04 August 2012

The Dating Game

A few months ago I signed on to an online dating site.  I had it in my head that I needed to get out more, meet more people, have some good times, get to know a few people better, and maybe (hopefully?) settle into working on a new relationship.  Since living as a home-leaver wasn't really working out, I figured I'd take a shot at being a householder for a while.  The jury's still out on the success of the experiment, but a few things have happened along the way.

My wardrobe has improved somewhat.  I've moved from two shirts for work and two pair of pants, one pair of jeans, one sweatshirt and a stack of 6 blue or black or gray T-shirts to including a few things I can go to dinner or a play in.  I got an early instruction in how Wal-Mart jeans really don't cut it in the dating market, and I've made amends.  I was gifted some nice shoes, and I'm actually grateful not to have to be worried about having passable footwear any more.  (I used to fret it even for nice functions at work, so this isn't just about being all trendy, etc.)  It all still falls within Rochester-lineage ordained wardrobe specifications, of course, and any new shirts I've purchased have quickly made their way to the seamstress for collar removal.  (OK, maybe I've inched across the "avoids ostentation" line by a hair, but not by more than a hair!)

I'm getting a lot more exercise these days, and I'm down a notch or two on my belt and about 10 lbs on the scale.  I tell myself that it's about more than just trying to look better, and I have some justification for that in that my blood pressure has moved from mild stage 1 hypertension back down into the normal range, and my resting heartbeat is now in the "excellent" range for men my age.  Nothing wrong with that, really.

I'm certainly learning about myself again and the personality items that (alas, still) fall into the "too much," "too little" and "just right" categories ("just right" being the least populated set).  I see the promptings of my insecurities, the tugs of my hopes and the ease of my distractions ever more clearly.  Living at the center and working at the university, with a limited range of personalities to deal with in accordance with rather clearly prescribed modes of engagement, was, I think, giving me a sense of being more on top of things than I really am.  Negotiating past a first or second date is, was, and, I'm seeing, always will be newfound territory, since the person on the other side can't but be bringing an unknown set of issues, wants and the rest into the picture.

And I suppose that is what has me sitting here after 9pm on a Saturday night, content to have a quiet evening at home.  It's the first Saturday night in almost a month and a half that I am not in a sesshin, coming back from one, or having my daughter with me.  No matter what fun I have out on the dating scene, I do know this much about myself: I need occasional alonetime, and not just by the hour but by the whole day.  Far from lamenting the lack of something to do tonight and someone to do it with, I'm grateful for the solitude, the quiet, and the lack of structure. 

Who knows, though?  Maybe next weekend I'll be out until all hours!

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