My life was never supposed to become a saga. Sometimes you never get another chance, sometimes you never take another chance, sometimes you never know. It’s been a while now, that I’ve been back in the online dating world. It doesn’t seem to matter much what your history or lack of entailed, one day you get your last message ever from someone, and some people are better than others about leaving a lasting impression.
A sort of calendar of selected entries
—January 9 (sole text message, eight months after the end of a 2+ year relationship)
“I only sent her one email which you were on it and she said they stand with the charges. I haven’t had any other contacts with them and have not heard back. I told her I’m not paying and not to contact me anymore. Now if you want to pay go ahead and keep me out of it.“
(he paid, and he kept her out of it)
—April 1 (zero dates)
“I saw that. I’m sorry I didn’t message back sooner. I ended up picking up my sister’s kids last night and have them today while they’re at the beach celebrating their anniversary“
(at this point it seems very likely they are still celebrating their anniversary or lost at sea)
—April 4 (zero dates, 1.5 hours before the first date that never happened)
“I am having second thoughts about going to hang out. I think is a little bit crazy because we don’t know each other, we haven’t even talked on the phone, and we are going to spend sometime together. I am very excited about the idea of biking 🚴♀️ along the beach 🏖 and it is like the perfect date. However, I think that we should at least know each other better before doing it. I really apologize for the short notice and cancellation at the last minute 😥. I really would like to meet you, should we talk on the phone, or have at least a video phone call? Please let me know! I’d be very happy do it!“
(but she would not ever be happy to do it ‘😥’)
—April 6 (zero dates)
“I’ll put you as: ‘Jay the only man I can be bothered to talk to right now.’ 😋 Lol“
(she would not, however, 😋 be bothered)
—April 9 (one date)
“I fucking hate it. Is she’s gonna do that crap she should let me start my prject Most likely It started with me having to make a proposal presentation for the dumb preliminary experiment that we discussed and that literally only needed a text saying which antibodies we had in the fridge“
(I do still wonder about those antibodies sometimes, literally)
—April 25 (one [one-sidedly] wonderful date)
“Jay I thought more about it. It was very nice meeting you. You are a very nice, pleasant mature gentleman. I am not just really feeling the connection.“
(that hurt a little bit. he’s a ‘nice guy’)
—May 6 (zero dates)
“Fuck them kids”
—May 12 (one date)
“want to be 100 honest Over the past 3 days I’ve received numerous unsolicited pictures and videos (yes 🤢) from bumble “matches” maybe chatted 4 times with me, a simple “hello” or “how’s your day”… nothing sexual or even flirting Thank you Mr. Jay for treating me with respect, even calling and being kind. Your personality, amazing sense of humor and of course handsomeness make me smile 😘”
(and they make me never want to see you again)
—May 20 (no dates)
“Hey saw that you called . Sorry was still working. Now at dinner at cousins Will hit you up after“
(but she would not, in fact, hit him up after. she is probably still at her cousin’s)
—May 27 (two dates)
“I absolutely miscalculated on this event they are throwing me. 😆 It’s really family centered and I’m not sure a spotlight appearance would be ideal. Haha. I would like to hangout again before I leave.
Also. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!“
(they did not hang out again before she left 😆)
—November 6 (one date, many long phone calls)
“Hi Jay, I haven’t been feeling well and will probably stay with my parents for awhile longer. I realized today I need to focus on my health for as long as it takes. So the best thing for me is to not move forward with dating. I appreciate you taking the time to talk and meet with me, and you deserve someone that is ready to spend more time with you. I hope everything works out for you.“
It’s a been few hours now. I should write back to her, but it’s so hard to know what to say. She would always text back the same minute. I’m just tired. Tired of interpreting the uninterpretable. Tired of trying. And of not trying.
We encounter so many thousands upon thousands of people throughout our lives. To come together, on really any different level, for a short time, for a long time, for a lifetime, is a mutual thing, a shared experience. Some things are given, some things are taken away, some things are amplified, some subconscious questions are answered, some fears are resolved.
You are OK. You can move on, whenever you feel you’re ready. You’re not broken. You’re not done. You can live your life however you want, with whomever you want, for as long or as little as you need to. Everyone is always going through something, and there often isn’t the time to tell you what all that might be. It’s hard to impress the full gravity of your life experiences onto anyone else. Before she died, my grandma used to have a physical therapist who always said he wanted someone to invent a machine so he could just hook up his body to a patient. If he could feel what they feel, everything would be so simple, and he would always know what to do to help them. Patients are such poor communicators.
Seeing this list all together at once, now I don’t wonder why I’m exhausted, why I’m heartbroken. Why I’m broken. Not a small part of me asks: Why keep trying?
Maybe it wasn’t all about me and my life. There is another set of contexts in the murky background. Among these apparently accidental dating encounters were immigrants with families still living through a revolution in Iran, a religious refugee, children of immigrants, a bilateral mastectomy, a complete hysterectomy (she had wanted to be a mom), single moms, divorces, doctors, a computer programmer, a couple scientists, a total badass helicopter pilot (who clearly doesn’t take people for rides), and one woman caring for her mom after a tragic foot amputation.
Thanks for sharing a bit or a lot of your life with me. Sometimes a little extra patience, a little extra understanding, and some unrequested (maybe seemingly undeserved), often unrequited benefit of the doubt is in order.
(but will he still delete all the apps again tonight for the tenth time?)
My life wasn’t supposed to remind me of a country song, but I guess if it has to be that way, this is the one I would choose.
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