Where I live. What I do. Who I am with. These are our excuses. Our excuses to avoid commitment. Whether it is commitment to a person, to a religion, to an idea.
It has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me these last seven days.
Connection. It is such a rarity for me to experience it. And when it does, it flows through me like mercury coursing through my veins. My flesh, my body, my blood is on fire.
Rejection. Watch an industrial strength blast of cooling agent chill me to the bone. Each liquid metal heat droplet, seeping out, one pore at a time. Waving not drowning. The metal now outside of its container poisons me.
I started officially dating again about a year ago. It was a big step for me. While I have dated on and off since parting ways with the Peter Parker wannabe (who shared my life for just over a decade), it was the first time I actually felt ready to step out and be vulnerable to opening my heart and my home to another soul. Somehow one day I woke up with some newly discovered toughness forming part of my constitution. Flap jacket – check.
Three duds were the early experiences. The “have a cigar – I’ve lived in New York so I must be hot” Chilean, the analyst with a fetish for smart women especially Maggie Thatcher, and the metal emotional graphic novel dude with a macabre passion for snuff films. They say variety is the spice of life but it also gives you heartburn.
Number four – the bohemian dreamer – a writer of music, a painter, a technology artist – a man capable of engaging my mind and its landscape full of tangents. He keeps me talking on MSN to the wee hours of the morning. Inspires me creatively in ways I haven’t experienced in years. And yet it doesn’t feel right. I am suspicious of anyone who spends their days at home and confessing that their circle of friends is the size of a pin. I start to take more control about my choice on when to talk to him – choosing to stem the creative flow.
Number five – life in the wild fair haired rock climber. Not that I stereotype, but the last time I “dated” a blonde as a pre-teen, he pulled my hair and called me names and I swore I would never fancy a blonde boy again. I have been true to my rather obstinate aspiration since then. And yet here I was spending a Sunday afternoon with a blonde haired green voter. I’ve clearly come a long way.
It was a wow experience. I do not think I’ve ever had such an enjoyable date. Three hours of meandering conversation with an instant connection and chemistry that shouted at us. Megaphone loud. I was surprised by the commonality of values, how easily the conversation flowed, how quickly the time passed. I started wondering if I was a closet hippie. Should I start thinking about protesting something? His warmth and gentleness and enthusiasm to meet again gave me butterflies. I couldn’t wait to see him again.
Four days passed very slowly. The feelings washing over and through me during that period of anticipation were a long time coming; a long time past since I had felt such things. Yes, I was ready to be dating again. Our second outing was another high tide watermark – easy. By the time the date was over, I felt everything seemed so natural, such an easy fit, and that the floating almost out of body experience was permeating every fibre of my being. He seemed to feel the same way.
So it came as quite a shock to get the “I just want to be friends” speech a day later – in a message that read along the lines of “we have an amazing connection on so many levels but I am not sure I can be with someone who is not completely into rock climbing as much as I am based on past experience and maybe I find you a bit intimidating…” Gut feelings? Reads more like a burned by experience feeling to me.
Intimidating? I’ve been told that before. A smart, beautiful and confident woman – why do boys find that so scary? Yes, I am a strong independent woman and do like to do my own thing. But I also believe a good relationship involves a bit of give and take - which to me means accepting and allowing a partner to follow their dreams without impediment and being prepared to make some compromises regarding each other’s preferences. I believe it is unfair to expect a person to entirely give up their identity and the hobbies/activities that they have passion for (in my case quiet time on my own to write) but that is not the same thing as me not wanting to try new things. I was excited by the prospect of spending time with someone with a passion for the great outdoors. But I was also honest that I would not always follow them to the ends of the earth in their pursuit of that passion.
And that takes me back to my opening comment. Where I live. What I do. Who I am. It was a tough rejection because I was being rejected in spite of the strong connection. I was being rejected because of the where, the what and the who – these excuses.
I am still ready though. Tomorrow is another day. I can and do wash away the poison easily. I am resilient like that. Ever the optimist. Someone exists out there who won’t make excuses.
And where am I a year later? Taking another break from dating.