Dating is challenging. We all know that. People who meet their husband/wife/partner/spouse in high school and are really truly happy 10 years later are just plain lucky. Heck, anyone who is happy with his or her spouse after 10 years is lucky.
Anyway. Some lucky people date very little before they find the person they want to be with. I’ve met these people. They are eternally optimistic about dating. They say super useless things like, “Dating is FUN” and “I just lllooovvveedd dating.” Really? Oh, that’s right. They forget that the person they had all this fun dating is usually the person they are currently with.
And hell yes – it is really super fun to date someone you really like and who really likes you. It’s even more fun to fall in love with that person and build a life together.
Anyhow. That is not the case for many people. And those ‘many people’? They include me. I’ve been on many dates. Well, I guess it depends on how you define many. I have had a good amount of first dates. A lot. And, I’ve had a good handful of second dates. And, I’ve had just a few dates beyond that third date.
Here’s the thing: if you’ve gone on one date and you don’t click, or he’s socially awkward, or completely and totally inappropriate, or wildly offensive, you just shrug it off. You have a great story to tell your friends, have a good laugh (okay fine, depending how many bad dates you’ve had in a row, a good cry) and you move on. No gain, no freakin’ pain. It’s all good.
However. If you are lucky enough to make it past that elusive-not-very-common-third-date you risk the chance of pain. Not a “ohmygoshIthoughtIwasgoingtomarryhim!” hurt; a completely different kind of grief.
It took me my last two “past three dates” guys (read: not boyfriends) to realize this special type of hurt. When you’ve gotten to (or past) the three-date point (and probably before the 3 month mark, roughly) you really get use to the attention from another person.
You get use to the regular texts throughout the day. “What’s your day like?” “How are you this morning?” “What do you have going on tonight?”
You miss the daily emails. “You will never believe what just happened! Okay, so …”
And you really miss the phone calls. Those nightly phone calls – the recap of your days, the silly stories you share, and the information you glean as you learn about this person.
My friends are awesome. My family is fantastic. They give me loads of attention. At anytime I can text my beasties, (yep- I just said beasties. I’m cool like that) or call my family they are happy to chat or text about whatever I want. But this attention is not the same.
There’s nothing quite like seeing the name of someone you’re dating flash up as caller ID when your cell phone is ringing. Or better yet, when you check your phone after a night out with your friends you see a missed call and have a voice mail. A voice mail. It just makes you feel so special.
So, when that ends – almost always abruptly – you feel a loss. You don’t necessarily miss that person (there was a pretty good reason you stopped seeing them, after all) but you miss that attention. You miss feeling special.
And, it’s particularly difficult when you are trying to get over that loss, and then the MF (read: swear words) calls you… to see how you are! (Of course). Wow. Now you realize you have to break-up with that person all over again. (Somehow your first message was not understood, apparently).
Hello, pain. I was just healing and here you come again.
But, fortunately, these little dating pains do pass and you feel better before you know it – until then… you just gotta feel the pain.
And drink lots of wine. 🙂