Lesson from Mr. Unavailable

Since I moved to the city, I haven’t exactly had the best luck in dating. Hence, part of why I’m writing this blog. I had this unrealistic notion that once I moved to my dream location, my dream guy would show up too.

Maybe a little idealistic of me? Yeah –I’ll admit that (it is after all, what recovery is about). My mother went as far to tell me I’d meet Prince Charming at JFK on March 14, when my plane landed in my new home.

Nice in theory –but the reality couldn’t have been further from the truth. However, the men I have met while I’ve been here the last six months have had a common theme.

They’ve all been completely unavailable.

Either literally –because they’ve had girlfriends or wives, or emotionally -because they just got out of a serious relationship or because they’re just not looking for a special someone at this time.

None of these guys have been particularly rude or nasty –they have all, in fact, been very kind and openly honest. They have poured out their hearts and their souls or spoken of their leading ladies in the highest of terms.

It’s been quite unfortunate that they have told me about their girlfriends or about the one-who-got-away when I first meet them, or over drinks or dinner, when at the time, I’m sure they are available. While that’s sucked –I’ve appreciated the fair warning.

Recently, because I made no rules for this 12-step program, I went on a “date.” It was a very simple meeting in Bryant Park with coffee –that ended up lasting close to four hours. He’s an attractive, successful, and ambitious guy. He’s full of simple humor and his sincerity is evident. He would be a catch in anyone’s terms and of course, he’s a New York native.

The course of our “hanging out” or whatever you would call it, consisted mainly of a discussion of his ex-girlfriend. I don’t know too much about her –but he’s completely in love with her. They had a disagreement which led to the end of their relationship, but in his eyes, she could be The One. She’s someone he could see forever with and he beats himself up over letting her go.

We talked a few hours about what grand gesture he should make to win her heart back –to get this beautiful lady who stole away his life at a banquet nearly a year ago to give him another chance. He talked about her favorite flower, silly-habits that belong just to her, and every woman that walked by who resembled her –his head shot around like he was seeing an angel walk on earth. He asked me for advice, apologized profusely for talking about this when we intentionally had met to see what could be between us, and wore his emotion on his sleeve.

Even just a few weeks ago, this date or hanging out or non-definition-meeting –would have rocked my heart. It would have made me feel bad about how I look and question what I’m worth. I would have gone home choking back tears on the subway and Rite Aid would have had one less box of chocolate on their dollar aisle.

This time, though, I went home hopeful.

And yes, it’s only been a week of my personal therapy, but last night, I was inspired. Hearing him talk about this woman, seeing the sincere pain in his eyes, and the longing still resonating in his face –gave me a glimpse of true love.

It was sad, but it was amazing to know that this kind of love is possible. That a man could love someone so sincerely, so profoundly, that he would fight for her. That he would think over the course of a month exactly what would persuade her to give him the opportunity to prove his love. That while he seems to be a self-confident, secure, and capable adult (who I would think is pretty good at this self-love thing) –was willing to let his heart be stolen away for someone who he considered more than worth the trouble.

I don’t know his ex-girlfriend and I doubt I ever will –but I’m happy for her. Instead of being jealous that someone doesn’t feel this way towards me, I think it’s incredible that they were both lucky enough to love in such a strong way. And, of course, I think it’s very sweet that he’s going to chase after her with a grand gesture (which for the record, will be quite romantic with a few of my suggestions).

I realized that his lack of interest in me had nothing to do with me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t pretty enough or intriguing enough to “woo” him into falling in love with me or creating the start of a possibility –it’s just that his heart is elsewhere. His heart isn’t up for grabs and it isn’t open to…well, opening.

And mine isn’t either. It’s not open. It’s not ready for a new relationship. It’s not ready for love. It’s not ready for establishing the foundation of a new romance or even a fling. It’s not the time and I don’t want it to be. I’m Ms. Unavailable.

I’ve been asking God for the last couple of days to help me to start believe it was possible for me to let go of these negative thoughts towards love, and to believe that a power bigger than mine could help erase all of my old habits.

That date was a sign.

It was a symbol that I can believe in a power higher than myself. I can believe that in time, my heart will open again, and I will be loved in a way that’s sincere and everlasting. But now, it’s time for me to concentrate on the love I have for myself. My heart can only be open to loving me right now. It’s not capable of letting someone else in on the relationship.

Facebook would probably define the relationship I’m developing with myself as “complicated” –but I think it’s just starting to grow.  I’m trying to start to believe things can change.

I believe I can do this. And I believe I’ll be helped.