“ I actually think you’re really interesting… some of the people online don’t say anything,” the table to the left of me said.
The guy is seated his legs-crossed, in the corner.
Opposite sits a petite girl, with reddish hair.
She nods vigorously.
It’s been 4 months since I’ve been on a date. I was kind of curious about revisiting the adult hobby, until that is, I arrived to the cafe and saw this man’s pants.
Red words are splashed all over this guy’s jeans like subtitles. Just in case, you know, you couldn’t hear him fill up the whole cafe with his questions, answers and opinions. I glance over to her still nodding like a bobble-head on a dashboard, and throw that thought, angrily into the bin.
That’s not to say sex hadn’t found me….But the rest was missing.
The activity was like condiments, sent on a beautiful plate, with no toast or cutlery.
The reason for my hiatus being I had emotionally evacuated from myself. Mainly due to uni turning up the stress over the past month. Cue a panic attack in a shopping centre, partying most weekends till 5am, and passing out from too many proseccos.
It was also fair to say I didn’t order anything, it was just placed in front of me, ‘when I least expected it’. And my curiosity betrayed me, as I dipped my pinkie in, like the animal I am.
Prior to the stress, I was feeling like for the first time in my life that dating was the last thing on my to-do list. I didn’t need it for fun, validation or anything in between.
You would think that when you hit your early 20’s as a women, that you would enjoy the freedom and lack of stress of needing to find a partner.
Instead, it’s almost intensified. And I felt this pressure, despite having no religious/cultural expectations that made needing to marry before a certain age, a need.
When you’re younger, you date like there’s no tomorrow.
Mainly because we need the validation and partly because free-drinks and adventures are fun.
A partner brings safety and confidence, which serves as a mini life-boat as we step out into this massively scary world that we know nothing about… It’s like we’re on a quest to prove to ourselves that someone, somewhere can love us (other than our family. )
Of course we could try to do it for ourselves but it’s just easier, to put that uncomfortable lesson off and file it under one of many lessons that no one really teaches you, in the classroom or at home.
(That and how to masterbate without porn – which would really help people date and respect each other in less fecked up ways, but maybe that’s too progressive for today).
That, as well as inhaling fairytales as a girl at a violent speed, I can’t help but think plants the seed of a ‘saviour complex’ that most of us females need to grapple with throughout our adult lives. And thus, makes finding a partner simply exhausting, for both parties involved.
As one person can’t plug up all our pain, now can they?
(And unfortunately neither can glass slippers or a pair of beautiful Manolo Blahniks ( Hey, the Carrie Bradshaw girls in their early 20’s, with a spending problem- put down that credit card! ))
I think it has only really been over the past year or so that I no longer feel like I really need someone, like I did. Or perhaps like the reasons why I would like a partner have shifted.
And I think that growth is reflected whenever a family member or a client asks me out-of-the-blue if I’m married, and I no longer snap like I use to. Now I remember the question is more importantly about them, than me.
“ You know, you’re not very affectionate… most women aren’t,” the guy in the bed opposite me said.
“ Yeah…” I agree with him ( because who wants an argument at 4am…).
I had already told him earlier that I needed to know people, to understand them before I was comfortable sharing a bed.
He holds me tighter before added in my ear, “yeah but I don’t.”
I wanted to say: ” Well.. that was quite clear when you wandered into my room, and ‘Naked-manned’ me (HIMYM) and somehow it worked.”
But instead all that came out was, “Excellent.”
The lack of toast so obvious now – the overwhelm growing inside.
At the same time, I could hear a hive of mosquitos, buzzing around the room, directing conversation elsewhere.
Some time passed before he drifted off to sleep and I continued to scratch my bites and layer awake to think.
I thought about how tired I was, how my social tank was over-flowing.
How I was ready to hang up the dancing boots for a bit.
How I needed to escape for a minute to ride a horse… a cheaper alternative to adrenaline sports or a trip to Japan.
Horse ridding like my own brand of Ayahuasca, to scare myself back into seeing life for what it is. Big and expansive- and me – a blimp to be forgotten in a century of two.
But then again- of late it was all about ‘easy-buttons.’
I remember hearing about the concept on the podcast of Jay Shetty- this banker turned monk turned spiritual coach- that it’s so easy to become addicted to adult easy-buttons, to escape the feeling of being uncomfortable. i.e. alcohol, music, spending money, drugs, relationships, over-eating; easy-buttons like a daily check list for me.
I was getting tired of the easy–buttons.
At the start of the year, I couldn’t get enough of people.
And now it felt like I needed to reset, refocus and just be alone for a minute… a month, a few butterfly lifetimes…