commitment · dating · faith · Jewish · recovery · self-care

Standards

Yesterday as I was walking to catch my bus to the movies
with friends, a young man walked out of a nearby store and was walking just a few
paces next to me in the same direction. It was obvious we were going to be
going the same way for a while, so I asked him what he’d bought at the store –
it’s a little Italian food and cheese shop.
We ended up chatting and laughing a good bit on the way, and
as my bus came into sight, and he was going to continue on his way, I
introduced myself and held out my hand. He did the same, and then he asked, Do
you want to get together some time?
I smiled, and said, Actually I’m not dating right now, but
thank you. And he looked a little quizzical, but accepted it, and as we crossed
the street, I said maybe I’ll see you around. And I got on my bus, with
a grin on my face.
This young man, about my age, attractive, and I
picked up a Jewish vibe (my Jew-dar is pretty good with men). But, he was about
5 inches shorter than me. (I’m close to 6feet tall, if you didn’t know.)
I told my friend about the interaction later, and she said, “he wasn’t up to my standards, no pun intended…” But, unfortunately or not, it’s
true. I’ve tried to make good enough good enough, and it just doesn’t work for
me. I’ve tried to make almost the right fit into the right fit, but it’s like
Cinderella’s sisters’ bleeding toes. Eventually, the truth will out.
I felt glad that I was approachable and attractive. I felt
bummed that it wasn’t the right fit. But, I suppose it’s progress that I’m
approachable.
I still think about the Catholic and our incredible first
date in January – like something out of Before Sunrise.
I’ve been noticing I really do have a type, a physical type, at least. Blond and blue eyed. So, a blond blue
eyed, tall Jew. Right… But, as someone once told me, the Universe will either
fulfill your desire, or take it away. Or, as I’ve also heard, G-d has three answers: Yes, Not Now, and I have something better in mind.
For my reluctance to write this in an open forum, before I
met my last boyfriend, I felt like and said that I felt ready for “the one
before ‘The One,’” that I wasn’t quite ready for white-picket fence land, or to
be fully emotionally available – but that I was ready to try for the almost.
And believe it or not, I believe that’s exactly what
happened. It was almost right. It was in many ways also very not right. But I
got to practice being in a relationship; noticing my patterns, my alternation
between a desire to control and be approved of, and a desire to reject. I got to see that I wasn’t
a half-bad girlfriend, which was good, considering my self-esteem’s attachment to my sordid promiscuous past.
And, ultimately, I got to see that the difference between “almost” and “yes,”
though small, is also a canyon. Not easily crossed or bridged by any amount of
force or desire.
I’ve had a few approaches by “almosts” in the last six
months or so. And I’ve gotten to play the tape – the recent tape of trying with
an almost. It included tears, pain, “breaks,” coercion, frustration, despair.
(Of course, it also included joy, humor, contentment, and creativity.) It was
not enough. And so, I’ve had to practice saying no.
I’m not sure that I like using the phrase “I’m not dating
right now,” which had been true for the last few months, not being emotionally
available to date. But I feel that that’s changing. So, we’ll see. Maybe I will
get the opportunity to say Yes sometime soon.
(And, by the way, part of the reason for today’s blog is all
a ‘note to self’ about the inappropriate
dude-I-feel-like-a-13-year-old-lost-in-my-gawky-body-when-I-talk-to-you crush I
have on an blue-eyed acquaintance, who is non-jewish, short, taken, but oh so …
yummy.) 😉

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