When I first met my previous partner, I did not know I was codependent.
Didn't have an idea of what codependency was.
I had no idea that there was a Conscious way to be in a relationship.
I had a pretty okay idea of what I was looking for, playing it in a way that said I would know it when I felt it.
Nobody had explained to me how to manifest the life, or partner I wanted.
I hadn’t been asked about wounds from previous relationships.
None of it.
All I knew was that something needed to change in a big way.
Not even having been on dating apps long, I was tired, from a really deep place, of swiping to try to find something that may turn into a relationship I wanted to stay in. I was reeling from a series of life choices that hadn’t worked out, felt a bit lost, and wondered if there was any hope in the digital dating world for real connection.
I met nice men. I mean genuinely kind, respectful, polite guys who did not leave me with
nightmare stories to tell my friends. I enjoyed myself with them on some level, but knew that they just weren't for me. And already having been a believer in karma at that time, I told them how I felt, or didn't feel.
During this time, though I didn't realize it at the time, I had established my ability to give a ‘hard no’ to potential candidates for my next relationship. I was honest, I was kind, but I was real and true to myself.
Though tempting at times, I wasn’t going to settle.
And that felt like self love, or at least some small act towards it.
After a few months of swiping, chatting, etc., I was exhausted. It was taking up my time, my
energy, my emotions, and was not fulfilling in any way. I decided, from perhaps more of a cynical place, that I wasn’t going to do this, wasn’t going to put myself out there in a dating world that made absolutely zero sense to me anymore if I wasn’t going to meet my true match.
Just before I deleted the apps for good, I started a slow conversation with a guy who, from his photos and self-description, was attractive. I liked what I saw in his bio, he had taken the time to fill it out and be honest, and I could see his sense of humor in his words too.
On paper, so to speak, he looked good.
Our conversation was interesting, it held my attention, but we would go hours if not
days without exchanging. That was fine with me—I was already partially checked out anyway, and was operating under the assumption that this thing wasn’t high on his priority list, either.
It was slow. Very slow. But we did exchange numbers. And he did ask me out, finally.
And now, if I may, I would like to tell you a story.
There’s a woman sitting in an armchair at a chain coffee shop, headphones in her ears, eyes
focused on her phone. She is wondering what the hell she is doing on the north side of the city, in a neighborhood she is not at all familiar with, on a Sunday evening no less, having agreed to meet yet another stranger who would, no doubt, be another disappointment.
Another bum first date that would not lead anywhere.
She texts her friend to complain about her decision to actually show up for this date, but the friend responds with encouragement, telling her to keep an open mind and hope for the best.
She goes on listening to music and waiting, wondering what hope there is anyway.
The sun has set outside, and she gingerly steps into the cold November air to try to find her way to the restaurant where reservations had been made. It’s windy, she is sort of freezing, and mostly wishing she was warm at home. She crosses a bridge into literal no-man’s land.
Its an industrial area with a bunch of silent buildings that don’t look promising for housing a restaurant. She pulls her headphones out of her ears, keeping them open instead for sounds of other life, and if that life may be threatening to hers.
Google maps says the restaurant is down the street on the right.
She contemplates the irony of being murdered somewhere here. In search of love?
Seemed a little too poetic and romanticized. Being a stupid idiot seemed more realistic.
She gave an actual sigh of relief when she saw the one bulb light overhanging the sort of shady looking door to the place. Huh.
Once inside, she was thoroughly relieved to see that this was a very trendy, nice, even swanky place. She takes a seat at the end of the bar and lets the guy know via text that she is here a little early.
Then she waits. Who knows if he will even show up, but she thinks he will.
She orders a cocktail and looks around.
Looks at her phone.