A Dating Denizen’s Dilemma

It seems that I have been banished to “Foreverless Forrest”. Foreverless Forrest is a state of mind to which single people like myself often retreat  when a socially significant amount of time has passed and one is not:

a) In a committed romantic relationship with a male / female;

b) Married or cohabiting;

or c) Steadily dating one person for an extended period and with whom there seems to be indications of a ‘future’ together, and you resign yourself to being single. We retreat to that state of mind when the prospects have become few or non-existent or we just have not been meeting ANYONE.”Foreverless Forrest” means no one has promised and is working on ‘forever’ with you, for whatever amount of time that means (it’s a very long time!). It means you have been the bridesmaid, countless times, and never the bride. Or the groom for that matter.

I am laughing as I type this due to a conversation I had recently with a single friend, who stated that the dating pool seems to have dried up. It seems, no matter who we meet, it just never works out. We are from a culture where when you get to a ‘certain age’, it gets pointed out, repeatedly, that, ummm, the eggs were not freeze dried. You get labelled with animal names (Mule) when you don’t have a child (these names are among many very unkind and somewhat amusing titles. That is, they’re amusing when you don’t take them seriously).  Someone recently pointed out that I am in danger of becoming (gasp!) an Old MAID. Pardon my wheezing, it’s laughter because as embarrassing as that was, it was also extremely funny! I didn’t even know people still used that term in our very liberated times.

As my title suggests, I have been dating on and off for a while, with none of these ending in a serious commitment or even the promise of that. I seem to be stuck in that ‘ We’re going out and hanging out’ phase that has gotten old. A sort of ‘We’re friends’ description seems the most applicable description but then we’re barely even friends. There’s camaraderie and an understanding but these are not people I would readily call if I’m having a crisis. I’ve become adept at deciphering the subtle exchanges which inform me of who will be worth my time or who to walk away from  – immediately.

The thing is – I’ve become tired. And bored. The thought of dating anyone makes me want to fall asleep, even now, because its just been repetitious, unproductive and disappointing. I’ve self examined, evaluated each situation and arrived at salient conclusions that having done all, I stand by my decisions to move on. If it was meant to work, it would have. However, the recurrent theme of  “What if'”, plays in the back of my mind but I’m reminded that somehow, no matter how they start, they end the same.

So what do I do now that I’m faced with a sort of “Dating Anomie”? I’ve resolved to do nothing. I continue enjoying my life, living to the fullest, as much as I am able to. I acknowledge that there will be days of longing and loneliness, but I also know that I am surrounded by persons who love, treasure and value me. If I weren’t in their life, and they in mine,  it would be a little less full. And so I’m happy and satisfied with that.

I’ve read that its when you’re not looking, that the person you’re waiting for enters your life. I have a more realistic take on it. When time, availability, opportunity (to meet, if you haven’t already), readiness and all the other requisite factors are in place, all at the same time, it results in the partnership that many of us have been searching for. Till then, I wait. But I’m not holding my breath.

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