Reading Single Mom Seeking’s recent post about how confusing dating can be, all I can say is that I truly relate.  

I always feel like I am doing it wrong, like I scare guys away with my intensity, with some needy vibe that I don’t even realize that I am giving off.  I’ve concluded that there must be some pulsating, festering, unhealed part of me that sends them packing with speed.

I have not been in a relationship for 7 months.  I broke up with my last boyfriend last May, feeling totally stifled by the relationship after just three months.  Now, more often than not, I feel stifled *not* being in a relationship.  I’ve barely dated.  There have been little dates here, a smattering of messing around.  Not even any deep, hot, satisfying sex.

Having been married for the last ten years, not having regular sex is like an anathema to me.  It’s definitely not getting easier to get used to.  But it’s not just the physical intimacy I’m longing for, it’s the sense of partnership, the emotional intimacy.  Facing this wacky-ass life as a couple. Laughing and crying through it all, together.  A shared sense of history and experience.

Sadly, MTM has disappeared.  Poofage.  Haven’t heard from him since Monday.  I left him a voice mail yesterday just to say hi, what’s up, and nothing.  Another “poof” move after a story that seemed so darn sparkling and romantic.  I guess love is not built on crazy random dating stories.  

I still have not gotten much more clarity on why I continue to attract these guys who poof.  At least this time, I did not need to fly across the country for the poof.  It was much more convenient.

The question remains: In what ways am I “poof-ing” on myself?

Tonight after work, I sat on the bus on the way to Sami’s school listening to Sigur Ros and I had a very intense string of thoughts.

“I cannot stand being single.  I cannot STAND it.  I cannot do this any longer.”

If I had not been on a bus, I probably would have lost it.  I’ve never been good with public displays of despair.

So I investigated the thoughts.  My practice teaches me to drop the thoughts and to stay with the energy underneath.  It was that of a sad little girl, maybe seven or eight years old.  Just sadness.  It’s actually easier to deal with than that kind of frantic thinking.

The fact of the matter is, the thought is not true.  I have been standing it, and I have been doing it.

Sami’s huge bearhug when I arrived at his school to pick him up tonight meant so much.  It went a long way to soothe some of the ache inside.  I am so lucky, so blessed, to have such a beautiful son to love and who loves me.  I wish it was enough for me right now, like it was in his infancy and early toddlerhood.  I’m trying to forgive myself for needing and wanting romantic love, too.

A wise friend remarked to me tonight that maybe the spiritual lesson in this is to learn how to sit with the discomfort of being alone.  This is something I have not really done as an adult — I have always been in a relationship.  (Except maybe for a month or so during the summer of 1996.  I can’t remember.)

I wish I could say that I honestly like being single.  I want to be there.  Or even just a simple place of acceptance.  There have been moments, glimmers of acceptance, but generally, I’m not liking it.  Not so much.  

I still have no clue how to date.  I don’t have trouble feeling connections with a lot of the men I date.  I could have seen myself getting into a relationship with at least four of the men I dated in the last year. Inherently, that is a good thing, I think.

I don’t know why they don’t return the sentiment.  There are so many question marks when it comes to this stuff.

Perhaps that is my job, to drop the inquiry, to stop blaming myself, to stop blaming them.  It’s no one’s fault, and to make it any different is just to heap suffering on top of an already unpleasant experience.

Like it or not, I’m single.  This is my life.  I’m choosing to date.  It’s not all hell and there are many moments of fun and exhilaration and connection and laughter.  It’s my choice.  No one is forcing me online at gunpoint. A dating hiatus is not an option I’m willing to pursue now, so how can I make the best of the dating life?  

I am going to see about adopting a sense of bemused bewilderment and perhaps to stop taking the whole damn thing so seriously.