It’s spooky season and what’s spookier than vulnerability?
I mentioned in my September wrap-up that I downloaded OkCupid again.
That lasted about two-and-a-half weeks.
The final straw came when someone asked me out only to unmatch with me right before we finalized plans.
Conventional wisdom said to move on and not take it personally.
As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t do it.
I feel like I’ve used up a lot of my coping, effort, and optimism on this dating project. Even though I should theoretically be rested and rejuvenated after my month-long break, I feel exhausted once again.
I deleted the app this morning. Instead of feeling relief, my body flooded with anger and fear.
Thirty feels a lot closer than it did on my birthday in January.
Maybe it’s the pandemic talking, but I feel panicked by how little I seem to have accomplished at this point in my life.
Pre-pandemic, I was reasonably satisfied with my life choices.
Ten months into the shittiest year on record, I can’t stop feeling like I’ve wasted too much time.
Nothing – my career, my love life, my friendships, my living situation – is where I want it to be. Nothing is ideal and I don’t see how I can change things. I feel stuck rather than feeling like I’m building something.
My stomach feels tight all the time.
The fact that so much is out of my control infuriates me.
I’ve “put myself out there,” as it were, and been on two whole dates.
I’ve tried to make changes with no results.
I’ve watched friends meet partners during this pandemic while I flounder to find someone who – AT MINIMUM – responds to messages.
Twenty-seven is starting to feel like a deadline – not because I HAVE to be in a relationship, but because I’m afraid.
I’m afraid I’ll never find someone.
I’m afraid of settling for someone who seems fine and fits into my life kind of.
I’m afraid of settling at all.
I’m afraid of making huge compromises to make a relationship work, whether that means becoming a step-parent or moving multiple times or living on a farm in the middle of nowhere when I’d rather stay in the city.
I’m afraid of ending up in another relationship where I compromise constantly.
I’m afraid of ending up in another relationship where I have to sacrifice what matters to me.
I’m afraid no one will find both my body and my personality attractive.
I’m afraid I’m too butch and not butch enough.
I’m afraid I’m too femme and not femme enough.
I’m afraid that me being both butch and femme will freak people out.
I’m afraid my sparse dating history will drive people away.
I’m afraid that wanting a romantic and sexual relationship makes me selfish and judgmental.
I’m afraid I’m too vanilla to date in Seattle.
I’m afraid I haven’t unlocked the perfect combination of maturity, success, and self-knowledge that will make me worthy of romantic love.
I’m afraid I have nothing to offer.
I’m afraid it’s too late for me – that I wasted too much time not dating and missed my window.
I’m afraid that I don’t have the stamina required to partner search.
I’m afraid of being foiled by lock-downs, distance, and lack of transportation.
I’m afraid my singleness is a punishment for some sort of sin I haven’t acknowledged.
I’m afraid I want a partner too much.
I’m afraid I’m not trying hard enough.
I’m afraid that I will be stuck forever in a tiny studio apartment in a city that I still don’t love at a job that only pays the bills.
I’m afraid I’ve failed.
My stomach is so tight and I am tired.
The only thing I know to do is rest.
This month, I want to read spooky books and play Among Us with friends and keep screaming at new employees to stop emailing unfiled documents to servers. (I’m serious about this last one – it HAS to stop.)
Winter is coming and I already know I won’t have the energy to maintain the optimism required for dating.
I don’t know if I ever will.
Maybe spring will be different.
Maybe 2021 will be different.
I just don’t know.