One of the themes of my summer has been dating. I couldn't explain why or why now. One of my friends is on a dating website and has multiple dates a week ("shopping for men"), another started a hilarious first-date-story blog, and I find myself actually open to dating again.
And, since I've felt open again, things have sort of been happening. I think for a long time I have said I don't want to be set up and I am not interested because in reality, I have been terrified of letting anyone in to my crazy little mind enough that I could trust them. Dating is after all "scoping out potential for relationships"(thank you Laundry Girl).
I have not done enough scoping - I have a history of taking things too seriously too quickly. Hey, we like each other, we're attracted to each other, let's get together and call it love and you can meet my whole family and maybe we should move across the country for each other and maybe in the same house and maybe let's just crush each others souls while we're at it.
(On a side note - DO NOT bring someone to your family reunion in the first six months of a relationship, or even a year. I will be more specific at a later date but for now just take my word for it and Don't Do It.)
So I'm trying it a little different these days. Yes, I am letting myself be set up with people - what's the worst that can happen? Yes, I might give someone my number at a bar if they ask politely. Yes, I may be trading texts and calls with more than one person at a time. Yes, I am toying with the idea of joining a dating website myself. No, I am not sleeping with anyone. Yet. (This is not my favorite part.)
Inevitably I find myself drawn to the ones that my social work sister can diagnose in an instant as something I'll need to think about ('have similair traumatic experiences' is one example) but, since I'm walking through this, I'm ok with that. My sister has given me one piece of advice more than anything and that is "please don't make any big life-altering decisions based on a 20 hour conversation/good sex/intense connection/etc." She can say that because, as I've mentioned, she's seen me do it. And guess what - the first time is a love story, the second is questioned, and the third is just a sad pattern.
So dating here we go. I'll learn to love you, but I'm not going to rush into it.