Sometimes, being single gets old.
When you hit your late twenties, if you’re not in a relationship, people seem to think something is actually wrong with you. Like the fact that you haven’t settled down yet indicates you’re damaged, or completely insane.
I haven’t been in a serious relationship for over two years. In those two years, I have had the pleasure (and horror) of dating all kinds of kinds. There’s been good and the bad. The healing and the hurtful. I even got to experience the first breakup after the heartbreak of my ex.
So, here are some highlights from my dating adventures over the last couple of years; may they bring all of the single women out there comfort and entertainment.
I met him at the Stagecoach festival in 2012. For all of you who don’t know it, that’s the country music version of Coachella, and one of the most awesome experiences of my life. He was tall, super smart (like Jimmy Neutron), handsome, polite, and had his shit together. Before he kissed me for the first time, he asked permission. I hadn’t seen that kind of respect, like, ever. Geographical distance and life circumstances kept us too far apart to ever get serious, but to this day I still think of him whenever Eric Church’s Springsteen comes on the radio.
This guy, unsatisfied with our platonic, years-long friendship, took his obsession with me so far as to attempt to pull off an elaborate catfish scheme. He operated under the ruse that he had a best buddy (who was traveling abroad) that would be my perfect match. The friend that he was “setting me up with” was actually him the whole time, disguised under fake Skype names and email accounts. It was elaborate.The sad part was, it worked... until I figured it out. He manipulated my trust in the worst kind of way, and my mind is still blown at the lengths this psycho went to. It’s a special kind of insane I hope to never witness again. The silver lining: while traumatic at the time, this experience has made me stronger and a whole lot smarter. Added bonus: I can laugh about it now
Image: hojuharam via Flickr
I met this gem on an Easter Sunday and it lasted nearly a year. On the day we met, he was dressed in…wait for it…a Giant. Pink. Bunny. Suit. What can I say? It was a challenge and a gimme at the same time. The bigger challenge turned out to be getting this guy to show up, emotionally and physically. It was the most laid-back relationship I have ever been in. Luckily, it catered to my independence at a time in my life where I wasn’t prepared to be dedicated to anyone but myself. When he decided a boys’ trip to Vegas on Valentine’s Day was more important than spending any amount of time together…it was time to say a final buh-bye. Even I wasn’t "cool enough" to handle that one.
Perfect on paper, I thought this guy could be “it”. We had a few fabulous first dates. This guy was good at heart, but I felt that he might have me on the fast-track to wife and I wasn’t sure if he liked me or the idea of me.
The Tinder Fail
Okay, I admit it, I got desperate and tried Tinder. Well, desperate really isn’t the best word for it. Curious and bored are better adjectives. During one of my “to hell with it” moments, I agreed to a date with someone a few years my junior, who was in the area for some Air Force training.
Let’s go ahead and check the yes box on the following red flags: younger than me, military, smooth talking, and selfie-loving. We spent an entire day together- this guy really came with the A-game on the charming front. Well, something just seemed weird to me about how throughout the day he was hot and cold. He would come on strong, then be obsessed with making sure I wasn’t going to get too attached and that I knew he was leaving. So, when I got home, I searched him on Facebook. What did I find? IN A RELATIONSHIP. With a very nice(and competent) looking blonde girlfriend. Asshole. Don’t ask me why I wasn’t smart enough to check him out before the date- suffice to say lesson learned and Tinder account deleted.
What have I learned from all of this? Well, for one, dating apps aren’t for me. Also, I learned how to be comfortable with just dating. Having fun, spending time with a new person, and getting to know them without wondering if they are my knight-in-shining-armor(see photo at top of post). I learned how to ask the right questions in order to avoid catastrophe and heartbreak later on down the road. Also, I now have an arsenal of pick-me-ups for any girlfriend that has a bad dating experience. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?
*This originally appeared on my blog Twenty-Everything.