“Why are you single?” He asks, heavy lidded, a provocative smile curling the corners of his lips. His icy blue eyes swallowed by his pupils the size of black holes. Could be attraction … could be cocaine. “I hate that question.” I respond furrowing my brow. I like this guy, I think to myself.
I’ve been asked this question before. I guess I’ve had moments of such charm and charisma that my being single was a subject of great confusion. Or maybe he was just trying to seduce me. Truth is, it’s not seducing or complimentary. It leads me to ask the question to myself, which then leads to over analytical thoughts that come to some pretty good, logical, introspective, accurate and true answers; yet, at the same time, always seem to feel like excuses.
I start to explain the last relationship I was in and why it didn’t work – I stop. Sigh. Then say, “I don’t know, maybe I’m just really bad at dating.” He laughs a little, a real laugh, not forged but endearing. His eyes smile like he understands, doesn’t judge and appreciates my honesty. I shrug and smile relief.
It’s the truth in all of the logic I still can’t explain with any feelings of comfort why it is that I am still single. I decided about 9 months ago that I was going to give up active dating.
“You’re stunning.” He says, with those eyes. I’m silenced by those eyes. Those heavy lidded, icy blue beauties. I want so desperately to fall into them, to be swept away with his tide.
I decided about 9 months ago that I was going to get off-line, my first step to non-active dating. I have been on and offline for the past 10 years, stopping when I met someone ‘special’ and hoping back on soon after it would end. I came to realize that this might be part of the problem. I have grown tired of all of the expectations, all of the pressure and preconceived notions associated with online dating. Soon after making this active decision to be inactive in this area, I came across an article written by Brandon Montgomery called, “I’m a Guy Who Stopped Dating Because I’ve Found the Next Best Thing”. http://elitedaily.com/dating/im-guy-stopped-dating-found-next-best-thing/954714/ My synopsis of the article is this: he talks about the games we tend to play in dating and how tired he is with all of it. He mentions still wanting to find someone special, but not in how contemporary Western culture has trivialized romantic relations to base, superficial interplay meant to distract rather than connect, and that he’s decided to take up hobbies instead. A man who has experienced what I’ve experienced in this confusing, modern interpretation of wooing through sexting, coupling, one nighting, booty calling, polyamorous invites, friend Fucking, too many to choose from, paralysis by analysis, time of disarray and dissonance, in other words, a man by my own heart. I wonder if he’s still single?
The banter is quick, witty and fun. I haven’t been this engaged and stimulated at the same time in a long time, I’m on tonight, I think to myself. Thank God because so is he. His hands comfortably making their way from shoulder to waist to hip back up to arm. He leans in, his sly expression, dimpled cheeks and naughty smile are so tempting. I turn my cheek where his lips land, soft and warm. He says, “No, we’re not going to make out in a bar.” “No, we’re not.” I say. He’ll try again, I think.
Ironically, since hoping offline I’ve met and engaged in more possibilities naturally, simply by being open and honest and friendly with encounters on the street, the gym, watering holes, etc. Not just any encounter mind you, but those specials spots that you look at and think, hmmm, nice. None of them have flourished into a romantic relationship or even intercourse… in case you were wondering; nosy Nelly… but I have had some magnificent experiences. A shift happened and a realization ensued. I spent the better part of my dating career focusing on what I didn’t like in my partner du jour, whereas, since, I’ve been focusing on what I do like in these fellows.
He erects his torso, his body not budging an inch, his hand keeping contact and the banter continues; the compliments flowing from his lips like maple syrup on pancakes. I smile at the flattery and maybe say a thank you of sorts. A strangers flattery, although nice is no way to my heart and certainly not to my pants. I ask him to stop. He says, “Ok, I’ll stop, no more compliments.” Just as that wicked smile sparks his cute dimples and I think, he’s cute, I say, “You’re cute.” He says, “Likewise.” He leans in again and I turn the other cheek and he says, “No, there will be no kissing in the bar.” His hands feel comfortable, he’s got a nice face, I like talking with him, I like looking at him, I like how the world is disappearing around me.
This shift in perception has been an awakening in and of itself. I don’t know what the end result will be, I have hope and when I’m lucky faith, but no clear, concrete outcome. It’s not like going to school to graduate with a degree. That’s certain – you go to school, study, hand assignments in on time, pass exams and even if you are not the top of your class, odds are in your favor that most likely you will graduate with a pretty piece of paper stating that you are some kind of expert in some sort of area. So many people claim and totally bank on being supposed experts in dating, match making, mating, marriage etc., but obviously there are 50 million variables that will negate their expertise in a split second, like a diet, their ‘answers’ may work for some but not all. I will go so far as to say, not even the majority, when 40% of all marriages end in divorce and some state that a mere 17% of the remaining 60% are genuinely happy together. Where does that leave the rest of us? We kind of have to wing it with intention and awareness believing that the outcome is out of our hands. At least that’s what I believe, because every time I’ve placed it in my hands, or someone else hands, I’ve failed.
His hands make their way to my back, he’s strong but not forceful, confident but not arrogant and genuinely enticing. He leans in again and for a split second I think, I should turn away, but I don’t. His lips meet mine and they are perfectly soft and warm. Finally a man who knows how to kiss, it’s been a while. He wraps his arms around me and holds me in strong comfort. I haven’t been kissed like this in a very long time, I think to myself. “mmmhmmm.” He says. In those moments I’m not shy or awkward or clumsy or ego driven or uncomfortable or insecure, I’m just perfect. It happens so rarely, that kind of connection, that kind of heat. I don’t know if it will ever happen with him again, but I am sure that he turned that lightbulb back on. It was burnt out, his company and his kiss replaced it with an Energy Star LED; a bulb that uses only the right kind of energy, thatwill clearly light my path and take a millennia to burn out. He certainly has been some kind of special experience, one that I am grateful to have had and will remember in glorious detail, for a long time to come.
As the outcome lays somewhere else I choose to have faith, all while acknowledging every conceivable possibility, including spending the rest of my days single (which are many many days to come, given that I’m still young), to meeting the proverbial man of my dreams, to everything in between – while trusting in that feeling – you know the one I’m talking about – that feeling that happens so rarely, but is so familiar, that one that you forget exists until it happens again and you say – Hi, I forgot about you, I’m so happy you’re back, thank you for coming, just between you and me, you’re my favorite.