The Horrid World of Dating

16 Jan

Dating is the worst.

In the words of Liz Lemon, “I just wish I could start a relationship about twelve years in, when you really don’t have to try anymore, and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows, and then go to bed without anybody trying any funny business.”

Amen, Liz. Dating turns me into my worst self. At the start of a new relationship I am a mess. I know everything I should do, like just go about life as usual, keep cool, always keep.my.cool. Towards the guy I use my best theatre skills and totally act like I am super cool, casual, non-clingy, available, etc. Inwardly, I’m like, “It’s been 2 and half minutes, whhhyyyyyy aren’t you texing me back??!?!?!” Nightmare. For all those actual cool girls out there, please give me advice. I neeeed it.

I’ve dated a fair amount, but mostly things never pan out into actual relationships. A few times I’ve pulled the plug for variety of my own deal breakers. There was the guy who was so wide-eyed and naive about, well, pretty much everything, I felt like a cougar at age 21. I might have squished his heart a little. Oops. Never meant to do that, but after a while I truly just didn’t like being around him. Ali actually prepared my break up script for this one. Hey, what are friends for? There was also the chronic loser whose excuse for every lame-ass thing he ever did was, “That’s just how I am.” I could seriously write a whole blog post on the sheer hatred I feel towards that “excuse”.

Aaaand, of course, there have been the people who decided I have a certain flaw that warrants a break up with me. I really don’t buy into the “It’s not you. It’s me” bologna. Of course it’s me. Puh-lease. If it wasn’t me, then you’d be psyched to date me, right? But here’s the thing with a lot of these situations…the break-ups usually seem so out of nowhere. Things seem to go well (and I usually pride myself on my perception) until one day it’s not going well. The perfect example of this, and frankly, something that’s kind of haunted my dating life for 11 years stems from my first ever boyfriend. We were in a pretty terrible community theatre version of The Sound of Music. I was Liesl (What? I so look Austrian!) and he was Rolfe. Our relationship was about as doomed as theirs, although I don’t think this boy was a secret Nazi. So there’s that at least. Anyway, he was the.shit. Like, such a catch. And me with my wavering 15 year old self esteem couldn’t believe he wanted to go out with me. He would spout off pseudo-intellectual, faux-sensitive crap to me and I ATE IT UP. In reflection, he was a total hipster, before horn-rim glasses, skinny jeans, and PBR was a “thing”.  After a few months we found ourselves sitting on the swingset in my parents’ yard (ah! childhood!) and he asked me, “Do you like me more now than when we first started going out?” Me: “Um, yes…” Him: “Oh. ‘Cause I don’t.” And that was that. And that little tidbit of info makes me a paranoid freak when it comes to dating. I’m always way too scared that I like someone more than they like me. You’d think by 26 I would have just gotten over that by now. Nope. Sorry. Still hurts.

Last year I was dating a guy who was a total reacher. I, I, was the settler, okay? Things were going okay with him. He was safe. I thought he was nice, worked at Wells Fargo like 40% of everyone my age in Des Moines does, and we were having a good time. And then he stopped communicating with me. Just like that. A few days later he called me and said that he was “dealing with some stuff” and couldn’t date me anymore. Couple thoughts here. Phone break up? The only thing worse than that is email or text. Come on. Secondly, will someone please explain what “dealing with stuff” is? I would really like to know. Who isn’t constantly dealing with stuff?  And the fact that I was the settler made his break up with me especially hard to “deal with”.

Recently I’ve been on a couple dates with an actual man. It’s intimidating. He 30. He’s a homeowner. He CALLS me sometimes and doesn’t rely 100% on texts, he dresses well, he’s smart and funny…the list goes on. Has this kick ass job, but is gone all the time for work. Back to my neurosis about new relationships: Two weekends ago we had tentative plans to do something, but nothing was set in stone. He mentioned being overloaded with work and that whatever we did might have to be last minute. No problem. I am sooo cool and awesome and available. (Also, considering I am typing this while at work, I may not have a real sense of urgent work stuff. Don’t judge.) He works in marketing and was telling me about marketing laundry detergent and said, “Laundry detergent sucks.” That was that. I didn’t hear from him the whole weekend. In my craaazy brain, I concluded that something happened and that just like past dating experiences, this was it for us. He’s stopped talking to me = he hates me and never wants to see me again. I found it very strange that “Laundry detergent sucks” would be the last thing for him to tell me. My friends got to hear all about it. Monday comes around and he texts me and says he’s sorry…that he was sick/overloaded with important job stuff. And you know what? While he really should have let me know what was up, I believe him. He’s keeping it casual. I should keep it casual. I should calm down. I should BE the awesome, available, carefree girl I pretend to be.

(But it still would be nice to skip all this stuff to the point where we’re just cool, right Liz?)

Love, Kenz

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