You know what’s harder than dating in your 30’s, in a major city? Dating in your 30’s, in a major city, and having to respond to every date inquiry with, “Sure, but I’m not drinking”. (I say every date inquiry like I’m juggling tons of men on a weekly basis and I should probably tell you now, that’s the exact opposite of what I’m doing.)
I’ve been asked out once so far this year, (heyo, still got it), and it was very sweet, but I declined for a few reasons. And the only one I’m willing to divulge in a public forum is… well… I’m not 100% sure I have any idea how to date at this point in my life.
Dating without alcohol makes you extremely vulnerable and as you all know by now, the last time I met someone under sober circumstances, I fell pretty hard and pretty fast, and had my heart broken pretty bad. I mean, let’s be honest, I fall quickly no matter what, but it’s different when you take alcohol out of the equation. It’s different when your first date is over coffee and you meet at a cute little shop in the valley where you end up sitting and talking for four hours about everything from your obsession with Instagram dogs to his favorite classic films, and you open up about losing someone you loved when you were twenty-four and he tells you about losing his dad when he was a kid, and then you tell each other embarrassing high school stories to lighten the mood, until eventually, you realize what time it is and you invent some reason why you can’t sit there for another four hours, even though secretly, you’d really like to. So, soberly, your date walks you to your car and stops what he’s saying mid-sentence to tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen and you know you can believe him when he says things like that, and it’s not just one too many drinks talking or something he’ll take back when he’s hungover the next morning. It’s very easy to fall for that guy under those circumstances. It’s very easy to give your whole heart to someone who didn’t really deserve it in the first place, even if his one-liners were perfect. It’s very easy to stop trusting your heart when it lets itself get so broken.
When you take alcohol out of the dating equation, you have nothing to hide behind, no crutches, no take-backs. It forces you to be completely you. When you fall for someone under such honest circumstances it’s amazing, but when it ends and you realize that sober-you was wrong and misjudged someone so badly, and sober-you didn’t listen to that little voice those first couple of months saying “this isn’t right”, and sober-you ignored countless red flags because sober-you was so afraid to be alone with sober-you, well, you can probably understand how the idea of dating these days sends me spiraling rather quickly.
I’m trying though, I am. I re-downloaded Raya and swiped right on John Mayer the other night. That counts, right? I know, it doesn’t. I just really wanted you guys to know that I’m on Raya.
I have a crush, a few of them actually. That feels like a good place to start, but will mostly likely also be the place where it ends due to my fear of rejection and unrealistic desire to be swept off my feet Notebook style.
So, I’m probably screwed. And not in the fun way.
As one of my all-time favorite musicians, Don Henley, would say, I’ve been trying to get down, to the heart of the matter. I really hope I can do that this year. I hope I figure this whole love thing out. I hope I learn how to trust my heart and listen to my gut at the same time. I hope I find the nerve to ask one of those crushes out on a date. I hope I find myself at another cute little coffee shop in the valley falling for someone new, someone right.
But, in the meantime, I shall embrace single-lady life and be my own Valentine today. I plan on treating ya girl right with some sushi and a viewing of the new “To All The Boys…” on Netflix, (don’t roll your eyes, the first one was freaking great).