Was scheduling a first date with someone new on what would have been my first anniversary with my ex a good idea?
When I scheduled the date, I was in a better head space. I was feeling more confident, more independent and more whole. Sure, I still thought of my ex everyday (I wonder how long I'll continue to do that?) but my thoughts were beginning to center around resentment and acceptance - a much healthier alternative to anxious longing and self-destruction.
When I scheduled the date, it was with the thought that the anniversary could potentially be a difficult day for me and that a distraction like this could be just what I need to get me through it. Certainly, a date with someone new (whereby I would be forced to put on my best game face and engage in conversation) would be better than an evening spent alone at home, right? Scheduling the date was a preemptive strike at avoiding what could have been a total meltdown on the kitchen floor all alone with my cats looking on and silently judging me.
I began the day with tears. The of memories of "us" hit me like a tsunami from the moment I awoke - they washed over me with a thunderous roar and destroyed all of the new, yet fragile, foundations I had begun to build. Remembering the first night we met. Remembering our first date. Remembering our first night together. Remembering the first time she said "I love you". Remembering the day she moved in. Remembering spending Easter with her at her godmother's ranch and feeling like I was vacationing in heaven. Remembering our trip to Barcelona, which began with a diamond ring in my pocket and ended with an engagement. Remembering all of the little, quiet and intimate moments we shared, the laughs we shared and the plans we made for our shared future. Yes, I began the day in tears and spent the day fully immersed in that old familiar feeling: anxious longing and self-destruction.
I spent the entire day waffling over whether I should cancel my date or keep my plans (like the good and responsible girl that I am). * I feel terrible, how well is this date going to go? But what if I stay home and I just wind up feeling worse? If I cancel at the last minute, will my date understand and let me reschedule for next week? Should I really stay at home, isolated and miserable? * In the end, I decided to honor my commitment (like the good and responsible girl that I am) and keep my date.
I put on my big girl pants and my best game face and met my date for dinner. It was pleasant, the conversation flowed easily and my date was as nice and normal as one would hope (women like that are surprisingly hard to find!). No sign of flake, freak, fool or fuck-up here. She's a grown woman with a grown-up job and a grown-up perspective. On paper? A total winner. In life? Not much spark.
Last night's date reminded me of the last Lady Friend I dated shortly after my breakup. She was nice, normal, smart, and balanced. I wanted so badly to feel that thing. That spark. That connection. But it never came. After dating for several weeks, my Lady Friend caught on and we both had to acknowledge it and go our separate ways. You know that horrible old break-up line that everyone hates to hear: "It's not you, it's me"? I'm starting to believe there's actually something to that. Here's the awful truth: Miss-Adventures is only attracted to the needy and emotionally unavailable.
Last night's date wants to see me again. In all honesty, spending time with her was not at all unpleasant or unenjoyable (which is saying a lot considering my emotional state). And the thought of seeing her again isn't unappealing, but I'm wondering: will this be another repeat of Lady Friend? The spark just wasn't there … but could it be? Is the spark not there because I'm attracted to the wrong people? Is the spark not there because of simple chemistry? Or is the spark not there because she's not my ex, who remains at the forefront of my mind everyday and who remains the benchmark for and with whom I compare all dates?