April 4, 2015: Harlem NY
In August 2014 a relationship with this really awesome guy I’d been dating for over three years ended. And I need to emphasize how awesome this guy is. There are so many examples I could give of how kind, selfless, loving he is, how he accepted me for all I am and am not. We were really good friends, had a good relationship, were really happy, and it was a relationship unlike any I’d ever experienced. I’d never felt so close to someone, so safe. But we both could see that although we were very happy in our time together, our lives were diverging, both geographically and generally, and it only seemed best to part ways.
As I processed the breakup in the months that followed, some rather discouraged assumptions began taking root:
1. I’d probably never meet someone else as awesome again.
2. If I’d been with someone so awesome and it STILL didn’t work out, there’s no way a future relationship could work.
Not surprisingly, friends and family picked up on my mild dating pessimism (“I’m never going to like anyone again ever and I’m doomed to be alooooooooooone”) and challenged me to be more open.
But I still had zero interest in dating, and to make it even LESS appealing, I didn’t feel like my life was particularly ‘attractive’ or ‘together,’ This tends to make you less inclined to share it with someone else. I didn’t know where I’d be in 6 months, wasn’t sure what I’d be doing, wasn’t fully over my past relationship, and frequently felt like a tangle of hope, fear and awkwardness – not exactly the face I wanted to present to others.
Plus, with nearly all my friends coupled off, I started questioning whether perhaps I was missing some gene, vitamin or had just missed a class somewhere along the way that makes you fit for the relationship world. 🙂
All to say, when friends/former boyfriend/former coworkers suggested dating in New York, the idea sounded reasonable, but terrible. Reasonable because of course there must be men in the world that are interesting and decent, that I might enjoy knowing, terrible because I was incredibly nervous at the thought of actually sitting across a table from any of them.
So a few days into the trip, sitting alone in Aaron and Caty’s family room and thinking of the weeks ahead, I concluded once and for all that dating sounded entirely awkward, uncomfortable, intimidating, rife with potential for rejection, and basically, no fun whatsoever.
Which is exactly why I had to give it a try. In a stage of life where you want to disrupt your routines, challenge your assumptions, take risks and grow, much to my chagrin I had to admit that this seemed the only possible way to move forward.
And so that’s when I downloaded Tinder… and that’s when there was no going back…