Sunday, August 8, 2010

Letting Go

Last weekend, I was catching up with a friend I hadn't seen in a couple months.  My friend had all sorts of new developments in his life.  He had a new nephew.  He and his long-term girlfriend had broken up.  He had already gone out on a first date (with a cougar!).  He was entering a new stage in his career.

And then we turned to me.   "So, where are you living now?"  "Oh...the same place as before."  "I thought the last time I saw you, you were looking at moving?"  "Oh...yeah, still looking."  "Did you get a puppy?" ", still no puppy."  "And did you quit yet?" "Oh...uhh no...not yet..."  (At least he spared me the "are you seeing anyone" question.  I suppose he knows me well enough to know that the answer to that question never changes.)  "Wow," he said, "What happened to all your plans?!"

We laughed, but then later, I couldn't help but think, what DID happen to all my plans?  Or, more precisely, why haven't I followed through with any of these things that I talk and obsess about all the time?  These things - apartment, dog, job - are all things that are more or less in my control, and yet I simply cannot seem to pull the trigger.  I keep hesitating, stalling.  Sure, they're big life decisions and certainly choices not to be made hastily, but still.  What am I waiting for?  What is holding me back?

And then this weekend, I avoided going on a third date for absolutely no good reason.  I didn't have any real set plans, and it would've been easy to have met up with him on Saturday or Sunday night.  But I didn't.  I lied.  I made stuff up.  And then I made plans so I wouldn't feel as guilty about making stuff up.  I was purposefully trying to stall our progress.  The thing is, he's actually a pretty great guy.  We have a good rapport, and he is genuinely nice without being boring.  And to me, he seems, well, safe.  Drama-free.  So why am I hesitant to move things forward with him?  Why am I shying away from a chance to actually try to have a stable, adult relationship?  What am I waiting for?  What am I holding on to?

When you're single, it can be so easy to cling to the dream that maybe one day things will magically work out with the one who got away - the ex-boyfriend, the best friend, the summer fling, the boy who moved 500 miles away.  It's so easy to keep retreating back into the comfort and familiarity of that someone, even when you know deep down that it would never actually work out.  It's easier to hold on to even just the idea of that someone than it is to get out there, start fresh and go on those first, second and third dates.

I don't think I'm holding on to the idea of things working out with a specific person so much anymore as I am to just the idea of the Perfect Guy.  And no matter what I've said in the past, maybe I'm still not quite ready to give up the dream of someone else, the dream of the Perfect Guy.

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