I'm starting to feel like dating is like naming one of your children. I remember when my husband and I were trying to decide on our daughter's name and as we went through the list of suggestions we each vetoed the ones we didn't like pretty quickly.
"I knew a girl with that name in elementary school. I couldn't stand that girl."
"No. That one won't work. That's the same name of the cashier of the grocery store I don't like."
"Are you kidding? That's the same name of the woman who wrecked my car last year! Do you want our kid to grow up to be a bad driver??"
It seemed that, the older we were, the more experiences we'd had and that resulted in a long list of people who had pissed us off in the past. And we didn't want to be reminded of that every time we called our kid to the dinner table.
Dating has turned out the same way for me. After being in some relationships that didn't work out for whatever reason and one that was catastrophic and left me picking up the pieces years later, my list of "vetoes" has gotten long...
...and to be honest it makes me feel like kind of a bitch.
I've realized that I have whittled down my list of requirements in a potential mate to such a point that it will probably be impossible for me to find someone who fits all of the criteria (but I'm sure as hell going to try). Most of it has to do with my dating experience in the past and the things I figured out didn't work for me. Some might think I'm cynical, some might think I'm jaded...I'd like to think I'm just wiser.
But dating seemed to be a lot easier when I wasn't.
The second I hear a guy say, "I'm just staying with my cousin for a while until I get back on my feet" I look for the door. Not that that isn't a valid and probably smart thing to do, but given my past experience where I found myself in a relationship and looking at a future where I would be completely supporting someone else...that's not a road I even want to turn on, much less go down.
When I interact with someone who has no sense of humor it reminds me of painful dinners when I've struggled to make conversation with the person I'm with. And I decide it's just cheaper to drink wine at home.
When I meet someone who has been engaged three times in the past, but never married, it reminds me of the painful breakup I had with someone who wanted to get married after six months.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
I am fully aware that there are many great guys out there, but I'm wondering if I'll be able to get out of my own way (and drop a little of the baggage from the past) to find that person. Because as time goes on, I get more and more educated on what worked and what didn't and after seven years of the single life...that list is getting longer and more detailed.
In many ways, I miss the old me who didn't know herself at all. Yes, that was a very painful time in many ways, but I seemed more open to just taking in the experience.
When you don't know what the hell you're doing and you're somewhat of a mess yourself, it's a lot easier to overlook someone else's messiness. That can be good and bad.
The last few days, I've been thinking about my husband and wondering if we met now, older and more emotionally formed...would we get along? Would he ask me out? Would I be able to overlook his shortcomings and would he still not mind the fact that I'm an inch taller than he is?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I would hope that I would have been able to look past some of the imperfections because I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the amazing guy he was.
I guess I need to remember that the next time around.