This time, unlike the last three times I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to turn an online conversation into an in-person date, I had allowed myself to feel hope. Not only had I felt hope, but I allowed that hope to exist without the overwhelming presence of pessimism and self-doubt.
He gave me butterflies in my stomach, a feeling I hadn’t had in several years. I was giddy and nervous, mixed with a strong sense of intrigue and strange attraction. This time was different. We talked –like actually talked. You know, the kind of communication where people string together full sentences, complete with proper punctuation and thoughtful personal questions and responses?
He made me feel good about myself. He made me feel more interesting. He made me feel more beautiful. And I’d only been talking to this guy for just under one week. Think if we’d have met in person, how great I could feel. How we could laugh together. How I could press my lips and chest up against his. How I could run my fingers through his perfectly quaffed hair.
I thought about this very nearly every minute of each day for the few days prior. I had wondered on several occasions whether his captivatingly thin lips would clash awkwardly or meld perfectly with mine, if his voice was pleasantly deep or a surprising soprano. But even more than lingering on the potential for a steamy make out session, I was focused on the possibility of making a connection with someone stimulating. Someone who might actually be able to see me for my quirks, my scars, my fears, my blind spots, and my passions, and choose to love me for them rather than merely tolerating their existence. This guy seemed like he could have possessed the ability to make just such a connection.
That is why I cried in the produce section of a Safeway today when I received the Bumble message from this particular guy, let’s call him Ralph for anonymity’s sake (I’ve supermarkets on the brain), telling me that the same weekend I’d been unable to meet up with him for a first date due to a preplanned camping trip, he ended up getting together with someone else from the app and hitting it off, so much so, that they’d seen each other a second time. He wanted to delete the app and focus his attention on her, and was such a nice guy (my words, not his) that he let me know instead of ghosting me like a jackass.
I had an instant sinking inside of me. It was a complete blindside. I had worked so hard every single time that I had felt a flutter of excitement over this guy, not to let those feelings mutate into premature self-looped mantras about my impending relationship failure. Instead, I let myself get excited and swept up with anticipation and desire.
So I cried, hard. Well, not hard while I was standing with my crushed spirit amongst the heads of lettuce bulbs of shallots. And not while gazing misty-eyed and dumbfounded at nothing while the cashier attempted to make small talk with me. I cried hard and suddenly after I had been home. I was at the kitchen sink, mid wash. I lost it for a good few minutes. I let myself really cry for Ralph.
Maybe I hadn’t known him long, or ever even met him. But I cried for the loss of the fantasy that I had been replaying in my head, of tugging his thick wavy hair while finally joining together our soft parted lips, hearts racing, fueled by equal parts panic and pure intoxication. I cried for paranoia that the universe has somehow always been conspiring against me with regard to love, and this time it was just too personal for me not to crack a bit. Then I cried thinking of my recent ex-fiancé and the anger that I still hold that things didn’t work out. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I cried out, missing and longing for that chest to lie my head upon, and the hand that gives my head stroke after reassuring stroke.
I cried because deep down I think I knew that it wasn’t the right time for love. But what the hell am I supposed to do? I just simply love, love. I get worked up over the possibility of finding it. And dammit if I am not sick of using my lips only to speak, eat, and breathe. So many other things they could be enjoying at this very moment (I believe Freud would view this as a definite sign of an oral fixation).
Then the tears stopped and I thought to myself, “Oh well, this must be the universe telling me to focus on my health and goals, and to figure out what I really want out of life besides love. After all, love can’t be the only thing to strive for that makes one feel fulfilled.”
Let me dwell on that for a while…Okay, that’s all well and good, but…I wonder what Ralph is posting on Instagram tonight. What better way to dwell on and ponder a situation than by cyber stalking the crap out of it.