So, over the last two years I’ve considered myself “single and dating,” but I’ve recently come to the realization that while I am single, and I do occasionally date, I wasn’t really “available.”
I got close to someone, Red, who became one of my best friends, and while it was a great friendship, for a very long time, it eventually became an unhealthy relationship. Over time it transitioned from a dynamic friendship into a toxic pseudo relationship. We became “stand-ins” for each other. We began spending all of our free time together – days off, trips to the gym, evenings spent on each other’s couches.
I’m not sure exactly how it came about, but I had a very rude wake-up call, one day, when I realized that I simply didn’t like the way he was talking to me. There was a constant feeling of being talked down to, like I was less-than. I don’t know if it was a gradual change or if it was instantaneous, but I immediately felt the need to draw back, create distance, and eventually walk away from that friendship. Difficult to do considering what a big part of my life he was, and that we work in such close proximity together.
Mid-transition I realized the obvious reason I hadn’t met anybody: The only single men hanging around Red’s couch on a Saturday night? Red.
Imagine that. I hadn’t met anyone because I hadn’t tried to meet anyone.
We’d known each other for 4 years – explored the possibility of a romantic relationship for the first little while,and then just settled into what was, for a long time, the best friendship of my life. Something changed over time and I don’t think either of us ever even really put an effort into meeting anyone. We spent most nights together, marathoned movies and our favourite television shows. We spent days off out paddleboarding, on the lake. He was my “plus one” to every event – weddings, parties, group activities, and even company for dinners out.
People always assumed we were together, in some capacity, so it’s not that far-fetched to assume I never really looked “available” to any single man that may have been interested in approaching me.
So, near the beginning of the Summer this realization was starting to manifest itself, and I began to make a concentrated effort to put myself “out there”more. I updated my online dating profiles, began returning Instagram and Facebook messages that had previously gone unanswered. I even took the initiative and contacted a couple of guys I had been interested in getting to know, in the past, and asked them out for drinks.
I think my decision to actively explore the dating world is what eventually contributed to the full out demise of our friendship. Red became very defensive over my decision and jealousy soon followed. That was it for me – the final nail in the coffin. I had to cut ties and walk away.
So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few months.
Putting myself out there. Really, putting myself out there.
Fortunately, it brings me back here. Over the last few months I’ve been writing blog posts in my head, and I figure it’s actually time to put pen to paper. Dating is a crazy experience. I have to share.
Brace yourselves, the dating world is scary.