Sunday, September 26, 2010

D is for Date Night. Disillusionment and Disaster.

The other day my dear friend K. informed me that she had started reading my blog. Another one of my lovable friends perked up, interested in suddenly getting a deep scoop on my life. I turned to K. and said, "It's mostly about writing and working in film. I don't really talk about my personal life, do I?" She said, "Well, you sorta do."

I haven't in a while, so I thought I'd expound on my personal life unnecessarily.

Man, this was not a kind weekend for your poor fearless single girl from the wrong part of town [I don't really live in the wrong part of town. That just seemed like the best way to end the sentence. I kept trying to think of a better ending, and this is what I kept coming up with]. To be honest, I'm always AMAZED at how many people are in relationships. The odds of getting two people to like each other enough to out-of-hand sight-unseen rule out being with anyone else is mind boggling enough -- but you also have to get them to that point at the same time.

For the first time, I've started thinking about being a little more intentional in my dating life. For the past several years, I've been way more
laissez-faire about it. Whatever happens happens. It worked pretty well. But I'm definitely thinking about changing my approach. Maybe it's the fact that my 25th birthday is approaching, and I'm way weirded out by that. In my personal life plan, the "get settled down" part should happen in the next five years. If I look back on the last five years of my life, that suddenly doesn't seem like a lot of time. [On the flip side of this, sometimes I worry about the way some people seem to decide to marry a person just because they've gotten to that point in their life time line when they think they want to be married. Just because you're with someone and you're thinking "Man, I'm getting old. Maybe I should get married" doesn't mean that you should. I'm not crazy like that].

In my new, more thoughtful approach to dating, I've come up with three obstacles that need to be overcome--

1. Meeting new people. This is way harder than it sounds. Especially after you're out of school in "the real world." I was talking with a friend from the film I shot in July about his friendship with another girl from the set. He said, "Look, I just like to keep things professional." [Also, we were no longer working on that set, obviously. Months afterward.] I told him, in all my world weary wisdom, that now we're real people working real jobs, work is where we're going to meet people, so you can't rule out someone just on the basis that you worked with them once or might again. He said, "That sounds like something Hollywood Guy told you." He did not. But he agrees with me.

2. These people not being weird. Or, not even not weird. Just meeting someone and thinking you could spend lots of fun time with them. I gauge my interest in a guy by the end of the first date--what did I want as I was walking away? Did I secretly want to spend more time with him or did I want to go do something else? Back when I was in Jersey I went on this one date, and as I left the restaurant I called Firefighter Friend to see if he could hang out that night. Seemed pretty clear that I was not interested in a second date. But, I never heard from the guy I went out with, which leads me to...

3. Having equivalent feelings for each other at the same time. Timing's like the wicked step-mother of relationships. That's all.

To me, these are the three major hurdles to a relationship. And this weekend, I attempted to jump over each of them and instead ran straight into every single one. I wasn't at all upset. Dating is all about taking risks. And luckily your investment level in a person is pretty low until you run into obstacle #3. And honestly, for the most part I like being single. I know that some day I want to settle down, but for now it's a good thing. I do what I want. I go out with who I want, I don't have to deal with any awful nit-picky fights because both of us were grumpy at the same time, I don't have to try to make my life plan match someone else's. The other day I asked my friend if she wanted to do something later that night. She said, "Sounds good, but let me just check with my boyfriend." It seems like such a strange concept to me now, checking in with someone else before you make plans for yourself--even just for the night. But being single takes stamina, and all you couple-y people should appreciate the leisure track that you're on.

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