Very few of you know, but for the past 6 weeks I was “seeing someone”. Eh—“dating”, “boo’d up” (this one is new to me too), “keen on”, “carried a torch for”…. Whatever you want to call it. I was smitten. Well, still am, but I’ll get to that later.
The truth is, I’ve always hated dating--just ask my Mom or any of my sisters. They know I was always the first to put my foot down and turn the idea of a “date” into a big fat NO real quick. I didn’t even really “date” my ex-husband. We went out a few times before he left for Basic Training and we got to know one another by writing letters (which- for obvious reasons- written words expressing innermost thoughts and feelings are the way to my heart). Then, I went on a few dates this time last year just to rip the Band-Aid off per-say after becoming divorced. (I may or may not be still holding a grudge towards the Bumble guy that called me difficult). Anyways, it was torturous. Pure agony. Not only because I simply wasn’t ready to date, but because….. drum roll please… I’VE ALWAYS HATED DATING. I wrongly assumed that since I was “older and wiser now” that I should at least give it the old college try. However, upon further internal investigation, I’ve narrowed down the reasoning for my hatred of dating to the fact that it all it feels too formal, too transactional, too forced. Sure, I love a reason to dress-up and look cute for dinner and a movie, as I equally love wearing leggings while eating pizza and playing board games on a Friday night. Without a doubt, I love being taken (and flaunted, who am I kidding) out on the town while grabbing a few drinks and dancing the night away. Doing those things as a married woman was a no-brainer, but in the “dating world”, it has always come across as more of an obligation. It feels like I-have-to-do-this-in-order-for-you-to-like-me versus I-want-to-do-these-things-with-you-because-I-like-you. Truthfully, I’ve always felt weird for just not being 100% on-board with dating, and I’m beginning to believe that maybe there is a God-given reason why the word itself makes me want to run for the hills.
Before you get ahead of yourself—NO-- I’m not becoming a Nun. My screen name wasn’t “ilovehollisterboys” on AIM for no reason (LOL why I purposefully choose to embarrass myself is beyond me). As I’ve said before (many blog post moons ago), I truly feel that God has designed my heart, soul, and who I am as a person to be a wife and hopefully a mother someday down the road. But I just don’t think typical dating is for me and I think Jesus would be ok with that.
So as far as the man I was “dating” goes, well—we aren’t dating anymore and honestly? I’m a bit relieved. Of course, that didn’t stop me from wanting clarity, or sobbing in my car in the church parking lot, or bawling my eyes out over a Wendy’s Frosty (did ya know they have Frosty’s with chocolate chip cookie chunks now?!?!?!) But what it boiled down to was, he just didn’t have the time (for various valid reasons that I won’t discuss here) to date me the way he felt I deserved to be “dated”. Which was and is true. I deserve to be taken out, flaunted, made to feel special- because… um… I am (his words, not mine). Then, he ended the conversation by hoping we could still be friends. UM. WHAT? FRIENDS? I mean, if you know me, you know that my facial expressions do not have an inside voice. So, typical Marisa gave a look that could kill (generally this can be counted a good thing, but not in this scenario…trust me). FRIENDS? Why would he just want to be my friend??? Doesn't he realize that it still takes time and effort to be a FRIEND? This had to be about the most upsetting verdict and confusing “it’s over” conversation I’ve ever had (divorce conversations excluded of course). UGH. ALL THE UGH.
But in the hours after the meltdowns, I felt a little nudge on my heart. It felt kind of guilty. Guilty for the expectations that I potentially set that weren’t necessarily what I was after. Guilty for not letting him know that, while the dates we went on were my favorite, all I really wanted was a friend. Not even a “friend-with-benefits”, but someone to laugh with, talk to, go to a football game with, hang a clock on a wall with, someone who wants to understand me, but will also make fun of me when I'm being dumb, and have the pressure be off for whatever label and timeline the “real world” wants to slap on things. Because I know, as I continue to "grow-up", the surface-level things that might seem to matter now, won't matter when it comes to having a relationship or even a marriage that actually thrives in all of life's up's and downs.
So, instead of being the Marisa I desperately wanted to be (which was Margarita Marisa at this particular moment), I decided that I wasn’t going to clam up. I wasn’t going to shut down. I wasn't going to send him lengthy texts (someone please let him know how lucky he actually is for this one being bypassed haha). I also decided that I wasn’t going to block his number and delete him as a friend on Facebook (I have a LOT of blocked numbers and deleted friends on Facebook). Do I know what the future holds? Absolutely not. Do I know what a potential friendship with him will look like? Trying not to think about it currently. I sooooo wish I did. Ya'll know I want all the answers and I want them right now. But, if I do know anything, I know that any growth or change starts with the willingness to gain a new perspective.
So here's to my new growing and changing perspective on dating. Can we take a moment to appreciate how mature I've become just 2 months shy of turning 30?? Cheers my friends. Cheers.
And P.S.-- send all the “Hollister Boys” that want a new BFF my way. JK JK. Ok. A little kidding. A little not.