Back in the Game

I’ve long heard the saying when one door closes, another opens. I prefer the saying that when a door closes, there’s a window open somewhere. Several seasons of life are coming to an end. The first is that I’m going to be moving out in a few months after having lived at home for three years. I’ve enjoyed my time at home immensely. The support and love I’ve had living there have allowed me to make changes in my life. I’ve pivoted toward a different career than what I thought I’d wanted three years ago. I’ve navigated figuring out how to keep my sanity while working in a stressful environment. I got back on my feet and learned to manage my ecosystem. While I’m sad that this season is ending, I think this change will continue to allow me to grow. 

The second new season I’m entering is re-entering the dating world after being in a relationship for a year. I’ve been on the dating scene on and off for eight years. I’ve met people in person and online. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I need in a partner along the way. I remember going off to college and desiring to have my first relationship. I ended up having that experience later in my freshman year. I feel that each relationship I’ve been in has given me lessons that have made me a better person. I’m grateful that I know that I can survive heartbreak and come back stronger. What puzzles me currently is I haven’t been on a first date in over a year and what I do remember about first dates isn’t thrilling. I remember feeling that each first date I went on felt like a job interview. It was always nerve-wracking walking to the date location. With in-person dating, I’d know the person before we went on a date. With online dating, I never knew if they would look like their profile picture or vastly different. After exchanging pleasantries, we would move on to whatever the date activity was. Very few dates led to an experience where I was certain what would happen next ie if the guy was interested in me. 

Getting ready to go on the date would be a bit stressful and returning from said date often led me not knowing how to feel. If I could jump straight to being in a relationship and not having to do the whole awkward first date experience, I would. I also have to contend that re-entering the dating world means my last relationship is genuinely gone, dead, and buried. I know I’ve gone through the grieving process, I’ve reflected on what I’ve learned, and spent time by myself focusing on my hobbies. During my last relationship, there was a lot of on and off. I always thought after each breakup and or fight, each would be the event that would lead to him coming to his senses and it wouldn’t happen again. I was wrong. Maybe I was hoping I would come to my senses and realize what the right thing to do was. Either way, I had what seemed to be a limitless amount of hope for the future. It took me devolving into a person I didn’t like and recognize to realize something was wrong. It doesn’t particularly matter what he did or did not do. I think what matters the most is that I let myself go too long to maintain the relationship. I sacrificed my peace, minimized my personality, and didn’t spend enough time nurturing myself. I ended up stressed out and lonely even though I was technical with someone. While waiting for a future to arrive that wouldn’t, I was sacrificing my joy in the present. These were choices I made and I plan to never make again. 

There’s a lot about my future I’m not sure about. I don’t know if I’ll want to have kids. I have no idea what my future partner will be like. I’m nervous about going back into an environment where I didn’t feel entirely comfortable. All I want to do is put one foot in front of the other and process what I’m feeling as it happens. Having been on the app for a few days now, I’m confused by how it seems none of the guys I match with want to talk to me. There was one guy we can call Mitchell, who said we’d talk the next day, and then we didn’t. I thought i remembered a shorter turnaround on conversations. I’m not too down about it but it does feel weird to be back on a dating app. I do have to say, when my love life leaves a lot to be desired, I’m very productive in other areas of my life. I’m prepared for school to become even more accelerated.


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