Dater X: Over And Out

Laying in bed watching “Grey’s Anatomy” last week, I started wondering, as I have during nearly every episode recently, why the show has continued for so many seasons. All of the characters we originally knew and loved (big shoutout to the “Grey’s” OG, George O’Malley) have come and gone, the plot has become so farfetched that I actually miss the predictability that once annoyed me, and everybody has slept with everybody. Why not stop while you’re ahead? In my humble opinion, the fine fellows at Grey-Sloan Memorial should have called it quits a few seasons ago. Now, they’re just … flat-lining.

So, in an effort to go out with some dignity and pride, unlike the folks from “Grey’s,” I’ve decided that this will be my send-off — my last Dater X column. I’ve been through a lot with you all: many men, many breakups, and many lessons learned. I’ve laughed, cried and yelled at my computer screen week-after-week, both while writing and reading your comments, and I can honestly say that, more than anything, I’ve learned that love is not simple. It’s not black and white; it’s complicated. Everybody has an opinion about how you should live your life and how you should approach every situation, but you’ll never really learn what’s best for you without listening to your own heart and following your own path. If I’d taken the advice of everybody who’s ever told me to dump this person or tell off that person, my life would have veered down a path that someone else chose for me, instead of the path that I chose for myself. But at the end of the day, even after getting lost and taking some questionable turns, I ended up right here where I belong … and that’s something I’m grateful for.

Dater X hasn’t always been an easy journey for me. I made a choice to write about my personal life, airing my dirty laundry and holding it up for criticism and judgement. There have been lots of skeptics claiming my stories were made up, my actions were so ridiculous that they couldn’t be true, and that I’m nothing but an attention whore pining for approval. With this goodbye letter, I want you all to know that the stories I’ve written — every single one of them — have been the truth. I’ve changed names and slight details to protect those that I’ve written about in my column, but beyond that, the tales of my dating life are ALL the real deal. Yes, I have dated THAT many people. Yes, I have fucked up THAT many times. Welcome to my life. There has also been a lot of chatter about my “true identity” recently, and I’ve been pretty amused by the conspiracy theories and educated guesses. But I will ask this of you: though I’ve chosen to share some very intimate details of my life with you over the last 15 months, that doesn’t mean that the others in my life have done the same. Please respect my privacy, so I can continue to respect theirs.

It still feels great to admit it: I’m falling in love. And despite what some of you may think, I’m not falling in love because someone is falling in love with me. I have that nervous knot, butterflies-in-my-stomach, stupid giddy feeling that I haven’t felt since … well, since Patrick Bateman. My feelings are real, and I’m ready to finally let myself be wholly vulnerable to someone again. I’ve been building up to it, becoming braver, if still hesitant, and more open in each new relationship. With Tim, I’ve found someone on my same page, ready to give as much and as fiercely. And so now it’s time for me to live my life, including my relationship with Tim, in private. Timing just feels right. Perhaps I’m finally feeling at peace with ending this column, which has become a kind of big part of my life, because I’ve met someone who makes me feel like I can let go. I am happy that I’ve found love again, that I can explore that feeling in its entirety, and that I was able to share my journey up until this point with all of you. While the tough love hurt at times, I genuinely appreciate every single one of you for coming along with me.

So, in an effort to come to a conclusion before the plot, cast of characters and unbelievably large web of sex partners gets too confusing, it’s time I bid you all adieu. I’m off to be in love, make mistakes and learn lessons on my own — and with someone very special. I hope you all enjoyed the ride as much as I did, and can only hope the next Dater X will provide you with as much … er, entertainment (and facepalming!) as I have. It’s time to let someone else take the reins. This may be my finalé, but it’s not where my story ends. I’m just moving on to the next chapter.

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