I decided to write the ending to a chapter of my life, the beginning of the end, as it were. That being said, be ready to see them; stay open and choose your concessions carefully.
I wanted to start the next (possibly painful) adventure in the little journey of my life I like to call “my current reality.” As much as I didn’t want to go there again (or, let’s be honest, to don something other than yoga pants), it was time. There is a difference between a compromise and settling, a one. This means that if your messaging pattern goes from phone blowing up to you staring at it, nonstop, checking to make sure it’s working, you are pretty much done there, sweetheart.
A bad date helps us to enjoy a good one, a good relationship gets us ready for a great one, a painful or arduous experience tests our composure, flexibility and resilience.
Translation: you’re trying too hard and it’s not hot. Everything we do prepares us for something else, for better and for worse.
I have created a life so full of fun and friends and work and kids and personal fulfillment that finding time for the average guy was uh, well, not so reasonable—thus the ensuing “search” for Joe Squared commenced. Photo overshares to new acquaintances, by the way, come off as a marketing ploy.
I did, however, learn a lot about myself and my priorities, about the dating process, about other people and that I have an entire closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. Relationships are about bringing out the best in each other, not the worst, and not the person someone else wants you to be. Ask don’t tell, listen more than you talk, and stop sharing your entire life story in the first hour. People earn the privilege of hearing your personal information and story by earning your trust; save it for the right people. Your actions speak louder than your words, and uh, your selfies.
The right person will come at the right time and for the right reasons. I have “rescued” a friend from a bad date, recently, and while wearing my “Spiritual Gangster” tank top. I personally have zero problem calling it when I see it (politely of course), but it’s taken me some solid practice to learn the art of the graceful exit.
Being overly responsive or attentive is a bad plan; the idea of “the chase” isn’t meant to be you cyberstalking and checking in every hour. Some things to remember: 1) take a cab if you can, use a ride sharing app if you really want to do it right, so you can “call” them slyly from under the table and then suddenly “voila!” it’s time to go, no awkward waiting around, 2) meet for coffee or a drink, not dinner, and 3) don’t stand someone up, that’s just bad form (and bad karma). Don’t be an ass but keep it real (translation, do not have a friend call you with a fake emergency. Camille Cantrell had never tried online dating when, at 26, she decided to move to Portland. ) advice and stories, and in honor of my sisters and brothers fighting the good fight, here are my notes from the trenches. If it’s not, then it’s time to move on to something better. Stop inviting the Ghost of Christmas Past to dinner with you, nobody likes a third wheel. This shouldn’t be difficult, it should be easy to be the best version of yourself around people with whom you spend time. There is a time and place for viewing the skeletons in your closet and unpacking your baggage. Your past has shaped who you are, it has shifted your paradigm and your perspective, but it is neither your present nor your future. If you feel compelled to present yourself as something other than who you truly are, to have interests that you don’t really have, to know things you don’t really know then you are in trouble, my dear. Be willing to grow and learn and try new things—but label them clearly as such. Don’t spend your time trying to make something work that you know isn’t going to; things that are meant to be aren’t usually that complicated (well, unless you make them that way, in which case, please re-read #2).