Ever since you broke up with me I’ve felt super down about my prospects. At least in the male department. You’re with someone for a year and a half and you think things are going well and you get comfortable with the idea of dating just one person, of being with him for the rest of your life.
This wasn’t how I felt at first. I certainly wasn’t looking for a future husband when I met you. I was only twenty-five at the time. I had come out late and dated two boys seriously. I had only been single and living in New York City for like eight months when we went on our first date. That hadn’t left me with much time to experience all that I wanted to of dating and sex. I was like a kid who loved Baskin-Robbins but had only gotten to try eight of the thirty-one possible flavors. Did I really want to settle for having chocolate chip cookie dough the rest of my life when I still hadn’t gotten a chance to try rum raisin or jamocha or chocolate fudge or pistachio?
I didn’t really start thinking about this until we got to month three or four of us dating. That’s when things started to get serious. That’s around the time you said that you loved me.
Boys always fall fast for me. I don’t know why. Of the two I’ve loved in my life so far, the first said he loved me casually over the phone after we’d been dating for two months, and you said you loved me after about three months of dating.
Or rather, you hinted at it.
You were wasted that night as we crawled into your bed at like four in the morning. We’d been out drinking all night, but I was more sober than you. As we laid in bed, you were mumbling drunkenly to me. You told me that you had something you wanted to tell me, but that you thought it might be too soon. I could read between those words and knew exactly what you wanted to say. But it really was too early in our relationship. At least that’s what I thought. And drunk at 4AM was not the time or state of mind to be in to tell someone you loved them for the first time. So I persuaded you that you shouldn’t say anything just yet. And you listened, thankfully, though it was a struggle to get you to sleep after.
Even though you didn’t actually say the words, I knew that you loved me and it made me start to think about whether I loved you or not. I did.
I don’t know if you even remember that night. Or if I ever told you about it after. It doesn’t really matter. A few weeks later we exchanged the actual words and that was that. Being in love didn’t mean that we were going to get married. After dating you for three months I wasn’t exactly ready to commit to you for life. But the longer we dated, the more real that possibility became. Eventually love sets in and you forget about all the potential men out there who you haven’t met yet and haven’t gotten a chance to experience…and never will because you’ve decided to settle down with someone. And as much as that idea scares you, there’s also a comfort in it – not having to go back into that terribly flaky world of New York City dating, having someone you care deeply about to spend your free nights and weekends with, no longer having to worry about the awfulness that will be single life at forty.
But then just as you’ve gotten comfortable with the idea of settling down, your dreams of an amazing one-bedroom apartment and beautiful wedding ceremony come crashing down over your head and you’re thrust back into the single world, forced to recalibrate your senses, made to start from scratch. And it only gets harder as you get older.
It’s been a hard couple of months for me. Trying to get over you has not been easy. Moving on and finding someone else to date has seemed like an insurmountable task. Being single is a lot harder than I remember. Going up to strangers at bars and trying to make conversations, having the confidence in your gaydar when you’re not at a particularly gay spot to go up to and hit on someone you find attractive, putting yourself out there every time you go out…it’s exhausting. And so rarely pays off.
This is all to say that I feel hopeful for the first time since you broke up with me. I’m optimistic and excited about a couple of guys. Not that that means very much. Nothing’s happened with either of them. Nor do I have any signs that anything will. It’s just exciting to have guys to be excited about.
First, there’s Andy. He’s the friend of a friend who I hooked up with when I was dating my second boyfriend. Back then he lived in Chicago and was only in town visiting. But since, he’s moved here to the City. I have never seen him out, but on Friday night, there he was at Phoenix Bar. Luckily, I was just drunk enough to have the courage to talk to him. And then to text him later in the night after he’d left the bar. I want to ask him out. We’ll see what he says.
The second boy I’m excited about seeing is David, my friend Amber’s friend who I met when I was at her house for Sukkot. I haven’t spoken to him or seen him in weeks. Since Amber’s party, in fact. But Amber’s hosting a Halloween party this weekend and David is going to be there. It’s my chance to talk to him again. Maybe to make a move. Who knows?
Neither of these guys are concrete things, but it’s the excitement of the potential that’s giving me life this week. It’s the first time I’ve really felt this way since we ended. Hopefully this optimism is here to stay.