It is September. It has been four months. FOUR FREAKING MONTHS since Bot made his entrance, and only slightly less since his abrupt exit. Now, granted, we’d been talking for months before that. I’d spent the better half of 2013 preparing for his arrival. As Metalhead says, I was ready. My house was ready for a second person. I’d made all the arrangements. He came, he got his things, he left. It was done. Almost as fast as it began. It has been four months and I still have not been on a legitimate date. I have still not met anyone that has piqued my interest enough to really, truly move on. I miss him.
And then I realize how ridiculous this is. Missing him. Because the Bot I know is not the Bot that he is. The Bot that he truly is, is narcissistic and passive aggressive at best. Sociopathic at worst. And likely the worst as he, when he is at his worst, exhibits almost all of the classic signs and symptoms (and if you are reading this, Bot, I’m sorry – I tried to look past it, because I know you’ve heard all this before – but I really am starting to believe that it’s true). But the Bot that I miss… the Bot that I miss is truly difficult to forget. He’s truly difficult to move past – the constant interest, the attention, the total acceptance, the effort he put into the charade. And let’s not forget… for all that he is narcissistic, he has good reason to be. Let’s just admit it… the front he puts up… it’s the total package. And he fucking knows it. And I fucking knew it. And he hit me with it at a time when I needed to see it most. And took it away when I was least anticipating it. I know he’s not real. And I know he doesn’t really exist. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I was drawn into that illusion. Sold on it.
I haven’t been dating… not really… because it has been almost impossible to recover fully from the loss. If I meet someone now, I am more critical than I used to be. Because I once saw everything I wanted in an entire package, it is difficult for me to see someone else if they do not have that entire package. For awhile I looked… I looked in the exact same place that I found Bot. I put up all the old profiles and added some new ones. I talked to some people… I got close enough to contemplate going on a date with them. And then I realized that if I did, I’d be compromising something… looks, ambition, intelligence, healthfulness, even masculinity in some cases… always something to be compromised. And that’s the thing… I’m tired of compromising. I know that no one is perfect, I understand that relationships are about compromise, and I CAN compromise where necessary. But why should I have to trade looks for intelligence or vice versa? Why should I have to settle for someone who does not share at least some of the same interests that I do? Why should I end up with someone who tries to make be someone I am not? I don’t. And I haven’t. Because what I really want is an honest, open, meaningful relationship. Like the one I thought I had. And while I am lying to someone else, and lying to myself, that is not an honest, meaningful, open relationship.
So I’ve chosen not to date. I’ve talked to some people, yes. Metalhead is still at my house regularly, but that is not going any further than where it is already (and we’re both good with that). Instead, I’ve been focusing on myself. I’ve been playing with the metaphysics, I’ve been learning how to have fun again, I’ve been reclaiming some of the pieces of me that I’ve not seen since before the 3.0 days. I’m learning some new things.
I took the online profiles down. I’ve been doing the online dating thing for years. Yes, I’ve had many relationships that started online… and then I look at where I’m at now and I realize that it’s not gotten me much besides a failed marriage and a lot of wasted time. It’s not that people are any better or worse on there. It’s just that, while you’d think you’d meet a larger sampling of people on there, they are all the same. The shy nerdy types that are still in school, or still living at home or, if neither, are still playing video games several times a week and reading comic books. The comic books and the video games were attractive to me a year or two ago – I was a nerdy girl. I am still a nerdy girl to an extent. But 3.0 made me begin to dislike video games. I still like comic books – Bot got me started on those and since he didn’t force them down my throat all the time, or make endless recommendations, I’ve learned to enjoy those… but I also realize that I don’t want someone that is so involved in sitting around reading, or playing video games, that he becomes a couch potato. And unfortunately, with the random exception now and then, that is the larger market of the online dating scene.
So I realized… I was going to have to try something new. As I said, I took the profiles down. I focused on myself for awhile. And that’s been good. I know who I am better than I ever have. And I know what I want. I also realize that I’m not sure if I’m ready to go for what I want. That said, I’m also lonely. It’s been four months since I had a relationship. It’s been over ten since 3.0 and I broke up (which was the last local one – Bot’s time in Afghanistan does not count as local, obviously). And it’s been over a year since the tumor scare of 2012 caused the 3.0 decline (which was, admittedly, a blessing in disguise). All in all, I haven’t had anything healthy in my life (save for Metalhead) since 2012. Mid-year 2012. And that is too damn long.
I signed up for the speed dating thing again. I’d registered shortly after the Bot explosion but backed off because I realized I just couldn’t. I’m not entirely sure I can now… it’s a lot to ask out of a painfully shy, quiet, writer type. But part of the beauty of taking down those profiles, is that I’m being forced to grow a pair. I’m being forced to talk to people I don’t know… this hot guy in my complex that I’ve admired (from afar, obviously, Bot came first), for example. Other people that I meet out and about for another. My confidence can suck sometimes, but I’m good at making sure it doesn’t show. What I will do at the speed dating thing I don’t know, but honestly the not knowing is exciting to me. I’m going into it with absolutely no expectations. I’ll have a glass of wine. I’ll talk to a bunch of random people one-on-one for six minutes each. I’ll stay awhile after, maybe, and mingle, and then I’ll leave. At the very least, it will give me something new to write about for this thing. At best… maybe someone to hang out with once in awhile when Metalhead is away doing his thing. If more comes out of it than that, I’ll be shocked… but hey, I said that about OKC last year before I met Bot. So I guess stranger things have happened. All I know is that it’s time for something new. Because the old shit… the old shit doesn’t work anymore.