Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Dating Pool

I have learned, on more than one painful occasion, that timing is everything when it comes to matters of the heart. I have met the right men at the wrong time (both for me and them) and have come to accept that timing is one of those necessary-but-not-sufficient conditions of a good relationship. It cannot be forced or faked, although sadly, it often is.

It isn't the right time for Writer Guy, unfortunately. That just sounds plain stupid, but I think I have to acknowledge it. He is ready to jump start a romantic relationship that I just don't have in me right now. Like a few times before, I wish I had one of those pause buttons that I could press to freeze the would-be relationship in time and come back to it when I was ready to put the effort in. If there is one, I don't know about it, and I am not the early adopter type anyway.

Good date last night. Conversation was quick and entertaining, interests are shared, chemistry is there - almost all cylinders were firing. Unfortunately, the idea of jumping into another romantic relationship right now almost gives me hives. I have never felt this quite this way. I have felt ambivalent towards certain would-be relationships, but never this way, which suddenly defies description. I never thought I would think or act upon a feeling of simply not being ready to have a romantic relationship with someone. Never thought I was that kind of gal.

I can almost hear myself arguing with a friend in the past who expressed a similar sentiment. "Life is too short to wallow in some self-imposed hiatus. Get back out there. Take a chance." And probably a dozen more useless cliches. Just as I never understood depression, anxiety or panic attacks back then, so did I not then understand just listening to your own gut instinct when it comes to that which you think you can emotionally handle. I always jumped in, headfirst and purposefully, confident that I wouldn't hit the bottom and would always find the surface for air.

I think I am still that person. I am not scared to start a romantic relationship with him. I am just mindful that I am not in the metaphorical shape to swim at the moment. Staying with a truly terrible analogy, it is like I know the rule about not swimming so soon after a meal. Even though I've done it before without complications, for whatever reason, I just don't think I should do it now. I hope it isn't an indication that I have lost my fearlessness, but it probably speaks something about that.

In the interest of self-preservation, I will rationalize it thusly. Last venture out, I probably overextended myself and had a close call. Mindful of this, I am taking the time to get into shape before diving back in, and for right now, that means conditioning the right muscles and working out. My confidence was rattled by the last few trips in the pool and I need to take the steps to rebuild that confidence. Yes, there is the competing (and equally bad analogy) about getting back on the horse and all of that, but I still think I need to rebuild some lost strength before getting back on that horse.

Holy mixed metaphors, Batman.

In any event, it looks as though I am about to be that girl, who delivers that line ("I am just not ready to get into a relationship right now"). It sucks and is so foreign, yet at the same time, feels like the right thing to do. Truth be told, if he felt this way about starting something with me, I would damn sure want him to say something before I dove in headfirst.

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