Every time I date someone for a couple of weeks and it doesn’t work out, the same pattern unfolds: I get annoyed, I withdraw, I try to act like everything is fine, I focus extra energy on my kids, work, working out, I overthink and write in my journal A LOT, and I can’t sleep well.
Then, as suddenly as it started, it ends. It’s like another cycle is complete, yet again, and I’m free to live my days in my usual ways. I sleep well again and don’t overthink a damn thing.
Not. A. Damn. Thing.
It’s like sidewalk chalk that gets washed away by the rain. No evidence in sight that it was there. It astounds me how indifferent I can feel about a person today, who just a week ago made me smile or laugh or cringe or cry or otherwise invoked any feeling whatsoever.
On the flip side, I can go from completely fine with being single for weeks, or months, with no care in the world to meet a soul. Then something will trigger me to “try” again. It’s like a hidden switch is flipped. And as suddenly as my life returned to the simple routine life I know so well, it flips back to the wild unknown of the dating world.
If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I must be a glutton for punishment since I keep jumping back into the dating pool. Like a freakin’ idiot. I never know what will trigger me to try again. It’s so random.
My latest trigger was my crazy ass neighbor, Angela. Angela moved in next door last year. She is a working single mom of three kids. I’m a working single mom of two kids, and at first I was very interested to meet her, thought maybe we’d have something in common and could hang out.
I can’t stand how loud she talks, how she screams at her ex on the phone in her garage, how she yells at her kids after 9 PM in the back yard, or how her parents come over and help her with every little thing. My daughter and I exchange raised eyebrows each time we hear her voice echoing through the neighborhood, and we’ve given her the nickname “Crazy Angela”. Angela and I are very cordial to one another, but I our vibes don’t match up. She is one neurotic & passionate lady, full of the delightful kind of drama that I automatically repel, like oil and water. We simply aren’t matched to be friends. We casually say hi when we’re outside and go about our own business. No need to drink wine on the deck and share life stories.
I noticed an orange Jeep parked at her house on a few occasions and didn’t think much of it at first. Until one weekend I was home alone and noticed the Jeep never left. Then I saw a guy on her deck one morning when I was out doing yard work. Ooooh, Angela has a new man!
Welp, fast forward a couple months, and I started to see the orange Jeep more often. It seemed to appear when her kids weren’t around, and it disappeared by Sunday evening. Just in time to avoid the kids! I was so proud of Crazy Angela. There she was getting her groove on and living her best life.
After my last debacle of a dating mess, I swore off men and went back to church. I figured I’d better raise my own vibe a bit if I want to attract someone that isn’t a lying, cheating asshole. So, I’m still going to church. And, for the past month I’ve been too busy to think about dating. Work has been busy, the kids started back to school, and it hasn’t seemed like there’s enough hours in a day. Then one night, I got home from work and see the orange Jeep parked next door. And I see Crazy Angela’s kids playing outside. I see Crazy Angela, her new man, and her kids all playing together. He met the kids!
What the heck? Angela and her new man are getting serious?!
I noticed, but that wasn’t my trigger. That same night I took my kids to a store. As we pulled out of the driveway, I see Crazy Angela again with her new man, close together in her garage, as she was leaning up to give him a kiss.
And there it was. My trigger.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how Crazy Angela had a man and I didn’t. Jealousy isn’t good. It’s bad bad bad. I don’t even like Angela, so why is this bothering me? I also didn’t feel good, and that added to my brain chaos and feelings of wanting more. I’m so sick of doing everything on my own. I just want someone to rely on, someone I can call, someone I can have over and hang out with until the sun goes down.
So after having an internal meltdown, I gave myself a pep talk. “Go get yours. Your dating app subscription expires Sept 4th. No one is forcing you to keep it paused right now. “
I flipped the switch. That night I played Candy Crush and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up to a comment on my profile, from a guy I’ve seen on the dating site, and thought about “liking”. I don’t usually make the first move. I let the guy do that. And he did. I didn’t respond that night. I was too tired, and wasn’t sure how stupid I was being by letting Crazy Angela trigger me into reactivating the pits of hell on my phone again.
On Saturday morning I woke up and stared at his comment while I drank coffee. Do I, or don’t I? Every time I jump into the wild unknown, I end up with… see first paragraph of this blog post.
I’m so sick of the dating cycle. So sick of it. Not starting before it’s even begun is the perfect way to break the cycle, right? I couldn’t answer that question. I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer.
I responded. And we proceeded to message each other for the next 3 hours. I learned quite a bit in Day 1, and I brought on the hard questions on Day 2. He answered them all quite well. We’ve made it to Day 4 of as regular texting buddies. Usually the next step is meeting. He hasn’t asked me that yet, but I have a feeling it’s coming.
I’ll let ya’ll know if the pattern repeats itself. The spell has to be broken at some point, right? I don’t know the answer to that question either.
Stifle Me Not