I’m having a very strange feeling. It’s another deep one, so stop reading now if you are going to accuse me of boring you to death.
I feel like the rest of me has arrived. Not “arrived” in the financial or social sense, but arrived at the place in my life that I’m supposed to be. This isn’t related to anything with my career – it’s relationship stuff. I have this feeling like I’m finally at the party, so to speak, that I finally “get it,” am finally in the club. And in feeling this, it seems as if the half of me just got here (uh, Velvet1?) and was greeted by the other half (we’ll call her Velvet2) who has been here all along. Velvet2 says, “Thank goodness you made it. We were all so worried.”
For my entire dating and relationship career, I have found it very easy to fall in love. In the past, I allowed myself to be courted, I participated in the chase, had that feeling of missing him, wondering when he would call, debating on calling him. I played all the games. I’ve had all the games played with me. But with all those broken hearts and near misses on relationships, I’ve lost all of those feelings of excitement. With Date Eight from last Friday night – it seemed like I could like him. It took three full days, until last Monday, to realize that I hadn’t heard from him. Then it took another three minutes to realize that I don’t care.
So this begs the question. Do I not care because I really don’t like him? Or do I not care because again, sigh, the touchy feely emotional part of me is dead?
Through the years, when a guy I liked didn’t call, or didn’t call back, it took a toll on me. I slowly became like an anxious, nervous mess, wondering if I would ever hear back. In my earlier dating years, I would make excuses for him. In my later dating years I would try to put it out of my head until I heard back from him. In any case, I always called friends and pontificated on what he could be thinking, analyzing everything he had said to me at our last encounter. Mostly my friends just backed me up and reinforced that yes, he likes me but must be stuck under a bus. Of course, after “the book,” some of those friends would tell me, “You have to read ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.'” While the heart was breaking, I always wished I could be “more like a guy” and just not care.
Be careful what you wish for. I’m at the party and I’m not so sure this is the party where I want to be. My emotions no longer control me. But the odd realization is that I don’t control them either. They are seemingly absent, and I can’t turn on the excitement and rush that goes with meeting someone new. I wonder if I have the capacity to love, or even the ability to fall into “like” with someone and date for a few months. Is the ability to get excited about someone new, to nervously anticipate a phone call, to care enough to censor what I’m saying now gone? Or am I just oversaturated in the dating and relationship stuff (it has been a busy six months) and temporarily worn down?
For those of you who have emailed me or commented about wishing you could turn off your emotions, I’m on the fence. I really don’t know which way is better. I hated that feeling of the unrequited like or love; but I hate this non-emotion as well. It’s a tough call on which is the preferred method.