He gave me hope I wouldn’t be alone forever; Being involved with him made me feel more alone than I felt before.
A voice, a non existent mystery; facial features, a 2D image viewed on a cell phone; height and build, not a way to tell.
Typed font on a little blue lit screen. Two weeks of build up – life, family, careers, Manhattan – day in, day out, for 14 days.
“Are you on the train?”
“How was your day today?”
“How is your night going?”
“Have any fun plans for the weekend?”
Face-to-face with a live human being who moves, speaks, breathes – a sly smile here, intense eye contact, lively hand gestures engrossed in conversation.
Two strangers connect to one another with senses that experience real things.
Thoughts buzz – Did I talk too much? Did I bore him, do we “get” one another?, What does he think of me? Do I smell? Am I annoying? Does he find me as attractive in person as he did when he liked the 2D photo of me?
Have I told him far too many intimate details of my day to day life, nothing left to say and nothing left to guess, no mystery, no interest, no spark, nothing in common, defunct attraction …
The fleshy realness of another human being. An alcohol infused evening, in bed by midnight on a Thursday. The night ends. Silence from the other end.
Time, effort, suspense – a lovely evening puffs into thin air like it never happened.
We finally got to The Cape Cod House at 1:30 in the morning. Exhausted, excited and delirious we walked through the wooded front yard to the door.
He greeted us with a beer in hand.
“Hey guys! How was the trip up!? Welcome to the house. Everyone is in the kitchen. Go get a drink!”
That’s T? He’s taller than I thought he would be and kind of cute. That thick Jersey accent … what a dork.
I scoped the room to see who else I could flirt with this weekend. Two of the guys were taken. There was another guy who wasn’t really my type. A girl sat next to T. She looked like she was into him.
I guess he’s out. That’s disappointing.
People tell me I have a knack for writing about dating and relationships. I am always doling out my share of love advice. I am fascinated by the way people interact with one another. Because of that, most of my blog posts are based around dating and relationships. I’ve enjoyed sharing my stories and experiences but after turning another year older on Saturday I have finally learned some important things.
Seven hundred and thirty days with no cuddling and no intimacy. I would hold hands with a man and it would lead to nothing. We would kiss and there would be no “afterwards.” I would go on a date with someone from 2-4 times and then I would stop talking to them. There wasn’t a strong, genuine enough connection with any of the people that I met online that would make me comfortable enough to be intimate with them or even be in a relationship with them.
But the truth is I probably could have dated any of those men. It was my past that was holding me back from being with someone again. After being single for so long, I craved a man to love me. I craved giving my heart to a man. To feel a man’s touch. To be taken care of. And the way I was going about finding a suitable one just wasn’t working out for me.
Two years without meaningful intimacy will do crazy things to a woman. Until I started to think outside of the box.
I believed that my single life was finally over. I thought I found a man whom I could be friends with and be in a relationship with. The only problem was that deep down in my gut, for about the three months we were together, something was wrong. When I referred to him as “boyfriend,” it simply didn’t feel right.
At first it was due to his strange habit of talking about his ex-girlfriend and her cocaine habit. Then it became a red flag when he described the way he used to remove her sandal, waft it beneath his nose and give it a deep inhale. The way he would talk about the clothing that he would ask her to wear for yet another one of his strange fetishes or that time he sent me a photo of the two of them together. And no matter how much he complained about her, he still had an urge to share with me when she was texting him.
June 2012: The Beginning
I was 22-years-old on a road trip to Boston with two of my best friends from college, and I was lost.
My friends would be returning to school for another semester while I was forced to leave our wonderful bubble. I was alone and no one could understand the range of emotions I was feeling. I wanted to run away from Long Island; continue having fun, random, adventures. Forget the future; cling to the past.
Paralyzed by fear and anxiety, I sat in the passenger seat of my friend’s car contemplating the rest of my life. Just then, my phone rang. It was a woman from the counseling center I had contacted the day before. This comforting voice was there to help me sort out my past, present and future. It was time for me to learn how to face my feelings.