I think my mom might be trolling me.
Yeah, that must be it, because she couldn’t possibly have been serious when she offhandedly suggested—with a straight face—that perhaps I start swiping in Chicago, now that I’m extending my stay…
Clearly, my enthusiasm has been contagious.
Technically, I should be on a flight en route back to New York right now, but due to a few happy accidents and best-laid plans gone awry, I now have a blessedly free week leading up to the unofficial last weekend of summer. So, I’ll be kicking it in my hometown, with not much to do but hang with the homie (aka Mom), work out, shop, sunbathe on the roof, hit the Chicago Jazz Fest at will (it’s basically in our front yard), try not to eat my way through this delicious city, and…swipe?
So basically, “relax, relax, relax…stress.” One of these things doesn’t belong.
Or, maybe I haven’t yet found the delight in dating.
There, I said it. And I meant it. I know; I’m supposed to be enjoying the compliments, the flurry of possibility, and the free drinks and dinners. But it comes with a side of exhaustion, confusion and a profound lack of time for myself. (I have become increasingly attached to “me time” in recent years.)
Truth is, as I texted both Mr. Clean (formerly known as “The Silver Fox”) and “The Bro” this afternoon to tell them that I wouldn’t be available for (third!) dates this week after all, my overriding emotion wasn’t regret; it was relief.
I know; that may be more a reflection of my chemistry with each of them than of dating in general. But let me state for the record that I genuinely like these guys. In fact, I’ve liked every guy I’ve dated during the past few weeks. While vastly different, they all seem to be profoundly decent and admittedly viable men—even if they’re ultimately not the men for me.
Frankly, it just may be too soon to say; but I actually enjoy spending time with each of them, even if there are no sparks. If sparks weren’t a prerequisite for keeping them around, I’d have a great new group of guy friends. You know—because that’s ideally how they’re all hoping this’ll turn out, right? Right?
Is this what guys go through? I mean, #NotAllGuys, but the ones who always seem to be searching for something better, even while they recognize that a high-quality human being is already within their grasp? You know, like a few of my exes—or, a few of yours.
I recall saying to my last love, as I demanded that he discontinue contacting me (only seemed fair, since he’d chosen to discontinue our relationship):
“I see what you’re trying to do: you’re trying to keep me on the shelf, so that I’m there to play with if/when you get bored with your other toys. Well, let’s get something very clear, for once and for all: I’M TOO GOOD FOR THE SHELF!”
There was a heavy sigh on the other end of the line, before he sheepishly admitted, “You’re right. You’re too good for the shelf.”
Damned right, I am. Now, scram. Vamoose. Skedaddle, damn it.
Since then, I’ve promised myself that I will never be as careless and cavalier as he—at least, not consciously. I now have cultivated a practice of nipping things in the bud early, rather than fostering false hopes. And I declare my boundaries whenever necessary.
I have not always been successful. Feelings have been hurt, egos bruised, bridges burned. I must do better. Because (if nothing else)…karma.
So yeah, I’m grateful for another week away from awkward and possibly difficult conversations, though I may try my hand at some cross-country swiping (in preparation for my return home next week), now that I’ve figured out how to adjust my location settings…
And yet, temptation beckons: Could there be a breath of fresh air here in the Windy City? While I’m sure Mom would be delighted if I found a romantic interest here, will the presumption be that since I don’t reside here, I’m down for whatever? Unless I’m prepared to abruptly shift into hookup mode (not gonna happen) or consider the dreaded long-distance relationship, this may neither be the time, nor the place.
Then again, a week is an eternity in Tinder years; I know this because I spent a good portion of last night unmatching myself with every guy who remained mute for more than a week after we’d matched. All 43 of them. Thanks for the ego boost, Player. Happy swiping!
Because I get it: I get restless, too. In fact, I’m restless even as I write this. And I suppose I could submit to more ego-stroking (or is it “ego-swiping”?) to take the edge off—but somehow, the idea of connecting with folks I already know (at least, via the faux-intimacy that is FB) is feeling far more appealing, at present.
So, if you’re in Chicago this holiday weekend, get at me. I’ll be the girl in #LeDress (see Day 25).