Every time this blog has crossed my mind the last month, I’ve felt a sense of guilt. Sometimes, even dread. Believe me, this little spot in the big ‘ol internet has built my life in so many incredible ways, I could never truly complain, and it’s not the blog’s fault for how I feel…
…but I can’t hide how I do feel anymore. You guys… I’m burnt out.
It’s not that I’ve given up on love (I still believe in it more than anything else). It’s not that I don’t want to go on dates (though I’d rather the good start outweighing the bad). It’s not that I don’t want to help inspire and invigorate every single woman (or dude) out there to put themselves first, value their worth and not rush into an okay relationship instead of waiting for a spectacular one. It’s not any of these things… but it’s something.
It’s this deep-rooted, incredibly painful, slightly manic and utterly obsessive fear that’s in the pit of my stomach and within every racing heartbeat. It’s what has been keeping me feeling a little less like myself and a little more depressed lately. It’s been the language I’ve been using and the words I’m selecting. It’s been the tone of my voice and the hushed cries at night that embarrass me more than enlighten me. It’s what I’ve been Googling and what I’ve been G-chatting about with my closest friends, who for some odd reason, still love me despite all of my messiness and need for reassurance on the same damn topic.
Will I be alone forever?
Now, I know that’s quite an ultimatum of a question. (And a pretty ridiculous one to wonder at the ripe age of 26.) But, if you’re anything like me, or if you’ve been single for quite some time without much luck, I’m sure it’s crossed your mind a time or two. (I’ve written a blog or two about it, too.) Maybe it’s the easiest place for our minds to go after we go on another philandering date, or perhaps even worse, a great one that turns into nothing but a disappearing act by yet another so-called eligible bachelor. (Are they technically eligible if they make themselves so unavailable?)
Maybe it’s those crazy articles that go viral claiming that 25 percent of my generation will, in fact, remain single (partly by choice, partly by circumstance.) Or maybe it’s those articles that paint the not-so-pretty reality of the new age of dating: one where instant gratification is more important than emotional longevity. One where an orgasm is the endgame, instead of a prolonged intimate connection (that let’s be real, leads to way better orgasms anyway).
So while I’ve been trying my best to change my mindset and transform the ways I approach dating and love… I’ve been failing at it. Miserably.
I vowed to stay off of Tinder and signed up for a singles kickball game… where only a few people showed up, none of which, of particular interest (or could look me in the eyes without stuttering). I vowed to put myself out there more, and so I did, and met an attractive guy who asked for my number while I was walking my dog… who then asked me to send dirty photos of myself before he ever asked me on a date.
I vowed to be more present and mindful, to write down happy thoughts and keep a positive message circulating about love… only to look up and see that it was May 1, and I had only been on four dates this entire year. (And not for lack of trying.) In a moment of weakness (caused by exhaustion and margaritas), I re-downloaded Tinder and went out on quite the promising date, only to figure out his intentions were less than tender-hearted.
I’m trying you guys. I’m trying really hard. And yet, what I’m finding is that the more I try, the less I get. And the more that I try to write a hopeful blog – or email or anything – about dating, the more I feel like, frankly, I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I was explaining this to my dear fellow single friend, K, on her roof deck on the Upper East Side, and she sweetly asked: “Well, do you regret anything? Would you have done anything differently? If you knew the outcome of breaking up with Mr. Possibility, focusing on your career and your writing, taking great trips and building yourself into a better person would have made you single for nearly four years, would you have made different choices?”
Without a shadow of a doubt, without any hesitation at all, I said: “No. Absolutely not. I don’t have any regrets. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and where I’ve come from, and now, where I’ve been and hope to go. But the harsh reality of it is that I want someone to share it with.”
And I do.
More than I want anything else in this lifetime, I want a partner to share adventures, the good, the bad, the boring, the everything with. I do keep getting hit with hard times as I search for love, but if anything, this blog has helped me to see that I’m not the only one. And my friends, some who have found their lifelong mates and others who are in the same game of tag that I’m in, have taught me that we’re all on our own paths. We’re all figuring it out – life, love, money, sex, careers, body image – as we go.
No one has the answers, but we do have each other.
It never helps to hear that ‘that’s just how life is’ from anyone or that ‘you can work hard and get a raise but you can’t work hard and find love’ or ‘it’ll happen, I promise!’ – but what’s pushing me to keep on going is my faith in myself.
I’m not always nice to myself and I’m not always the best version of me that I can be, but if anything, I know I’m trying. I’m working on it, every single day, every single blog post, every single date and every single experience… to be better. Stronger. Happier.
I don’t know when I’ll feel like writing about love again – I’m sure it won’t be too long – but until then, I hope you’ll stick with me as I talk about other things. Because while I’m over here praying, crossing my fingers and toes, counting my lucky stars and wishing on the shooting ones, I’m also building a big beautiful life that’s full of many more things than the terrible men I’ve dated. (And okay, a few good ones.)
So if I can’t put my mind to it and make him appear, I’ll do what I’ve been doing all of these years of flying solo… learning to love myself. Learning to love fucking everything.