Dater X: I Told You So

Greetings from the road! As I told you last week, I’ve been spending an unusual amount of time traveling for work, and with the holiday, I only ended up spending one night in my home city this week. Not great for my dating life, but then, lately, what is? I did, however, spend a good amount of time with The Quiet One – just enough time, in fact, to determine that he is, as so many of you pointed out with such fervor, just not that into me. Hence the title of this post. Call it a pre-emptive strike.

I headed out of the city for a few days with my family, including my once-wild little sister and her delightful boyfriend who I have come to think of as my future brother-in-law. It was terrific to spend time with them, but also a little bittersweet in the same way that scrolling through my Facebook feed has started to feel: 10 years ago, it seemed like the friends who were settling down or getting married or having kids were rushing into things, and divorce posts often followed close behind those hasty unions. Today, though, even the former wild children and the divorcees and the single moms are finding love. It used to be that I could scroll through and feel a little more secure in my singledom, confident that I wasn’t making the bad decisions that I watched others make, but these days, even the people whose poor choices I once dismissed are finding the thing that I can’t.

Case in point: when we were younger, my sister dated a series of bad boys, each less impressive than the last, and yet here she is in a committed relationship with a guy who takes out the trash at my parents’ house without being asked. Her exes were fond of disappearing mid-meal for a cigarette (or worse); when this guy stepped out of the kitchen while we prepped dinner last Christmas, we spotted him soon after helping our Dad shovel the driveway. Even after all of her dating mistakes – and she’s quick to admit that they are legion – today, she is happy and content.  It’s hard not to feel a little pang that she has been able to find someone and I haven’t. Cue the self-loathing thoughts of “What am I doing wrong?”

And speaking of things I’m doing wrong, we might as well talk about The Quiet One. After spending the holiday with my family, I left for my travel job a few days early with plans to attend a college football game with some friends, then celebrate Friendsgiving before the work week started back up again. Thanks to some unfortunate circumstances, including a death in one family and a hasty move in another, the crowd of fellow alums who planned to attend the game dwindled down to me, my best friend, and The Quiet One.

We tailgated. We cheered. We had a grand old time. After the game, with another friend on his way into town to join us for Friendsgiving the following day, my best friend invited The Quiet One back to his place, where I have been staying, to hang and watch TV. Our other friend arrived, midnight became almost 5 a.m., and a great deal of whiskey was consumed and Cards Against Humanity played.  The Quiet One tried to call a car, but it never showed, and I offered that he was welcome to stay, though I was sleeping in a twin bed in my best friend’s guest room.  He opted for the living room couch instead.

And while, yes, it was possible last week for me to assess that he was being shy because of our job situation, even your naïve Dater X knows that when a guy picks the couch over your bed, it’s game over.

So here we are: the most wonderful time of the year, trimming trees and singing songs and toasting with Champagne, and as I have so many times before, I’m developing a seasonal mistletoe allergy and politely dismissing well-meaning relatives eggnog-induced “Why are you still single?” inquiries. I know I’m lucky, but this Thanksgiving, it was tough to feel wholly thankful for what I have when what I don’t have seems to be staring me down from every angle. And with a month full of holiday happenings and work-related travel, it’s tough to imagine that changing any time soon. Not that that will stop me from trying.

Until next week,

Dater X 3.0