Are we falling at the same time at the same rate, or am I falling by myself and you’re watching someone else?
Do you remember when you were in high school, and you would watch those prime time TV shows about teenagers and their dramatic relationships, and the girl breaks up with her boyfriend, and she tells everyone ‘’oh, he can date whoever he wants!’’, but when he dates whoever he wants, she gets all angry and says ‘’how dare he date Kelly??” Maybe you don’t remember, because that is a very specific memory, but I remember that episode of 90210, and I remember how I would scoff and say ‘Oh silly, silly Brenda, how stupid and illogical you are!’
Well, that has come back to bite me in the ass, or at the very least, teach me a valuable lesson. I’ve been talking to my online dating guy for…five weeks now? We have met up twice and are still texting on a daily basis. (Which, I have come to learn, doesn’t contribute to building a meaningful relationship and really, should only be used as a vehicle for other forms of communication. That, or sending jokes. But I digress). We are by no means exclusive. I can’t even say we are dating casually. He is someone I am texting everyday and hanging out with on the rare occasion. The proper term for that, I suppose, is ‘Some Guy I Kinda Know’.
Taking all that into consideration, you can imagine my reaction when I go on his dating page today to show my sister what he looks like, and find that he has changed some information on his profile, indicating that he is still active on the site. If you’re imagining a calm and collected response-’’oh, that is not at all surprising or unexpected’’-said in a British accent while sipping tea-thanks! I’d much rather be that person you’re imagining than who I really am: a girl raging in her bathroom while taking a very hot shower to match the extent of her rage. What makes it worse is that I literally have done the exact same thing! I changed some of my photos, I changed up my bio, I even went on a date with someone else.
The difference is, I know I was only doing those things because I don’t know where ‘the guy I kinda know’ stands. If he were to say to me today ‘let’s be in a monogamous relationship’, I’d say ‘hell yeah that’s awesome bae!’ (Only I wouldn’t, because I actually don’t talk like a teenager. I only try to, to fit in with the demographic of the people I date). Of course, there are many things to figure out, but on the whole, I am happy enough to not want to search for someone else. I don’t know what it means that he is still active on the site. Is he doing the same thing I’m doing? Or is he looking for someone better? Someone more attractive, or more charming, or more of whatever amazing quality that I don’t have, and less of all the bad qualities that I do have?
One of the things I’ve gained from practicing mindfulness is being better able to see my thoughts and decide if it’s valuable for me to be thinking them. I could ruminate for days about what he is thinking, but the reality is, I won’t know for sure unless I ask him. I’m not willing to do that, nor am I willing to ask him to be monogamous, because, while I would be ready for that discussion right now, I don’t think he or the average person would be. (I can be impatient and intense. Two bad qualities). Seeing the situation for what it is, I can either abort this whole thing to save myself from potential pain, or set up emotional boundaries for myself so I don’t get attached before I know what’s up. (I also attach to guys very easily. Another bad quality). No rumination required. Here are my options, choose one and stop thinking. I like him too much to want to abort, so there is really only one thing for me to do. How one sets up emotional boundaries, I do not know. I’ve never done it before.