Dating is a horrible, treacherous, annoying process and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. I cannot believe anyone who says they like dating; you’re not only playing a really twisted game, your masochistic ass is enjoying it. Maybe eventually you’ll find “the one” and it’ll all be worth it, or whatever melodramatic bullshit that TV shows and movies convince you is real, but the road to unconditional love is pitted with really deep pot holes. Next to dying in a horrible fashion, I can’t think of anything more terrifying than exposing yourself for the weirdo that you are to a complete stranger. Or maybe even a half stranger. But that’s what dating is; leap of faith after leap of faith and letting your shattered femurs heal in between failed jumps. However, after time the brain starts to play tricks on you; there’s only so many jumps one can make before the question of whether or not the bones will heal the next time. Welcome to my conundrum.
When things get bad, I feel like Tina Belcher does after being let down: “Ugh, my heart just pooped its pants.”
I’m one of those women who’d happily fast forward through all the butterfly feelings caused by cheeky grins, sweet texts and a sly wink or two. We can do that later, I don’t need that now. What I need, and even more so want, is stability and certainty. I realize that’s asking for a lot, because even in marriages those two components aren’t always prevalent, and that can lead to a very bad situation. But let’s just cut the puppy love crap and fast forward to the good stuff: sitting on the couch side by side, reciting lines from Parks and Recreation while chowing on chicken wings, and pausing the show to have yet another burping contest. I’ll let you win, because I love you, but next time I will put you in your place. At times though, getting to that point seems almost impossible, and playing the lottery seems like a much better chance at being happy. But then you play the Powerball, realize that the cosmos hates you, and you’re back to square one with a pint of ice cream in your lap and your cat staring at you from across the room.
I’m in the middle of that whole “I wanna date… I think” phase that I’ve ventured into before. My current batting average is definitely below .200, and I’m not feeling too confident in stepping up to face the next pitcher. But I will; not only because I want to, but because I have to. I can’t give up. And my friends, the patient, loving, sarcastic assholes who keep me sane in sad times, simply won’t let me give up.
That’s what you need when dating – not the person who you’re after, but the people who have your back. The ones who you ask for help from, getting the brutal, blunt and much-needed truth that shakes your brain up. They’re dating that person too, if you really think about it. After being in a long-term relationship where I was forbidden to discuss anything about the relationship to anyone, I can tell you that nothing on this good, green Earth will help you more than discussing your love life. Don’t bottle it up, that’s a surefire way to ruin both yourself and potentially a future with that really cute guy in the cubicle on the other side of the room. There is indeed a line, and you need to be careful not to cross it and become a gossipy, untrustworthy she-demon. But again, and I cannot preach this enough, do not under any circumstance hold things in. Call your friend while sobbing, so they basically need a translator to understand what your emotional, crazy ass is trying to say. Text them every damn angry, crying and middle finger emoji that you can find, because you know damn well they’re going to send unicorns, rainbows, puppies and eggplant emojis back in return. Your friends will do everything in their power to help you heal, because they love you. There will be jokes about living on an island where you just import one-night-stands, or how your vibrator really is the best damn thing that’s ever been in your vagina, and that’s what will get you through the anger and pain… laughter.
The sun still rises tomorrow and you may have a few more scars, but your friends have really cool princess bandaids you can rock until you’re ready to try again.