When it comes to finding the love of my life, sometimes I’m more proactive than other times. Sometimes I make a real effort to meet that special someone, via things like online dating, attending events I wouldn’t normally go to, or striking up conversations with complete strangers at any one of the 649 local frozen yogurt joints. I grab the bull by the horns, ignore the “woe is me” side of singleness, and put myself out there, with high hopes that my efforts will yield a reward worth dating. (Preferably one with steamy brown eyes, adorable dimples, and undying support of my frozen yogurt addiction.)
And then there are those other times.
As much as I talk a lot about being proactive here on this blog, sometimes I just don’t want to be. There are those days weeks months where all I want to do is nothing. I want to live in an imaginary world where I can hole myself up in my apartment and bury myself in work and New Girl reruns, yet still magically meet the man of my dreams.
Because the constant reminders of my single state are tough to deal with. And, yes, I get the contradiction: I blog about dating yet I’d rather not talk about it so much. It’s par for the course as a writer, I suppose — a workplace hazard of sorts. To be honest, though, I’m talking about so much more than just this little blog. The reminders are relentless.
Every time I’m bombarded with engagement and wedding photos posted on Facebook.
Every time I have no other option but to take my garbage out by myself.
Every time I spend hours on the phone with tech support trying to figure out why my computer won’t do this or that.
Every time I’m asked if I’ve ever tried online dating because someone knows someone else who got married to someone amazing they met on eHarmony.
Every time I go to bed alone in my half-empty bed. (Which, to clarify, is every night. Don’t worry, Mom!)
The reminders keep coming. They’re often less of a motivation to try harder to find someone, and more of a reminder of how alone I am. Why should I have to try so hard, anyway?
I grow tired of the trying.
I grow jealous of others who seemingly didn’t have to try so hard, yet they found love and happiness and sex and children and a family dog named Lulu.
I grow insecure about the reasons why I haven’t found those things, too — my appearance, my personality, my attitude, my level of sex appeal.
I grow scared that I might spend the rest of my life alone.
I grow sad that I may never be a mother or a grandmother.
And then I grow worried that I’ve wasted even more time. Every second I’m not proactively searching for Mr. Right is another second that I’ve possibly sabotaged my chances of finding love forever.
Case in point: This month at work has been insane. I’ve been working long hours on multiple projects, spending my weekends typing away on my laptop like a madwoman, and basically living and breathing work. It’s not my forever plan, but it’s necessary for now. Lots of other things have suffered, including my friend time (sorry I haven’t been able to hang out, Jennifer!), my “me” time (judging by my nails alone, you’d think I was a carpenter), and my dating time (what’s that?).
This past weekend I took a trip to North Carolina for work. After an 16-hour day on the job, I checked into hotel room #303. I took a much-needed shower (did I mention “me” time?), settled between 12 pillows, covered myself with three blankets, and fell asleep. It was the first time I’d slept eight hours straight in over a week. (Shut up, all you moms with infants. I don’t care about your sleep issues. This is my blog!)
And the whole whirlwind got me thinking about wasted time. Yes, I want to practice what I preach. I want to be on the constant lookout for my future husband. I want to seize the day, take advantage of opportunities to meet new people, and basically make it happen.
But I can’t do it all.
Why should I be punished for that?
Why should I worry that the exciting things I’m doing in my career are going to somehow keep me single forever and ever?
Why should I be scared that I am going to look back on these years one day and say, “You should’ve made finding a husband a bigger priority. Look at yourself now: still single.”
I’m walking a tightrope. I’m crossing the divide between living in the present and living for a possible future outcome. I don’t want to waste time. I want so many things in life, and a husband is just one of them. I suppose I’m just learning how to balance that fragile dichotomy and the consequences that will likely ensue no matter which tightrope I choose to tiptoe across.