I opened Facebook and saw a quote that can summarize the emotional landscape related to the dating scene of today. The line reads, “If you continue to wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.” Of course, this line may refer to other things — trivial or significant — in life, too. But for the sake of this essay, I would like to deconstruct, frame, and tone it the way I opened this paragraph.
Dating is complicated as it is. Just imagine going through the motion not knowing where the night will end; trying to psych yourself up not to expect anything. This, of course, does not happen all the time, because the truth of the matter is, you do expect something good to come out of the date. And the whole shebang does beg the question, “Why do we even want to date in the first place?” making things more complicated than it already is.
Early in February of this year, I made a random decision to go on a date. This is a relatively out-of-character thing for me to do considering I don’t go out on a date often. I don’t because my bad experiences on dating outweigh the good ones. I can’t put a finger on it. Maybe I went for it by design, or because of fate, or weird happenstance. I don’t know. All I know is that it was one of the best dates I have had.
It certainly was — and maybe still is — the best because I have met a guy who made me feel things I don’t usually feel. You see, as a demisexual, I need to have a deep connection to feel things. Romance novels put it as:
1. Butterflies on your stomach
2. A certain spark that only you can see or feel
3. A good gut-punch that says you have met a good guy
4. A heat that runs south, making every nerve endings in your body alive
5. A feeling that makes you present
His smile is the warmest one my eyes have laid upon. His voice is the gentlest tone my ears have heard. And when he opened his hand palms-up — when I made the stupidest decision to lay my hand on top of his in an act of reciprocity — I knew I was doomed.
Now, if you ask me why I am writing in present tense despite this being a retrospective look, it is because he still makes me feel the same things. The moments we shared — moments I want to protect from a world that only wants to know about us as if we are some item in a gossip rag — and his memory still lives in me despite the mutual choice to end the nights we spend together, the coffee dates, the random need to be around one another, and the careless abandon of worrying about what others would say when they see us holding hands in public.
I knew I met the guy who makes me feel genuinely at peace when he came to pick me up for dinner and we went for a ride under a rainy Friday night. When he introduced me to his personal and professional spaces, as if inviting me to make a home of his world. And I did want to make a home out of him. But sometimes, a door only leads to trapdoors and a stairway leads to nothing.
Dating is complicated. People who date are complicated. And it begs the question of why we even date in the first place.
We both decided to end things mutually despite the perfect rhythm that was our relationship. You see, I have realized that when you have gone through a string of bad relationships and you spend the next years of your life trying to be better, it does not make you a savior of anyone who is going through the same battle you have gone through. Some people don’t need protection from others. Some people simply need to be their own saviors and you can’t impose, you can’t take it upon them if they chose to be.
The other person is not the bad guy in your narrative if the choice was to choose himself first above anything else for the time being.
There is only acceptance of the wrong timing.
I date because I’m taking my chances, a shot that maybe I have found The One. Dating is a game of Russian roulette where everyone is a victim with no winners or losers in the end.
There is only acceptance for both the good and the bad.