Emotional Cutting

My dating life right now is frantically paced; This is not a good thing. It seems I have a date nearly every single night I am not with my children. As an introvert who needs her solitude, I’m starting to feel like a cordless phone left off the charger too long. I’ve been back on the market for approximately 7 weeks and I’ve lost count of how many men I’ve been out with.

Quantity, however, is not to be confused with quality. It never fails to amaze me how carefully I try to screen profiles/emails/texts/phone calls before agreeing to a date, only to wind up with some of the people I’ve been out with. I’ve been on many single dates, with no desire for a second. One man made it to three dates before letting all his neurosis out to play. By the time he left my home he was close to a full-blown panic attack and had made an ass of himself all evening. Interestingly enough, he called me up a few days later to let me know he didn’t think we were well-suited; I wholeheartedly agreed. I had a second date with a smart, funny, sexy guy the other night. He told me stories of his ex-wives (two) and ex-girlfriends (many). The stories were hilarious…in the sort of way you want your reality television to be. Someone could stumble into drama not of their own making once, maybe twice. To have this much drama in apparently ALL of your relationships indicates the problem might not always be with the ex-partners. When he started making jokes about all the “fat” women on the dating sites who contact him, I realized he might not be the man for me afterall. I mean, people should really wait until you know them better before showing their Shallow Hal side!

There’s the successful software guy from Indy who is funny and smart and sexy. Of course, he lives two hours away. Arranging a second date has been a scheduling nightmare. There have been several guys that I would probably say “yes” to if they asked me out again, but I wasn’t so overwhelmed by the first date that I’d be disappointed if they didn’t. I have a date tonight. I have a date tomorrow night. If I so choose, I could have a date for every forseeable free evening. This is not an accomplishment on my part;  The restaurants, bars, coffee shops, names, professions, ages, interests and past histories of all these collective men start to blur together in my mind until I just want to go to sleep.

As if the barrage of apathetic dating experiences were not enough, I’ve been dreaming with increasing frequency of the man who broke my heart in November. A couple of nights ago, the dream was so incredibly vivid that I woke up emotionally unsettled and feeling a compulsion to contact him. Knowing (KNOWING!!!) that it was probably a mistake, I sent him a breezy, casual email. He responded quickly and it wasn’t casual. Instead, it is a statement on a life-changing decision he made just last week (weird, psychic connection manifesting in my dreams?) and how profoundly it is affecting his life. He tells me he had vowed to himself to never contact me again because he figured I had put him behind me and was trying to move on. Then he tells me he’s had a gift for me on his dining room table since December (he broke up with me in November). A few more emails and suddenly we’re making arrangements to get a drink.

This man broke my heart just a few months ago.  I’m not sure he’s the right man for me, but I miss him and still love him. If he really is just wanting to give me the gift and see me for this one night, will that be cutting my wound open all over again, before it’s even built up a good layer of scar tissue? If he still has feelings for me, is he really what I want? What outcome is it I’m wanting?

I want to be the sort of person that doesn’t have layer upon layer of emotional protection built up, to where I can’t be vulnerable and take risks. I want to allow myself to feel. Still, I can’t help but wonder what the line is between being open and emotional cutting.

Tonight I’ll go on my date. I’ll put on my cute clothes and do the same thing tomorrow night. But the doorway from the past has been opened again. Until one of us shuts it, I rather wonder if there is any point…

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