html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: It is a lot to ask.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It is a lot to ask.

The thing that really sucks about dating is that you don’t get to stop until it goes right. Until then, you have to keep being willing to try, despite getting hurt last time and the time before. Normally if an activity knocks you around, you can decide that you aren’t suited for it and you can stop doing the things that led to a fall the last time. But not dating. The rewards for dating are so great, and so exactly what I’m starved for, that I have to keep doing the very things that make it so risky. It is very counterintuitive to willingly do the things that let you get hurt time and again.

I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want to be single so long. I feel like all of you who found your person early are so much more whole than I am, simply from skipping all these doses of rejection. I don’t want to have to be brave next time, and try to be sweet and open, and know that whether he talks to his ex is completely out of my hands. At one point, I even sat and looked at this guy and thought of asking him if he has an ex I should be worried about. I decided against it, ‘cause I’m not looking to introduce old drama and maybe that’s too dark. I’m going to have to try again, when I’m lucky enough to find someone I want to try with, even though I know full well how it feels when it goes wrong and only barely remember what it feels like when it goes right.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until then, you have to keep being willing to try, despite getting hurt last time and the time before. Normally if an activity knocks you around, you can decide that you aren’t suited for it and you can stop doing the things that led to a fall the last time. But not dating.

Employment's like that, too. ;)

I feel like all of you who found your person early are so much more whole than I am, simply from skipping all these doses of rejection.

Before I got married, I never had a boyfriend for more than a year, never long enough to integrate our lives and get the "girl with a boyfriend" identity. Especially in school, where it really matters. I got used to being treated like a single woman. So even now that I'm married, I don't get to wear those rosy-tint glasses a lot of women do, because I saw too much of what it was like on the other side.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Louis said...

So, I've been reading your blog for a while. I'm a physicist turned software engineer who grew up on a fish farm turned ranch in Montana, and I really enjoy your writing. I actually look forward to your water stories, and I sometimes learn something (or am prompted to go learn something)

I just wanted to comment on this post because it puts better than I ever could how I feel about dating.

-Louis

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another drawback of dating if you're a man is that it gets downright expensive. Yes, I know, women today are more likely to help with the cost, but it's still primarily the man's responsibility.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

6:55 AM  
Blogger ScottM said...

It does seem like a solid case of "but if I beat my head against the wall, this time something different will happen."

9:20 AM  
Anonymous quirkybook said...

As you know, I have a honey right now, and with luck and hard work, I hope that he will be my honey for a long time to come.

But I have Issues too. Actually, my one big Issue is my profound lack of self-confidence in the arena of sexual attractiveness. I never kissed anyone until I was 23, and A. was really the first person who ever asked me out on a bonafide date. (I had previously done plenty of asking myself, but with little success.) You would think that being with someone who clearly likes me for 4+ years would do something to alleviate this Issue... but instead, I wonder why people still never, never flirt with me (I'm not married YET, people!), and why, if it's the societal norm that commenter Peter suggests, no man ever liked me enough to buy me dinner (no one even offered -- even with A., it was dutch from the beginning).

Anyway, this is all to say that I empathize, and I sympathize, too. This feeling of not-quite-wholeness sucks, and I wish I knew a way for it to go away that was not dependent on finding that someone for you.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

Louis! Megan, you should date Louis. Louis, how old are you? Please comment with vital stats.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

...and whether you still pine for your ex.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm 33, I'm not hung up on any Exes, but I do currently live in Atlanta, GA. So I don't think that it would work. If I didn't live on the other end of the country, yeah, I'd love to ask Megan out. I like smart, confident women.

I really hope you have good luck finding someone.

-Louis

7:00 AM  
Blogger Louis said...

My last comment came up anonymous, just checking my login...

-Louis

7:02 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I don't think the distance is going to stop eDubin.

Thanks for the wishes of luck.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

Why are people so hung up on geography? Louis, have you ever lived in California? It's lovely. Atlanta is fine, but in my humble opinion it's kind of neither here nor there, you know? Like, it's southern but not completely, and there's that damn Coke museum and the CNN museum. But I am biased against it because I personally did not have a great time there, and I know that's, of course, nothing to do with being your fault or what-have-you. In any case, California is a lovely place to visit.

8:40 AM  
Blogger PG said...

Asking about the ex might be a bit much for a *first* date, but I think it's wise to let people know where your raw spots are so they don't rub up against them. In some ways, I wish I had been more honest about what was wrong with my prior relationship before I got so far into this current one, because some of what has been treated as acceptable or the norm actually has been uncomfortable or upsetting -- and then I turn into a passive-aggressive jerk because I'm unwilling to admit how much something bothers me, especially if I've been pretending for a long time that it doesn't.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous bryn said...

random association with your description of dating:

My running coach used to make us run intervals, and we didn't make the time, he make us run them again, which is fair if you ran too fast, but really sucks if you ran too slow because you were getting tired.

(going through your old entries that I missed while travelling)

12:48 PM  

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