When Stars Change Color

Change.

Humans are averse to change. We resist loss of control and excess uncertainty. No one likes living in ambiguity. And a few months ago, my entire world seemed replete of nebulousness. So, that left me with two options: accept the nebulous and make the most of it or ignore the nebulous and fall the victim.

There were three areas of my life that seemed to be in upheaval:

  1. Career
  2. Housing
  3. Relationship

I had three months before my lease on my apartment was up. This meant I would prioritize career, which would then influence home and lowest on the totem pole – my dating life. That would just be a bonus. Continue reading

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The 28-Year-Old Virgin

When I first met Harry outside of Starbucks back in May, he wore khaki’s and a shirt-sleeved collared shirt. His forehead was already smeared in sweat, and his light hair was pushed over to his right side. He walked with a subtle limp, and his glasses were completely transparent against his pale skin. But his smile was confident, and we immediately began chatting about running 10 miles along the Capital Crescent Trail.

And then in August looking across from him at a German pub, taking a big gulp of my lager in a glass mug and losing certain motor functions, I realized how great he was. My palms were sweaty, and I wiped them along my deep purple work dress, the black belt tight around my small midsection, and my feet sweating in my navy blue flats.

It was still humid in DC. We spent hours catching up on the phone the past weekend while I was in Kentucky for my 10-year high school reunion. We agreed to stay friends after about six or seven dates when he hadn’t made a move and I realized I wasn’t physically interested in the relationship. But I enjoyed his company and the more I got to know him the more I became myself.

Although I’ve had my own series of sexual misadventures, I’m not one to make the first move. And I didn’t want to destroy the one good friendship I had going in the DC area. In the year since my move from Baltimore, I’ve met many young people, but I had yet to make any new friends or see anyone past a few dates. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Introducing Me Time and Dating

When I considered the end of my last relationship was near, I would sit on the metro on my two-hour commute from Bethesda to Baltimore, attempt to hold back the tears, and tell myself over and over again: Just be brave. Just be brave. Just be brave.

It’s amazing how far these three words got me, and it’s even more amazing to think that a young woman ending a long-term relationship should be considered brave. But even though I’m an introvert and a loner, I had been in back-to-back relationships for five years. I was scared that if I gave that up, I would forever be alone. Silly, I know. But true.

And yet a year and a half after I first told myself to be brave, I have re-entered the dating world. I always imagined from the many stories I heard that dating would be horrific and merely a means to an end. But in the past few months since I’ve re-introduced myself to this world, I’ve actually enjoyed it (well minus the awkward non-break-ups). Continue reading