Why keep dating, when it’s so ridiculous? We need the eggs!

When you’re single, everyone bombards you with relationship advice.

Chief among it is, “Stop looking.”

I’ve tried that. But ultimately, it’s not for me. I’m inherently quixotic, and proud!

To stop “looking” is to stop enjoying the possibility of happiness with another person. To stop flirting, to stop having butterflies. I think too many of us get wounded after a harrowing break-up and just shut down and declare our hearts off-limits for too long. Or we get hung up on an ex and are oblivious to the new opportunities to have something even better. We try to take control by saying that we don’t need anyone, and become afraid of failure in our next relationship. And sadly, our reluctance to “get hurt” again is often what leads us to miss genuine opportunities to share again with someone who wants to be with us. They may be exactly what we need, but if we are convinced we’re “not looking,” we may not see them in time. People move on when you don’t let them in.

And truth is, I enjoy the search! It enlivens me.

To me, it’s worth it. Yes, it can be exhausting and demoralizing at times.  But gosh, it’s also exalting, silly and GOOD for us.  The hope of finding something extraordinary– even if it’s not permanent– is good enough for me. It feels incredible to care about someone else– to give without expecting anything in return. To admire and respect someone and embrace their faults– and yours. To let go. To trust.

You can always play it safe and remain unattached and single. You won’t get hurt– and you won’t be loved, either.

Yes, I’ve been hurt. My feelings have been unrequited. I’ve been dumped. But I’ve also hurt, and that doesn’t make me a terrible woman. We are bound to hurt someone, simply by being honest and making decisions about who we want to become involved with– or not.

I don’t hate anyone who I’ve become involved with– and I wish them well. I’m grateful to them for caring, for showing me parts of myself that I was unaware of– good and bad. For taking me on stupid dates and posh ones. For holding my hand, calling me in the middle of the day, sending flowers, picking me up at the airport, for caring about my writing and believing in me even when I didn’t. For listening to me and remembering details. For leaving me voice mails while singing  songs, and playing guitar. For cooking for me. For making my friends jealous. For telling me to reject shame and take risks, to be proud of who I am. For complimenting my character, intelligence, and treating me like a lady. For making dirty jokes and checking me out and making me feel like a woman!  For writing gushy PDA things on my wall or even gasp– MySpace! For writing songs for me, sending love letters, meeting my parents, and making an effort to get to know my friends. For giving me little gifts that make me blush with surprise and delight. For reading and commenting on my blogs, and talking about my column with me. For picking me up, even when it’s out of the way. For asking about my life. For knowing when to shut up and just hold me. For saying I can call in the middle of the night if I can’t sleep, and then answering  and making me laugh. For giving me kisses that make my brain short-circuit! For giving me a life-saving hug, and telling me I look hot when I’m wearing no make-up, having a bad hair day,  and in scummy clothes. For calling instead of texting. For cute e-mails. For driving hours to see me when I lived in a different city, every weekend. For taking a train from Chicago to see me. For introducing me to their families. For saying “No,” when I wanted to break-up, and fighting me on it. For letting me go when it was truly over. For being honest when I needed to be called out, and caring enough to fight with me. For apologizing. For letting me be right sometimes, even when I’m not. For forgiving everything that was unsaid and accepting me as I am.

These are all moments in my dating history that have impacted me positively and remind me of why I refuse to be jaded and “stop looking.”

I’ve enjoyed some relationships that were circuitous and intense, some that were instant and simple, some that were just a date or few but nevertheless left an impression.

If you get your heart broken, good for you. You’re LIVING. I don’t believe any more that if a relationship ends– or doesn’t happen– that it’s a “waste of time.” Or that it negates the connection you had, and somehow it’s less true because it’s over. I’m full of optimism, and proud of the resilience I’ve cultivated in this Scorpio heart of mine.

It can take a long time for me to open up to someone. I want to trust them first, and see that they’re invested in me equally.

But I’m a giver, and I want someone to give to.  I feel better already admitting that.

I don’t think there’s any better way to explain why we put ourselves through the glory and trauma of dating than Alvy Singer’s comment at the end of “Annie Hall.”

We need the eggs, that’s all there is to it.

In the meantime, I’ll continue looking and be inspired.

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9 comments on “Why keep dating, when it’s so ridiculous? We need the eggs!

  1. mancuso79 says:

    Good luck kiddo. You deserve it.

    • Thanks! 🙂 So do you.

      • mancuso79 says:

        After what my ex did to me, I doubt that’s happening. Besides, eharmony & match.com don’t have a section that can explain that with dating me comes along my developmentally disabled and deaf brother. I’m his guardian, so dating me means accepting my responsibilities to him.

      • Sorry to hear about your ex, Mancuso. And although it’s good to hear you’re committed to helping your brother, I’d probably wait anyway to bring up. See if you like the person and things are clicking– then maybe after a few dates or so broach that topic. I just try to keep things light at first, that always helps me!

      • mancuso79 says:

        Thank you Amee. I really needed to have it pointed out, not to bring it up right away. In all seriousness, my brothers’ disability is not an issue to me. But the time required to get him more aware of his responsibilities is something that will require a lot of time. Time that I would otherwise use having a social life.

  2. Brooke Skeen says:

    as someone about to reenter the single life, i found this inspiring :). looking forward to unabashedly making a fool of myself once again!

    • Brooke, sorry to hear! 😦 But glad you don’t have a closed heart and are moving forward to what you deserve: happiness! I’m excited to hear this helped you. That makes me feel less silly for being such a sap! lol

  3. knowsurprise says:

    I know I’ve given the advice to ‘stop looking’ because I myself stopped ‘looking.’

    But when i have given the advice to stop looking, it’s not meant as advice to give up all hopes of finding happiness and love or to cease experiencing that feeling of flattery and flirtatious fun.

    I flirted and a enjoyed advances, but at the same time, I promised to dedicate that time of being single to myself. I vowed to embrace each advance that came my way and put myself on a pedestal as opposed to accepting the invite from every schmoe that graced me with their presence. I used each approach from the opposite sex to build my confidence and examine what I really truly wanted out of a male companion. I had hopes that one day, sooner than later, a man would enter my life and fulfill my dreams of a wonderful relationship. But I wasn’t banking on it. And I certainly wasn’t giving every man the benefit of the doubt.

    When I ‘stopped looking’, I realized that I had a choice regarding who I would trust and love and dedicated my time to. I didn’t have to settle. I could reject some and accept others. It was the most valuable lesson that I learned in my life! Because 2 months after I decided that I was going to stop looking around and rather, begin searching within, I was blessed with an amazing man who immediately met each of the qualities that I valued and respected. And he still does!!! Even now, after courting, dating, marriage, and even now pregnancy.

    My advice to stop looking means stop looking for them… And begin looking for yourself.

    • Thanks, Surprise. It definitely worked for you, I was there to witness it! And the transformation in you was awesome to watch– your hubbie makes you so happy and I don’t think I’ve met a more compatible couple. I love how much you laugh together, I think that’s the secret! 😉

      I guess my bigger beef is that people say that sometimes in a dismissive way, as if I shouldn’t have any feelings at all or admit that I want to be with someone. Kind of the way when you’re really upset about something or crying, and people say, “Don’t worry about it.” Obviously you *are* worried– and just want someone to understand and listen, ya know?

      And I feel that I have stopped looking, in the way that you mean. And I feel so much better. That’s what my scarlet journal was about, and it’s almost finished. I think this blog has been more helpful for my self-esteem than anything– along with my column and writer’s group. Especially my writer’s group. I got out and met so many different people who were excited about what I am, and listening to the diversity of their work and passion for writing really motivates me!

      I like who I am, and what I’ve found. And now, I’m just ready to share it with someone else. I feel like I’m more open and willing to receive, in a way that I never was before. Above all, I’ve learned to trust my gut about my feelings, and to pray. God will point me in the right direction, and I just have to be aware enough to recognize the signs. 😉

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