It’s been a long time since I’ve dated, meaning gone on individual dates with more than one person within a relatively short time period. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever done this, considering I’m more the serial monogamist type. I’m not altogether comfortable playing the field, and sleeping with more than one man at a time seems distasteful at the least. Yet I find myself embarking on such an endeavor — dating the field, as it were, though not playing it, as I have neither desires nor plans to sleep around — and the rules are foggy. I suppose being honest is the first guideline. I hate hurting people, so that’s definitely something to avoid. But as if the world of post-Jack dating isn’t complicated enough, multiple (read: two, right now) datees makes things both more and less worrisome. There’s less of a tendency to jump into something exclusive right away, but also more of an excuse to keep my distance. And I don’t know if it’s good or bad that I realize these things.
Ultimately, it’s a learning experience, and more than any confusion I am scared. Scared that I don’t know the outcome, that I’ll hurt someone (or be hurt), that I’m not ready, that I’m doing it all wrong, that I’ll be weighed and measured and rejected after being deemed unworthy.
The odd thing is that, underlying all of this, is the realization that I’m perfectly fine, even happy!, not being in a relationship. Yes, it gets lonesome sometimes, but it’s that way even when people are in relationships, part of the human condition. But I have a good life, for the most part…and so it’s scary to step out of my bubble with my heart on my sleeve.
Talking with Uncle Eddie over lunch yesterday, he brought it back to Jack. “There’s still pain there,” he said. “You’re scared.” And I remember a little story I put in that book I wrote for Jack, in which I said that courage is a moot concept without fear. Then, as now, I desperately wanted to be courageous. Let’s hope it works out that way. Namaste.