Approximately 1-2 times per year I become “interested” in someone. Which is not to say that I want to do anything other than get to know them better (as was the case for one dude this year), or have lots and lots of sex with them (as was the case for the other dude this year), but regardless, these guys that showed up in my life told me something. They told me that I’m “not quiet dead yet!” (Monty Python reference, kids); they sent me the message that my cold, dead heart may be cold and dead, but it still likes to have a good time and connect with people that might also be good to sleep with. Too blunt? …don’t care. Because let’s be real, folks. I was never that kid that planned her wedding when she was 5, or 9, or 12, or whenever the fuck little white, suburban, stereotypical girls planned their horror show of an overly expensive party. A party for two people signing a piece of paper to say “yeah, let’s do exactly what we would do without this piece of paper, but for a ridiculous amount of money in front of our fiends and family, whose loyalty we’ll then test by asking them to give us a bunch of money toward our big party, so we can start the next day by being broke as fuck and see how we manage it.” Maybe my logical mind was winning back then, too. Or maybe there are good reasons have a big wedding too; most of my friends seem to think they’re great, so let’s just agree to disagree.
My main point is this: I think relationships are fluid. I wouldn’t mind if someone came along that made me believe differently, but I don’t have much faith in that, and I’m completely okay with it. So a year ago, when I moved to this wasteland of a city, a colleague/new friend told me about an app she had been using to meet new people to date (I’m not advertising for it, so I feel no need to share what it is, but I assure you it’s not Tinder or Bumble). At the time I figured that I was stuck here a year (joke’s on me), so why not check out this app. So I did. And it was pretty disappointing. I think over the course of the year, I talked to maybe six people. I told myself if I found someone that was attractive and also in my field (psychology, psychiatry, social work, etc.), that I would “like” them, and try to subsequently be “matched” with them. (I imagine that requirement had to do with the utter lack of comfort with emotions and communication in my last relationship and I figured that was a good way to mitigate that happening again.) And then I found someone that matched that description.
Órækja Elkcatcher, as we’ll call him (I did a Viking name translator for funsies), was, for lack of a better descriptor, a good date. We talked for 6 hours, covered a lot of ground, history, likes, sexual preferences (I’m still a little amazed at how fantastic Órækja was at communicating). I had to ask him to back off a little, which he respected and which also reinforced my ability to tell someone what I’m actually thinking (a skill that’s always been work in progress–thanks, dad!). My friend’s fiancee nailed it when he described it as something that should be so awesome for me — I get to show up and not pay for anything and then decide how it goes and what happens next. It really was inadvertently the best way to frame it for my brain. So Órækja and I had a few drinks and some delicious pork nachos. He even tried to enter the wonderful world of scotch/whisky/bourbon for me, which was adorbs. I ordered a Macallan 12 yr because I just couldn’t stomach a Glenlivit and I wasn’t going to make him pay for a Lagavulin. He had some bourbon that tasted like death fire. The venue was even cool, and he picked it because he thought it would be a good match for me after flipping through a few of my pictures and trying to gather a sense of my personality. I’m just excited that someone did that. I put a variety of pictures of me up (in a beach setting, in my Chucks, out dancing, hippied out) to let people know that’s my thing–all of the things. It’s cool he observed it. The band played island-style music, the room glowed purple, the door to the bathroom was hangy bead-rope-like things; totally my jam.
So I didn’t go home with Órækja because I don’t want to be that thirsty thot anymore (sick alliteration, amirite?). I mean, I guess if I think there’s absolutely zero chance I’ll ever want to actually hang out with someone again but they’d be fun to fuck, I would do that. I’ve done that. I wish he’d get the picture, but I’ve done it. And I guess that means I’d like to see Órækja again. He was a pretty great first date after not being on one in a long fucking time. I’m trying not to describe things about him here, because that’s unfair; he’s a person and he has a public image to maintain and I’m not trying to jeopardize that. So the drawback is…that I wasn’t overtly physically attracted to him. I understand that that’s not always a thing that has to be there, and his personality may ultimately make him incredibly attractive to me, so there’s the likely reason I’d like to keep seeing him. Our conversation makes me think he’d be a good lay, and at the same time I know that he’s not looking for that (though who’s going to fucking turn it down when offered, seriously?).
So at the end of all of that, two good things have transpired: 1. I guess I’m “dating”Órækja now. I’m sure we’ll continue to talk and we’ll probably get together again and see how that goes, the way dating works and all that. And 2. I’ve since decided that dating might be fun. I found a way to be completely honest (e.g., I don’t think relationships work…), but remain likable (…but I’m always happy to be proven wrong). Since this date, I’ve basically broadened my search to others outside of my field. I don’t think that I ever had that experience of just dating different people (at the same time?!?!) and making determinations about my own likes and dislikes from that. So I may be late to the game, but I think I’m going to do it.
At least, that’s my plan today. Tomorrow may be a whole ‘nother story. And we shall see!