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Chasing Hope

I’ve been pretty good about checking my expectations with dating, so much so that I have none. You meet, have dinner, drinks, and hopefully there’s some good conversation to go with it. And you cross your fingers the guy looks like his pictures and pays the bill. To be honest, dating has become a drag and at 43 in the last year plus I’ve actually weaned myself off. I’m happy to Netflix and chill by my damned self.

But several weeks ago, and absolutely at random, I met someone. He came out of near nowhere, wasn’t at all in my wheelhouse, but there was something about him and I thought there was a click. He said there was a click. I felt it, so I believed it. The conversations, and everything that came with, were great. For a little bit, it was euphoric. And I was, for the first time in a long time, hopeful.

But it was also short lived. I eventually found out he was still seeing someone. I’m not the kind to play second fiddle, and apparently he’s not the kind to admit when he’s been caught, so that ended just as abruptly as it started. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it stung some. He bruised my ego. You might even say he hurt my heart. But all that I can live with.

I think what burns me the most is the linger of his memory, what he gave me for five minutes, the reminder of how good it felt to be wanted and enjoyed and to feel the same way about someone. There’s something incredibly refreshing about that feeling, to allow yourself to like someone, completely and without reserve. I forgot how that felt.

There’s still a part of me that’s angry, at him, at myself, that this happened at all. I want to rewind to September before he came along, back to a routine that didn’t include missing that some-kind-of-way-feeling. I want to wean myself off dating, again. Because I don’t want to get hurt again, or cry, even a little bit. I don’t like disappointment, or pining for people that don’t deserve me. I’ve been there, done that, and it’s a shitty road to walk. I owe myself more than that.

My biggest obstacle right now, I think, is to get over this feeling of regret. And blame. I wasn’t wrong to believe the things he told me. We’re adults, and people, let alone adults, aren’t supposed to say things they don’t mean. Unfortunately, sometimes they do. And there’s not always logic to that, and I have to stop looking for answers to questions that don’t exist, or matter. Of course, that’s also easier said than done.

As much as I want to crawl back into a hole and get back to my routine of binging on ‘Supernatural’, I know I can’t go back to that either. Because if there’s anything worthwhile I figured out these last few weeks, it’s that although dating can be a drag, it’s also how you put yourself out there. It’s how you figure out what you want, and what you don’t. And some dates aren’t home runs, but you take those on the chin and try again with someone else. Because the idea is, if it’s in the cards, I’ll eventually catch that one date, that one guy who lends me a glimpse of hope, and maybe the next time it’ll be for longer than five minutes.

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