Since my divorce, I can’t seem to do anything right when it comes to dating. I try to hard, I don’t try hard enough, I go out too much I stay inside my apartment for days on end, it doesn’t seem to matter. I have read multiple books on dating, even ones on male psychology and they don’t seem to help. I have sat down with male friends and tried to get feedback on how their brains work. I have shared numerous stories with fellow single women all which end in a similar refrain a lot of heartache and disappointment. I just don’t get this city. But I think I am starting to figure out the missing element, and it isn’t something that I can grow overnight, nor do I necessarily want to develop.
It’s the cool detachment, the emotional wall, the blase manner, the cavalier treatment of other people like they are hardly worth a moment’s notice. Detachment is the style of the many tribes in this city. And I am like tissue paper, desperately trying to suppress emotion and play things off like I don’t care, but I desperately care. I want what I lost, but the longer I keep looking for it the more it seems like an unattainable goal. I push down my emotions and smother them as best I can, because the more my emotions show the more they scare everyone away from me. And yet I still do everything wrong. I try to play it cool, act as if I couldn’t care less, and I get away with it most of the time. But then I start to care, not full throttle, just a hint. I let my guard down for a moment and try to let someone new into my life and the whole thing collapses before it begins. I don’t know what to do. I try to do the right thing. I don’t see the point in going out with someone who is still tortured by his ex-wife, or an ex-girlfriend, so when I meet men like this and I meet many…I politely walk away. And I won’t go out with someone who is already married or in a relationship, I don’t need that kind of bad karma. And I would never do to someone else what another did to me. So I try to allow things to slowly grow and give things space and time but it never works out and I remain alone and broken.
So I hide and try to erase the past decade or so of my life. I tell myself “Don’t talk about your divorce, don’t talk about your divorce” and it feels like not talking about everything that has completely re-built and shaped me for the past three years. Don’t talk about your fears, don’t show weakness, don’t show that you actually care or give a damn. Just play it cool, the others around you are doing it and they are winning. Well they might not be winning but at least they seem to play the game better than I do. But I am who I am and that is a fairly emotional person, so it feels like shoving myself into a vice that is pinching me on all sides. And I see it on the faces of new men that I met, when I was younger it seemed like there was more excitement in the game, now it is everyone trying to out “cool” each other. Everyone tells me to just be myself and it will all be OK, but when I am myself nothing works out.
How did we get like this? How is it the only way to successfully date in New York City is to get so jaded and so burned that you just stop showing any passion. I don’t want to turn into that person, but I honestly have no idea how I can go on like this. Never more than a couple of dates and the whole thing implodes, and in some cases it just dies without much fanfare at all. Men fall for the image of me, not my reality - a complicated, damaged and world-weary soul. But I have survived so much horror and lived to tell about it. I have nine years of a relationship that went to hell and back and didn’t give up on it until it was obviously beyond hope. Shouldn’t my loyalty and dedication count for something? I would be the last person to flippantly leave a relationship over something trivial or the next big thing. I guess in a city where everyone is replaceable and there is always a newer, younger, shinier version walking down the street, none of this matters. I sometimes think that the overwhelmingly promiscuous nature of this city comes from people who have just grown so tired of trying for something more and they give in to anything to ease the feeling of loneliness and pain. And at least a fleeting moment of human contact can smother it, if for a second. But like any drug used to feed a hunger that it cannot truly contain, more and more is needed until it the fix becomes insatiable and the cycle continues.
So many have called New York an emotional desert and I just keep trying to prove them wrong. I am not going to become a deadened human being, I refuse to let that happen to me. And I have to be true to myself, so I will keep hoping that something will change. At this point I have very little left to keep me going besides hope, so until I meet someone who can put up with Ms. emotional over here, that is my reality.
- Divorce and Moving Sooner (rumpusonflr.com)
- Why the words “failed” and “marriage” don’t belong together. (twodifferentgirls.com)
- I Hate Dating (sliceofsamarah.wordpress.com)
- Life goes on After Divorce, believe it or not! (divorceddoodling.wordpress.com)
- How Do You Process Emotions? 4 Techniques to Try Today (alexiaisaak.com)
- How Much Should You Tell When Dating After Divorce? (madamenoire.com)
- Dating in New York: Mr. Spontaneous (julietjeske.wordpress.com)
- Dating Online: The Liar – A Hall of Famer (julietjeske.wordpress.com)
- Dating in NYC – Damaged Goods (julietjeske.wordpress.com)