You know that feeling when you’ve been single for, like, three years, haven’t had sex for 6 months (but who’s counting?), so you start to review past “potentials”? Reviewing the Rolodex. Going through text messages, emails, Gchats, you wonder if you fucked it up with one of these people along the way. Telling yourself, “They were funny, right? I can’t remember why I lost interest.” Pausing to think that maybe you didn’t give them enough of a chance to prove themselves as dateable material or, at the very, very least, someone that you could just hook up with from time to time but based on your availability and needs. Not theirs. And to get jazzed about the hook up even though you don’t really talk all that often and he has never taken you to that dinner that he said he was going to at that really cute restaurant in your neighborhood that you’d like to go to more often but have only gone once and that was for your birthday because your friends took you. They’re married. So you can’t sleep with them. Unless you’re into that. Which I’m not, really. Yet! Whenever he gets in touch and you do end up sleeping together it’s actually pretty good (reliable), not like that other guy that you slept with a few times over the summer who, the last time (and I mean LAST), kept trying to sex up the Sahara Desert that was between your legs (you’re looking for an oasis, buddy, that’s not there) because he acted like a jerk the night before so you found yourself unable to get it up for him at all. Yes. I equated that entire experience with a boner, or an erection if my mom ever reads this. She expects me to use proper words for things and would appreciate it if I stopped being so crass because I’m a beautiful, naturally funny woman who shouldn’t have to try that hard to get people’s attention. I’m getting bored, though. How many times am I going to listen to someone say that they’re going to do something that they never actually do? It becomes easy to adopt a completely non-chalant attitude (watch out guys, I’m on to you) and see it as the hook up. And the hook up only. Nothing more. That’s not fulfilling. I’m not sure when it was, but it’s definitely not now.
We find ourselves “alone” for a period of time, and start to doubt decisions that we’ve made. But here’s the thing: If we liked them then, then chances are we’d still be interested and something would have probably happened by now. Going back now and wondering if you made some mistake is a waste of time, looks desperate (Hi, remember that you liked me? I’m still pretty sure I don’t like you, but let’s meet for drinks so you can boost my ego, and remind myself that I’m cute and you still aren’t interesting to me), and, frankly, is some high school bullshit that too many people I know haven’t grown out of. I’m not innocent! I’ve called “Not take you to dinner” guy 8 times in one night before in a drunken stupor walking by his apartment. Desperate much? Definitely. On my terms? Obviously not.
But. Is being alone really all that bad? I see people in relationships around me, and truth be told, they don’t look happy. I thought that’s what the whole point was! Don’t get me wrong; I know that relationships are not all rainbows, butterflies, and warm gentle breezes that caress your face and smell like Honeysuckle. I’ve been in one before (yes, one) and that’s not how it always was. There were discussions and disagreements, they happened. They had to. Maybe this is a side effect of growing up and establishing boundaries. I’m getting better at knowing that decisions I’ve made in the past are still good decisions. And I’m proud of them. Not all of them, but most of them (Amanda, put your phone away. He’s not going to answer your text. It’s 4am).
This need that we feel to get attention is an honest one. Who doesn’t like it? No one I know. Literally. No one. That guy over there? Pretty sure he loves it too. What matters is getting it from people that you want it from. Everybody and anybody isn’t somebody. Is that guy ever going to take me to dinner? Probably not. It’s been 3 years and it still hasn’t happened. Am I ignoring his sporadic text messages? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Am I tired of waking up with Sharpie all over my lips because of the drawing of a man’s face I have on my pillow? Yes. If something worthwhile were to have happened with any of these past potentials, it would’ve happened by now. Right? I’ll wait.