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theory

I’m dating

I’m dating, and I hate it.  I always want to skip to the middle of relationship.  It’s too scary to do this getting-to-know-you part with so much baggage activated.

Yesterday I had a date with someone new who I met online: a very tall, thin, white translady.  She is 31–a few years younger than I remembered from the Lex ad.  Oops.  The age gap feels significant.

It was a fun conversation at a local cafe I had never been to before.  We were near the library.  I enjoyed talking about paganism, gender, plants, her job.  How she got her name.  What a beautiful story.

We were on a couch, and I was somehow attracted to her.  Part of me wanted to ask if I could hold her hand.  I wanted to cuddle and feel close to this near-stranger.  Part of me me was immediately ready.

bonding

But is it safe for me, to bond like that with someone I don’t know yet?  I felt under-heard.  I felt too curious about whether she liked me, and not centered in how much I liked her.  Yes, I learned a lot about her, during that hour.  But not sure how much she learned about me.

She was on her phone a lot.  That could have been an autistic millennial self-comfort thing.  Or maybe like so many people, she’s not very open.  Many people can’t see past their own nose.

Texting her girlfriend, looking up a plant, answering a call from a hormone doc.  Maybe I shouldn’t take it personally.  But I want to matter.  She seemed kinda bored.

release

Dating is nerve-wracking.  I was so nervous.  Afterward my spouse picked me up at the library–I was crying on the first floor.

It’s a thing–crying after dates.  My tension is so high that I crash afterward and need release.  A lot gets stirred up.  I’m paying so much attention and harvesting clues about who this person is.  A lot depends on what I notice.  Even on non-dates, I notice a lot.

It’s hard for me to trust myself that I’m doing a good job figuring out if this date person belongs in my life.  Hell if I know.  How do we decide that?  Sure, I can have a list of criteria.  But life feels so much messier than bullet points.

Many people I love and have been close to for years made a horrible first impression.  And people who I thought were amazing at first turned out to be abusive or so many types of terrible.  In fact, is making a good first impression a red flag?  Charm is so often in service of harm.

feelings

I feel the during, the immediately afterward, the next day, a few days later.  My feelings shift.  A date is confusing, and it’s hard that I can’t trust myself.

But I didn’t ask to hold her hand, or ask to cuddle on the couch.  In that sense, my impulses were overly forward, but my dating behavior was just fine.

On one hand, I’m a human and so is she.  She’s beautiful, and so am I.  We’re here, trying things out for a reason.  Why not find comfort in each other’s bodies?

On the other hand, I know myself and how I bond.  Touch is a big deal to me.  I need to keep my wits about me and keep “no thank you” on the table.  I mean that I care right away–I have the habit of seriously overdoing that.

Yes, I care for strangers, housemates, this gorgeous rabbit foot fern.  I care for random birds, billboards, water, outer space, a bowl, a chair.

What are we on earth for?  Love is the thing that makes all our suffering worth it.

drugs

The most important question of dating to me is: Is this person on meth?  Were they on meth recently?  Will they be on meth soon, or cook meth soon?

I love drug users and other people with big dreams.  But meth specifically I don’t sign up for.  Most speed-like things are just terrible, not the energy I want to be around.  I need responsibility and integrity.  Some drugs feel like the opposite of responsible integrity.

What do you look for on a date?  Is my bar of “not on meth” too low?  I’m curious– people are fascinating.  Deal breakers can seem so arbitrary.  I don’t want to have too many.

standards

But standards are important.  Falling into relationship, friendship, something in a queer gray area–I don’t want to be a tumbleweed blowing in the wind.  I did that when I was young.  My life matters to me a lot more now.  I don’t want to mess it up by committing to someone destructive.

Self-destructive is enough.  I’m done saving people.  I couldn’t save my dad.  Trying to keep people alive is exhausting.

Dating is treacherous because I don’t want to find myself in these relationships where I give way too much for whatever reason.  Almost like I can’t trust myself to have boundaries, so where does that leave me?  I can’t cut myself off from humanity.  I need to struggle along and figure shit out while I’m in it.

I’m here to make mistakes, and boy do I make them.

By Nest

Curious, disabled Earth Goddess, telling the truth.

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