While sweeping scattered kitty litter into a neat granular pile on the laminate floor in the back room of my house, I consider my options for how to let down the guy I’ve been talking with. “Talking with” is now a synonym for dating, but with the smallest dick energy and lowest erotic frequency in the cosmos.
I know that some folks find what they need in talking and texting, but not me. I fly into a witchy frustration with talk-talk only, especially when they start out all fired up and mention meeting in person. Then they disappear. But instead of fully ghosting they put their mini ghoul dating engines in P for pointless.
I cannot stand getting a lame reply to a days old message that begins with “Sorry for the late reply, been busy.” MF, why you on here if you aren’t on here? You don’t have to be into me at all, but don’t play like you are and then drop that lameness into my DMs. It’s so useless!
And I’m sorry, but do you think that you have the busiest life?
“Busy” is often an excuse used by people who can’t or don’t want to make you a priority. It really stings as a productive woman who regularly makes room for people, including dating app guys. Hearing this also lights up vintage feelings of low self-worth connected to the insecure attachment style I grew up with.
Style, is that what it is? I marvel at using a word that could refer to the length of someone’s hair or a new home décor trend to describe something as instrumental to our lives as that edge of earth our primordial kin swished their way to en route to global bipedal domination.
Insecure attachment has got to be the worst parenting ‘style’ because we weren’t totally abandoned or completely smothered. We’re Goldilocks on the psycho-social fence who reach out for affection from folks who probably can’t provide it on the regular.
Passage the porridge family.
Somewhere deep in the electrical circuitry that relays information between body and brain, you know that love and safety is a wild card, but you go for it anyways. It’s a devastating game until you learn how to protect your emotional energies for yourself and create new communication strategies.
Even when you understand these things, the effects of this way of being raised are never wiped clean from the server. That reptilian shit sticks, hard.
Back to my bed knobs and broomsticks dilemma. What do I tell this guy? Unlike most of the others, I’ve actually met him in person. We had a pretty fun date, but at the end all I got was a hug. Yes, a hug, despite his flirtatious descriptions of me looking “good enough to eat.”
There’s room at the table, pull up a chair.
For a host of reasons nothing physical happened between me and this guy, which wasn’t the most terrible outcome, to be honest. I don’t want to force someone to get it on, plus having hookups with abandon doesn’t really feel right to me anymore. Pandemic fever? But a little somethin somethin would be nice.
We’ve continued to chat intermittedly since meeting and he said he’s game for another date, but it just doesn’t happen. There’s a friendly banter but he’s not really on my mind, so why does it feel weirdly hard to say good-bye?
My recent dating life has been so excruciating that I’ve noticed myself wanting to manage it closely, to tidy it up and make it more defined than it really is. I need to make sense of it because it feels very grey and adds to the already mixed-up feelings that characterize everyday pandemic life, 19 months in.
I’m stricken with almost constant irritation because of the latent replies and other dating bullshit that’s been mounting over the past few months. Why can’t they just tell me if they’re IN or OUT?
It’s like all of the romantic confidence and know-how has been drained from us. Truly. That must be part of the reason why so many of us are quietly going berserk on dating apps. Sadly, this madness reflects the wildly bonkers and unsatisfied state of the universe and of ourselves.
What is dating during a pandemic anyways?
I’m not sure I have the answer to my dilemma about this betwixt and between guy. I think that part of my unwillingness to let him go is linked with the fact that he’s really opened up to me. Sure, I was pissed about no kissy kissy, but I respect his experiences and his willingness to be vulnerable.
Maybe that’s what pandemic dating is ultimately all about, showing our vulnerability to one another. It’s a test though, to see how much we can navigate and what is worth taking on. Without a real face to look into or a hand to hold, it’s impossible to really connect at that level we are designed to connect at.
As we swim into the orange and black waters of Halloween, I light a light for me and for you, my fellow pumpkin eaters and lovers of the world.