The Emptiness of Dating

I bend the blade of grass into a braid. I attempt to pull one end of the braid and pull it into a rose, but the blade breaks before the rose forms. I throw it behind me and rest my hands over my raised knees. The humid air suffocates my energy, but the hot sun makes me feel alive. I feel the sweat drip down the back of my blouse and disappear at the tip of my bottom.

My date is talking about soccer or some sport, and I nod my head every few minutes, but I’m looking at the horizon. We sit on a hilltop, and as I watch the bees and flies buzz around me, I want to cry. I feel nothing, but I feel something. And even though my disinterest shows, my date doesn’t seem to mind.

He asks me questions, and I give him quick answers. He looks me in the eyes and smiles, and I fake a half-smile. There’s nothing wrong with this man next to me. He may be short and slightly balding, but after a few dates, I surmise he’s a good guy. And if I felt something, I might have another relationship opportunity, even if only for the short-term.

Emptiness of DatingBut that’s just it. I don’t feel anything. And I already know whether at the end of this date or via a phone call in a few days that I will have the conversation that goes something like “It’s been great hanging out with you and getting to know, but I’m not really feeling it.” And then he would say thanks for being honest, and we would say our goodbyes, and that would be that.

It’s become a lot easier in the past month. But should it? And what is it about these mini-break-ups that makes me feel so empty inside. Why should I question my feelings? Why should I question my instinct? And what am I missing? What is wrong with me that I can’t feel anything for these so-called “good guys?”

Yet a month ago when I had three dates with three different guys all in a week’s time, I was scared to jump back into anything serious. Was I being too aggressive in my dating? And is that why I didn’t pursue anything further from any of them?

And will I ever find what I had before?

That’s really the underlying question. I don’t even want what I had before, but I did feel something. I’m not a romantic. I’m a realist, and I’m practical. And I’m tired of investing so much time in something I feel like I’m getting no return on. It’s exhausting (especially for an introvert).

But as my colleague told me earlier today: you have to kiss a bunch of frogs before you find the prince. I admit I’ve never heard this before, and I laughed out loud at the idea, and I don’t believe I’m going to find a prince. I wouldn’t want to. Queens don’t marry princes. But there is something to be said in this sentiment.

I mean that’s why I’m trying, right? Because we all need some kind of intimate connection. And even though I don’t necessarily care if I ever get married, I still need that intimacy. So like I tell my co-workers while trying to implement a new management system: it’s going to be a transition process, and it’s going to be a lot of trial and error, but the payoff will totally be worth it.

At least that’s what I hope. So I pick up another grass blade and start on a new braid.

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