As I’ve said time and time again, dating in your 20’s is hard.
Now that I’ve been single for a bit over a year, I’ve noticed a cycle happening over, and over, and over.
First, comes a desire to meet new people and get involved with someone. I get back on Tinder and Bumble, or I randomly meet someone or start talking to a friend of a friend, whatever. We’ll refer to this as stage one of the cycle.
If dating apps are the poison I pick, next comes a stage of feeling overwhelmed, we’ll call this stage 1.5. I’ll get involved in way too many conversations that I feel the need to narrow down for myself and end up on the same awkward sushi date three times in a week.
Then I get involved with someone and move way too fast into the situation, stage two. Not into a real relationship or anything, but just. Spending a ton of time with them. Sleepovers. Not much emotional involvement but the physical and material aspects of a relationship flood into my life in what seems like a day. Basically a whole lot of Netflix and chill nights.
And then, inevitably, after no more than a couple of months, it doesn’t work out. Sometimes its them, sometimes its me, but whatever the situation, the third and final stage of this cycle is the end.
The truth is, a lot of it stems from the fact that I haven’t felt about anyone how I felt about my ex. I just wanted to be with him and only him, and I knew it after only a few weeks. I was into him. And sure, I’ve gotten emotionally attached to dudes and liked being around them (well okay, this actually has only happened with like one guy), but its never like it was with my ex.
I guess I keep dropping guys and starting over because that’s the missing piece I’m searching for. And honestly, its a little discouraging that I can’t for the life of me seem to find that piece again.
It is kind of comforting, though. I have had a hidden fear that I don’t really like to talk about. A fear that maybe I’ve always jumped from relationship to relationship so quickly in the past not because I found the right person, but because I feared being alone. I know now that that is not the case, because with as many opportunities as I’ve had to get into a relationship, I’ve never stayed when I knew it wasn’t right or when I knew I wasn’t being valued.
But anyway, the point of me hashing this cycle out with myself is that I am caught in the middle of it right now. I’m in the midst of stage two, but I get this looming feeling that another round of stage three is in the cards. I just have mixed feelings about him at this point. But also, I really barely know him. I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve hung out together. This makes me want to continue the situationship and see what happens, but my gut feeling is saying something different to me.
I think I’m ready for these cycles to end, but not because of the wrong person. I have it in my head that my next real relationship will be my last, and that I will be in it for the long haul once I finally find that right person. My gut is telling me that current dude is not that guy, and my conscience has me wondering if holding out longer is okay or if this would lead him on. I know he likes me, but how much? And are our differing opinions and views of certain things something that, in the future, would cause problems? Does he even realize how different our views are, or have I not been as forward about all of that as I should be?
It isn’t something that I’m going to decide tonight, but I definitely need to keep these things in mind and answer these questions for myself soon enough.