Last night I watched You’ve Got Mail for the 14th time this year and found a trend in my dating habits. Pretty much since the age of 16 my dating life has consisted of the following: a couple meet-cutes, way too many DFMOs, and a conservative handful of serious relationships.
I have the cycle down: meet them in some capacity, go on a couple dates, imagine Christmas morning with them, wonder what kind of parent they’ll be to our five kids. Will they be okay with having two dogs? Should I make sure they aren’t allergic to chocolate before I bake them a whole batch of brownies as a happy day gift? Can I text them first or just wait until it’s 11:00 am? Are they okay with me really disliking scary movies? Are they going to want to hold hands all the time (because I’m really not into that)? I overthink it all so much that either they lose interest because I “appear to want a relationship” (no shit) or I psych myself out because they guy is “really nice but honestly I’m not sure.” So, it kind of just ends. Not in a dramatic way, though. It ends because of text message spacing and gradual decline of emoji usage. There really is no need to confront or even acknowledge that anything was there in the first place. We just move on. I’ll probably send some kind of text message that I try hard to regret but don’t. I’m simply trying to remind myself, or convince myself, that at some point there was, or could have been some kind of romantic connection that we simply lost. But was there?
I dated Leo for four years, and we ended our relationship over Skype after a full week of not speaking. We didn’t cry. We systematically discussed how the break-up would go and what we both required in order to make it a “seamless transition” and that was that. It’s almost like a virtual example of Kathleen and Frank’s breakup where they both just agree that “there’s the idea of someone else.” Except I sit there and wonder when the idea of this someone will mold itself into a tangible experience, one that will allow me to stop with the overthinking, intricate questions, and high expectations, and allow me to simply enjoy the memory that’s being made.
So, how do I stop this awful habit?