On dating, or not dating, and what's next.

My normal schedule goes as follows: I wake up, get ready for work, go to work, go to spin, go home, eat something that hardly constitutes as a proper dinner, go to bed, repeat. I typically go through the motions of a work week without blinking an eye. I'm programmed. And when I make it to Friday, I tend to reward myself with solitude.

And that's when it will hit me: I'm 28. TWENTY EIGHT. Single, with no dating prospects. None. Everyone else is dating, or married, or giving birth! Like, at this exact moment, pushing! a baby! out!

I get a panicky girl-crazy look in my eyes.  My stomach turns into knots. I think, "My mother was married with a baby by now!" I question, "But do I even want kids?" MAYBE. Maybe not! I go on Tinder*. I swipe right for almost everyone. I think, "One of these dickweeds better message me!" I put my phone down. I breathe in. Out. In and then out again.

And I relax. My five minute freak out has passed, and I settle down. I go back to what it was I was doing before.

And repeat.

It's not easy to watch other people - friends, especially - move forward with their lives, while you feel left behind in yours. Most of the time it's a dull pain that I can almost ignore completely. I remind myself to appreciate where I am in life. To remember that I'm not worrying about how I'm going to afford a crib or the mortgage next month. I can accept that I'm on a different path. But other times I cry into my ice cream, alone again on a Friday night.

I joke that I'd like to get engaged so I can have a bridal shower. I'd ask for a KitchenAid** stand mixer and Roomba, and then call off the wedding. But I would get to keep the gifts. As women, we tend to associate certain items (ie: household appliances) with marriage. If I'm looking for a vacuum, shouldn't I be standing in Macy's with my fiance, aiming a barcode scanner at the nicest Dyson I can find?

I've become the friend that doesn't necessarily see herself getting married. I'm the friend who thinks babies are great, but they are even better when they aren't your responsibility. I'll roll my eyes with you when someone gets engaged. I'll make the argument that marriage should be illegal until you're thirty. I'm the first person you text when someone posts a picture of their left hand sporting new hardware, or when someone blogs the dreaded sonogram photo.

I play the part, and I play it well. But I'm tired of it.

I was reading a blog the other day, when I came across this sentence: Sometimes it's exhausting doing everything your own.

Sometimes it's exhausting doing everything your own.

I was asked by a friend a couple months ago why I'm worried about dating (or, not dating, is more like it) if my end goal is not necessarily to get married or have kids. My response was simply one word: companionship.

In other words, sometimes it's exhausting doing everything on your own.

Not just in the sense of being single, but also living on my own. Going grocery shopping and cooking meals, on my own. Cleaning, laundry, dishes, on my own. Knowing that I will start each day and end each day, on my own.

I understand that part of this is a lifestyle choice. Could I have a roommate? Sure. Do I think at 28 I should have one? No, not unless it was for financial reasons. And I'm not discrediting the fact that I have a great family and amazing friends. That is not lost on me.

But I'd be a liar if I said having that support system is the same thing as having a great boyfriend. It's not. I know it's not. You know it's not. 

So, I want out of this role. This icky-bitter friend role. And I know to change that, I have to change. I have to break the cycle. End this period of dormancy.

No more repeating myself.

A little change of heart, in this so-called month of love.

*I've been off of all dating sites for a few weeks. More on that in a later post.
**Do you know anyone who has a KitchenAid stand mixer and didn't receive it as a gift? I mean, really!