Until I was thirty, I only dated boys, as far as I can tell. I’ll tell you why. Men scared the shit out of me.
Men know what they want. Men make concrete plans. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men tip generously. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men go to the dentist. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before. (Okay maybe men aren’t exactly like this. This is what I’ve cobbled together from the handful of men I know or know of, ranging from Heathcliff Huxtable to Theodore Roosevelt to my dad.) Men know what they want and they don’t let you in on their inner monologue and that is scary.
Because what I was used to was boys.
Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys bring a knapsack to work. Boys get haircuts from their roommate who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys pack up their whole life in a duffel bag and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival. Boys don’t know how to adjust their conversation when they’re talking to their friends or to your parents. They put parents on the same level as their peers and roll their eyes when your dad makes a terrible pun. Boys let your parents pay for dinner when you all go out. It’s assumed.” -Mindy Kaling
In one chapter of her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy managed to sum up my entire dating career since I turned 24 and left my boyfriend of three years. It was hard to leave it at just that section; I wanted to copy down that entire chapter of her book since I agreed with it so much. Instead I’ll just let you go read the book and see it for yourself.
I also had a bit of deja vu while reading it since I’m pretty sure my friend Nick has told me that verbatim. Actually, I wanted to ask him if he’d either given Mindy advice or had stolen her work when giving me advice (along with his rolled eyes).
I date unavailable guys. I date boys. Sure, there have been some who appear to be “men” in there who own their own homes, have cars and a steady job, who pay for dinners and don’t gip the waitstaff. But just because you’re forty doesn’t mean you are any less immature than a twenty four year old. Granted, most boys I’ve dated have been a tad more mature than some (and some much more immature than most) and when I encounter that different level of immaturity, I don’t really know what to do with it.
I’ve talked about this dating dilemma before (until I’m practically blue in the face) and how I’m going to change that streak but so far I have failed at doing this. You know that old adage that goes something like if you do something over and over and over again and expect different results, that’s insanity.
Don’t quote me on that.
Well I seem to be doing that. It’s seriously time to stop. I deserve better than what I’ve been given over the past few years. Not to mention I’m exhausted from dating for five and a half years. I definitely don’t date as much as I used to in New York but I still seem to date more than the average Boulder female, and I’m sick of it.
I used to joke with my girlfriends in NYC that I was just going to video tape myself answering the questions I always get while on a date and just send it to the guy. That way I could just sit at home watching TV instead of having to get all pretty and try to impress yet another suit. I was sick of it four years ago, and now I just don’t want to do it anymore.
So guess what? I’m not. I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. I’ve proclaimed after many a breakup I’m never dating again and then you all collectively roll your eyes when I go on another date. I’ve even been on a date since B and I broke up. He was nice but at the end of it I didn’t really care if I heard from him or not. I am so apathetic towards dating that I need to just stop and focus on me right now.
Cross my heart and hope to die.
This focusing on me business is going to center around creating more of a life for myself, meeting new people who like to do things that I like and that C word. (No, not the one my ex called me.) It’s actually part of a bigger, re-fall in love with Colorado plan that’s in the works that’s in with my BIG, EXCITING PLANS happening by May of next year.
It’s also going to focus on figuring out what I really want and owning it, both in life and in relationships. (And not accepting anything less.) Gaining more self confidence. Getting better at recognizing guys that aren’t good for me and staying away from them. That’s the hard part isn’t it?
So I’m not going to say I’m never dating again, despite the fact that collecting cats sounds like a much nicer ending to my futile attempts at finding a man. I’m just not going to date for a while. Instead, I’m going to date me.
Sorry, boys. I’m off the market.