My oh my, where does the time go. One day you're waking up and packing your bags for a mid-August vacation, next thing you know it's labor day weekend and all signs of your perfect summer romance have flown out the window just as quickly as they blew in. Solution: time to close the windows.
I'm sure you want to know more, who wouldn't with a lead in like that. In essence- curiosity killed the cat.
After nearly three years of dating in New York (that might not seem like a lot to you novices out there or to you readers who are neatly coupled-up, but trust me, if you've done it, you know it is) I decided to step outside my comfort zone; to ignore my "type", disregard warnings and throw caution to the wind. I decided to "go with the flow", to date someone I knew was emotionally unavailable and try my hand at casual (hint: casual does not include planning, a serious problem for a planner like me- I love planning- so sue me, I like looking forward to things).
Why I thought this diversion was a good idea after my last relationship in which I was strung along more creatively than colored macaroni on a pre-schoolers necklace, is beyond me. But hey- in the throes of the July heat- it seemed like a good idea. Ultimately, my curiosity was quelled; I came, I saw, I [failed to] conquer (the predicted outcome when playing with fire) and after almost two months of fun, we came to the ever elusive dating line in the sand. The [dreaded] crossroads where you must decide: break down the emotional walls and let the other person in or call it quits. Moral of the story, he turned and ran faster than a tourist realizing Times Square is in the opposite direction of Central Park West (about- face!).
While it was an interesting summer, and a very bold dating move for those of you who know me, I take comfort in the fact that after 25 years I know myself. I know what I want, what I need, what I will put up with and what I won't. I'm not sad, but rather reinvigorated to know that I don't have to settle. In previous relationships I've analyzed what I've done wrong, how I could have salvaged things, how I could have changed things or been better- I've taken the position that it didn't work out because I did something wrong instead of considering that maybe we just wanted different things.
I'm a passionate person, that's who I am and I'm looking for the real deal- someone whose going to be there on the best days, and the worst days. I often criticize myself for being me, for wearing my emotions on my sleeve and for (gasp) asking for what I want, because of the reactions I get, or the typical outcome (splitsville). But, in looking back on this experience- I know there was nothing to be done and nothing for me to apologize for. When I entered into this I knew I was taking a gamble, and unfortunately that gamble played out the way most gambles do- in favor of the house- but at least I played the game, and one of these days I'm gonna win the jackpot.
Every experience takes you somewhere new and teaches you things about yourself you didn't know before, so I try not to regret anything (it's hard, trust me, I know). I can't say that each of these romantic letdowns is easy, that would be lying, or that they make me feel great about myself, but they each teach me something new and I am better, stronger and more self-assured because of them.
I'm lucky to live in an amazing city where figuring this stuff out is the norm- and I feel even luckier to have the incredible people around me who help me through each test. My friends, family and coworkers (they get it the worst) encourage me, listen to me, and support me, no matter how many times I trip, or stub my toe. As we head into the Fall, it's a good thing I've got a fresh pack of band-aids ready to go and a team of experts standing behind me.