scratched and smacked across the face by dating. Countless times I’ve claimed I’m never allowing myself to fall for anyone ever again. I’ve damned the name of the game and proclaimed I’m better on my own, anyhow.
But then, a new guy comes along. And he’s cute. And he’s funny. And he intrigues me and is a really good kisser. And I fall. Because that’s how this shit works. It’s a bleak reality, but 99% of the guys you date aren’t who you’re gonna end up with. Have you ever stopped to think about that? 99%. It’s supposed to be ONE guy. ONE guy that is your one and you are his out of who knows how many. So, should I be surprised when most of the guys I choose to fraternize with turn out to suck on all kinds of levels? No. But I always am. Because we, as humans, are really good at ignoring “the signs” because we, as humans, just want SOMETHING to work out for once. I should’ve known it wasn’t gonna work with the recent 31-year-old when he told me he actually PREFERS red delicious apples over other apples.
RED DELICIOUS? WHAT IS THIS? A GODDAMN SCHOOL CAFETERIA IN 1986? DID YOU KNOW THEY HAVE A LOT OF OTHER APPLES NOW OR DO YOU JUST ENJOY MEALY, TASTELESS, RUBBERY FRUITS? FIJI? GALA? JAZZ? MOTHERFUCKING HONEYCRISP?! NO? Get out of my sight.
My point is this: I refuse to be a cynic.
For as many times as shit hasn’t worked out for me, I refuse to believe that the real deal isn’t out there waiting for me somewhere. I don’t want to question a guy’s intent when he says sweet things to me. I don’t want to not believe a man when he’s treating me well and making me laugh. I don’t want to hide away from the world in my bedroom because I just can’t bear the thought of being hurt or tricked one more time. Because I also can’t bear the thought of missing out on more kisses, more dates and more stories to tell.
I guess what I’m trying to say is something Regina Spektor said so perfectly a few years ago:
“This is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again.”
I will do it all again, and so will you.
Because the human heart is resilient and the average human is too excited about meeting a new, promising someone to ignore those feelings. So, I’m going to keep trudging onward in the dating mud. And ya know what? Most of it is gonna suck and be just terrible and end poorly, but that’s why God gave us alcohol. And dogs. And (if you’re lucky) awesome friends and family. Also, cheese.
Carry on and keep looking forward, my friends. I’ll do the same.
Emma Golden is a 20something who resides in Dallas, Texas with her dog, Cece. She’s been writing since she can remember and boy crazy since the day she left her mother’s womb. She claims herself to be an open book, almost to a fault and reveres both Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey as incredibly talented writer ladies.