It’s been a minute since I’ve talked about dating. And if I’m being totally honest, there was a different beginning to this piece. There was an opening that talked about dating apps that will likely get recycled and used in a different post. Because, as much as I have my fair share to say about dating apps, as this story unfolded it started being about something entirely different.
I have been single for four years. Almost exactly. And in that time, I’ve met a lot of really cool people. On dating apps, at parties, through friends, at (vomit) fraternities, at bars. There were times I really felt like I was living my best sitcom lifestyle, and times I felt like Taylor Swift in her White Horse music video. For four years, I’ve been the friend with the date stories, the friend with the roster, the friend who makes terrible decisions and maximizes a bad thing to turn them into blog posts or songs.
And I wanted to date, but I didn’t want to be in a relationship. It’s not to say that I was never completely without emotions, but long-term relationships didn’t seem to suit me. Sometimes I would talk about relationships or think that I wanted one, however in my heart of hearts I know I wasn’t quite ready. And I had a handful of reasons to stay single over the years:
“It doesn’t make sense to settle down because I’m actually into ______________” (ifkyk)**
“I don’t want to date a guy while I’m moving back and forth between Toronto and Vancouver”
“I really want to be single when things open up from lockdown”
“I’m coming back and forth from New Brunswick so it would be a big hassle”
And there are parts of being single that I wouldn’t’ want to necessarily give up. I love going on dates and meeting new people. I love that “will they/won’t they” feeling at the end of a date where you’re waiting for a first kiss. I love writing music about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love trading date stories with my friends until we are all curled over from laughing so hard.
It’s not that a switch has flipped and I hate dating now. I still am an avid user of Bumble and Hinge. I still love a good first date and more importantly, a bad first date story. But something is a bit different now. Because I don’t want a relationship in the sense that I want to find my Forever person. The idea of being 23 and meeting the person I’ll spend the rest of my life with honestly makes me break out into nervous hives. Plus, I already have my Forever people. I have people that hold citizenships in Victoria-ville. They collect frequent flyer miles in my brain, and I should start paying for their phone bills with the number of minutes I rack up with them
I just want a Right Now person. I don’t need to talk about marriage and babies, but I want to feel comfortable talking about next week or God forbid a month from now without someone getting jumpy. I want to feel special and prioritized. I just want someone who makes me happy now and that’s enough.
One day I’m going to want that Ed-Sheeran-love-song kind of love. I’m going to want the love that grows old in a rocking chair. The love you fight for and work at, but I don’t want that right now. I want easy. I want someone to look at me and think, “Despite the sprinkles of crazy, I could spend time with her right now and that’s enough”. I’m enough for me. But sometimes I want to be enough for someone else as well. You know?
It’s a narrow distinction. It’s a fine line, so razor thin that if you don’t focus hard, you can’t see it. And you may think I’m wrong, but I bet you’ve had Right Now people in your life. They relationship that got you over a bad breakup and was exactly what you needed at the time. The friend you had in residence but drifted apart from after. The colleague who was your right hand at work, but you lost touch with when you left. It doesn’t mean that ending those relationships doesn’t hurt, but those were the people you needed.
This also doesn’t mean that I’m dissatisfied with my life. I have a new job that I love, I’m back in the studio, I have my Forever people, my anxiety is manageable, and – if you’ve somehow forgotten – I’m a goddamn treat. I just want someone to validate me. Someone to stick around for a while. Someone who wants to see me. Someone who doesn’t feel the need to keep shopping the market. Someone who doesn’t make me feel like a sociopath if I catch feelings, because fuck we need to take the pressure of catching feelings – but that’s an entirely different rant for a different post.
So here I am, yelling at the internet the things that I want. It’s a little funny, I always say you can’t look for things when you’re dating. When you look for a relationship, you’ll find garbage men and mediocre hook ups. When you look for casual, you’ll find love. But here I am, looking for Right Now, because Forever seems like too much to put on my plate at the moment. So fingers crossed that I’m wrong and I’ll actually stumble into the thing that I’m looking for.
I doubt it though.
From me, with love, to you,
**I cannot describe the hysterical laughter that ensues from thinking about all of the boys who saw this line and thought, “She’s definitely talking about me.” TRUST ME. I’m not.