How many relationships have you been in? How many sex partners have you had? How many bad dates? How many good dates? How many people have you dumped? How many have dumped you?
Dating in my 30’s has me constantly counting. What’s the magic number? How many days, months do you date someone before it is acceptable to fall in love? How soon do you know they aren’t for you? As early as that first ‘hello’, I knew that he wasn’t the one. On tinder. Okay, I know what you’re thinking– ‘It’s tinder, Steph. Did you really think you were going to find a true blue, perfect match on tinder????’ My optimistic and sunny disposition told myself it was possible. That was a lie I told myself.
In my 20’s, I was much more resilient and jumped head first into everything. If it didn’t work out, I hardly noticed because I was already onto the next thing. In my 30’s, I feel more analytical and it slows me down. And trying to find a good long term partner is really fucking difficult when you think about every little thing. Are they into me? I am into them? Am I stringing them along until I find something better? Is there something better? Is my excitement and giddiness a turn off? I will be the first to admit that I am not for everyone. I guarantee I annoy myself more than I annoy you. I’m loud, and jumpy (literally), and say whatever comes to mind. I dwell on more moments where I said stupid shit than when I’ve done stupid shit. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I digress.
I am 2+ years out of my last long term relationship and I’ve had a few short term relationship, a few REALLY short relations(hips?), and one that was exclusive for 9 months. But now I’m ready to find my next long term partner. Where do I find this person? Will they be a friend of a friend? Someone I met at a bar (unlikely, let’s be real)? Someone I met through a dating app?
Nearly all of my romantic relationships in the last 2 years have been through dating apps. There has been some success. Obviously not total success since here I am writing about trying to find a mate. I’m nearly ready to offer myself in a trade where my parents gain three cows and a goat so I don’t have to actually go through the ups and downs of finding a suitable person to tolerate for a good number of years.
Why can’t finding a partner be as easy as finding a pet. You pick out a few that you think are cute. You pet each one and make cute noises at them. Depending on how they respond, you take one home. And they are yours. For life. Unless you’re one of those people who ‘just doesn’t feel like having a pet anymore’. Which is basically divorce in the pet adoption world. Or they die, in which case that would make you a widow. A pet widow.
I may have gotten off topic… My point? (Do I even have one?) Being an adult — an independent grown ass adult — is really awesome and fun OR really obnoxious and exhausting. I still talk myself out of eating candy for breakfast. And dinner. And not even successfully. The best outcome I can hope for is that I eat cereal instead of candy. I’m not even reaching for the stars with steak and eggs. Where is my cereal of men? Maybe he doesn’t have everything I need for a nutritionally healthy relationship but he has some stuff that I require. And that’s good enough.