I think I’m about done with dating.

I thought you’d want to know seeing as how it might affect you at some point. I mean, how am I supposed to meet you if I’m not dating? My writer mind immediately writes one hundred stories in response to that question. I try to ignore them. Micah told me the other day that it probably won’t happen like that anyway.

“I may be wrong,” he said, passive aggressively, meaning obviously I am not wrong at all, “but I have a feeling that when your great love comes into your life, he won’t explode onto your horizon like a fireball. I think he’ll creep up on you like a sunrise.”

I rolled my eyes but text him back that I imagined he was probably correct. “Enjoy the fireballs that explode on your horizon,” he told me, “but don’t mistake them for your great love.”

I screenshot his words and tucked them away in my heart. I suppose I should be less intense about it all. My therapist might tell me I don’t need to swing so hard either way. It doesn’t need to be about NOT dating or marathon dating but just taking it one moment at a time.

Balance.

Damn, I’m terrible at that. I suppose I should tell you that since I started dating at the beginning of December, I’ve been on twenty-five dates. I hope you’re not the kind of man whose heart is judging me for that. Though if we are ever to fit together well, I can’t imagine you are.

The truth is, all those dates have taught me so many things. I think they’ve been preparing me for you. Once I wrote these words, I said, “He was the ship that sailed me to you. Right to your dock where you were sitting, waiting and yet not waiting at all.”

And I think maybe they are an entire armada which have surrounded my Jolly Roger flying hellion of a skiff to carry me to your shores.

The outlines of who I am and what I believe and desire have become firm and solid. I’ve learned to speak my mind without fear of consequence. The fluidity of these men entering and exiting my life has reminded me of the seasonal nature of humans in your story. I think I’ve finally learned to enjoy (and perceive the difference between) the fruit while it is here and the trees which spring up to remain rooted for a lifetime.

 My therapist once told me that like attracts like. 

In the world of magnetic science, things are a bit more complicated than that but when we’re talking about broken humans…it’s that simple. We were discussing a man in my life whose hold over me was an ugly thing. I was broken and he was broken. It was an endless cycle until, finally I pursued my wholeness long enough to break free. She said, “Melissa, I would love to see you interact with him once you are finally healthy. I believe you would no longer find him attractive because broken attracts broken and healthy is rarely attracted to broken.” I think that’s true now. I’ve run into men with serious character flaws and though they’re a tiny bit fascinating for a moment, I couldn’t see myself investing in them for the future. And so, I’ve learned to desire your deep character. 

It is mind blowing how many men are willing to invest because they think they’re going to get laid. It’s exhausting. It makes my soul bone tired.

I’m weary and I miss you. This is my exit.

I deleted Tinder and Bumble. I have one last date planned for next week. Micah says I should go on it. I guess I’ll listen to him, but then I think I’m done for awhile. I’ve learned so many things. I’ve had experiences I was terrified to have and I enjoyed them. I’ve fallen in love once or twice. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and seen. I may have even let myself be known a time or two. I’ve been brave and faced my fears. I’m still here and I love this beautiful life.

I feel like the Neruda poem which says,

“a day is long / and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station / when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.”

My life is unfolding. My heart is healing. I am evolving. All the while, the deepest part of me is waiting at the station for your arrival.

Come home, love. Come home.

 

img by Lauren Wuornos

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