Monday, December 01, 2008

A View Of Insanity

Real Life Adventures - Real life, only funnier. Click on the picture to check out the website.

Over this weekend, it occurred to me that maybe it's time to start thinking about dating again.

It wasn't a pleasant thought, but it did come from a pleasant experience. I was out getting some Christmas shopping done over the weekend and ran into an old friend from high school. We haven't seen each other in many, many years and did a quick catch up. That, of course, means the inevitable question came up:

"So, are you married?"

That question still stings.

For the record, the question was asked not out of attraction, but as part of the "long time, no see" checklist a person runs through when encountering someone from the past. I just shook my head, said no, and was thankful that my former classmate was working and had to take a customer. We hurriedly said goodbye, made vows to keep in touch (which probably won't be kept), and went back to our normal routines.

That night at home, I went to Classmates to check out some of my former friends and walk down memory lane. As I did, I came across my first husband's profile. We met back in high school and were high school sweethearts. When his profile came up, I went to another site.

The memory of that romance - happy beginning and failed ending - still stings and we've been apart since 1995.

How long does it take to get over a failed relationship? I wish I knew.

On Sunday, I read an advice column by Carolyn Hax in the paper where she addressed this very subject. The man who wrote in for advice had been divorced for two years, but his ex-wife was still in his thoughts and dreams. "I'm eager to start dating," he wrote, "but would it be fair to a potential partner if I'm still a little hung up?"
Change a pronoun here or there, and it's like I could've wrote that letter. Her answer was you're ready to date when "you meet someone you're sure you'd like to date" and to let the process work itself out.
Easier said than done, at least in my case. When my divorce was finalized this July, I impulsively signed up on a couple of dating sites. I went on one date and never heard from the guy I met again. I went on another date, and have been kinda, sorta seeing that guy since. I say kinda, sorta because I hear from him for a while, we spend a couple of days together, then he's persona non grata for a while.
In a way, this is a good thing. I'm still quite bitter from my past experiences, and I don't know if I'm ready for something serious. On the other hand, it's not so good because every gut instinct I have tells me that the reason this guy comes and goes is because he's involved with someone else (or elses, to coin a new phrase), and comes around when it's convenient for him.
Which would be cool if he's only seeing someone else, and the other(s) are cool with this arrangement too. It would not be cool if he's married and I'm the other woman. I have no desire to be a living example of a Lifetime movie. Been there, done that with my last marriage and it hurt like hell. I don't want to do that to another woman.
The problem here is that my sense of trust is all off whack. Did I mention I'm still very bitter? The guy in question has been up front about everything else in his life. He keeps telling me that he's not hiding anything and I want to believe, but still there's that doubt. That nagging shadow of doubt that hangs around, tapping me on the shoulder and whispering, "You know something's up, don't you? Something about this just ain't right...." And that shadow will not shut up.
The comic strip I posted compares dating to riding a bike. Carolyn makes a reference to getting "back in the saddle." To me, dating is like an often quoted (but often misattributed) definition of insanity, it's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I suppose this means I shouldn't be thinking about whether or not I want to date again, but whether or not I want to be sane.
More later, once I find out whether or not Victoria's Secret sells lace push up straitjackets.

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