About four months ago, I really started embracing my “single” status, going out (for those of you who know me IRL you know I go out maybe once every other month at the coercion of my best friend Anelisse) and really trying to be open to meeting new people. I honestly thought this being single thing was gonna be hard. Let’s face it, it’s not like I’m super young anymore and I need to be particular about who I chose to spend my time with.
On the three occasions that I went out, each time I met a guy. All three were very different but one thing was the same, for some reason each time I had gone out I had worn my yellow leather jacket from Zara. My girlfriends say that it’s such a statement piece that I stand out. It’s like my bright yellow jacket was all the confidence I needed to navigate this scary new world of dating. I had no idea how to go about this. I was in a long term relationship and all my close girlfriends were either in longer term relationships, engaged and married with or without children so I had no one to ask for advice on dating in this new world of dating apps.
I decided maybe I’ll give this dating app thing a try and decided to download Bumble. I refuse to use Tinder, I feel like it's a breeding ground for rapists and murderers, ha. I like how Bumble gives the woman an upper hand and they have to be the one to initiate the conversation. I had Bumble for about two days (and to be fair, I wasn’t doing the Bumbling… my phone was being passed around between two of my girlfriends and they were swiping left or right for me). After two days of using this app I got really freaked out and completely deleted the entire thing. I have this huge fear that I’ll go meet one of these guys I got matched with on Bumble and never come home because I’ve been kidnapped, my organs have been harvested and I’m left for dead in some sketchy alley way. Morbid I know but, I grew up in the MySpace era and watch way too much Law and Order and Criminal Minds.
About a month later, I decided to give this Bumble thing another go. And boy did I get lucky (or so my naive little self thought). A profile of a guy came up and his first photo was of him sitting on a swing in the ocean of a tropical destination. First thing that popped into my head was “Okay, this guy likes to travel...this could work.” I’m a huge fan of traveling and discovering new places so I already knew we had one thing in common. Pushing my dating app fears aside I sent him a message, that message turned into a pretty damn good conversation, which turned into exchanging numbers and eventually led to me (yes, me… again at the coercion of my friend Anelisse) asking him out for drinks. I’m a pretty social and outgoing person with people who know me, but with a complete stranger who I’ve never met, this was a big deal. He said yes. We went and got dinner and drinks on Thursday. Had our second date that following Saturday and our third the next day on Sunday.
Normally, I'm an extremely guarded person. There are VERY few people I feel comfortable opening up to or sharing details of my life with. But for some reason, in this instance, none of my walls were up. It’s insane how quickly I was able to open up and feel comfortable with him. Like I said, I’m usually an extremely guarded person, (I’ve been through my fair share of “life-changing” events, so it’s just the way I’m wired) so for me this was a rare occurrence. But something about him made me feel like I’ve known him for years, not for a little over a week or a four-day span if you’re counting from the moment we met in person but for a while. In that small span of time I’ve really found myself doing things I normally wouldn’t do, embracing a new me (we even went on a weekend getaway together). Going for things I want, without fear of the unknown.
We dated for a little over a month and I thought things were trending in the right direction but one morning I woke up with a strange pit in my stomach, like something was wrong. After talking with my friends about it, they assured me it was just me thinking worst case scenario again and there was no factual evidence to back up the way I was feeling. So, I kept going, relishing in every moment I spent with him. But one night, out of the blue, I got a text message from him breaking things off. I was completely blindsided. I felt like an idiot. For those of you who watch Sex and the City, in that moment I felt like Carrie did when Burger ended things on a post it that said "I'm sorry, I can't. Don't hate me." (clip below) I feel like I would have preferred a post it. There and to the point, not some excuse filled, drawn out text message which ended in the three same words that Burger's post-it did "don't hate me." I feel like those three words are such a cop out. I consider myself to be a pretty smart person but in that moment, I felt like the stupidest person alive. I'm so upset with myself for not trusting my gut instinct. For allowing myself to trust a stranger so easily. For sharing bits of me, I normally wouldn't. If I were a child in this instance, I would have totally gone into the back of the "ice-cream man's" truck for free ice cream. As much as I want to throw myself a pity party I just have to remember... "Life is tough, my darling, but so are you." - Stephanie Bennett Henry.
In this moment when I feel like breaking down, I'm lucky to have friends to remind me that I am not broken and that I am tough. That I am an intelligent person, with a kind and loving heart. That I'm fiercely loyal and that I am deserving of someone who doesn't take the cowards way out. To my friends, thank you, I love you.
For all the other women out there, standing in similar shoes to mine. Take the risk, find your bliss because you’ll never know what you can discover if you don’t. Even if it ends in heartbreak and disappointment, take it as a learning exercise. I know it's so much easier to preach as opposed to follow (because I currently don't even fully believe these words) but you have to take the risk because without it, there is no reward. To my fellow single ladies, treading these unknown waters... We'll figure it out and for those instances that don't end well, well that's what girlfriends and ice cream are for.