Comfort Zone

Dating is tedious.

Dating could be one of the most drawn-out, boring systems that we as humans have created. I have always thought this even when I was a bit younger and should have been going out on six a week. The whole ‘get to know someone’ part was more likely to give me anxiety than any sort of excitement.  If I had my choice, that part would have just been skipped and we’d get right down to that comfortable part of a relationship that people had always talked about, but I had yet to discover.

I managed to find a surefire solution (that many others develop as well) to this dilemma I had though: pick up dudes at bars. In this way, you avoid the typical questions (what kind of music do you like?, how do you make a living?, what are you looking for in a partner?, blah, blah) and replace them with yes or no questions (can I buy you a drink?, can you drive home?, etc. and eventually can I take you home?). Add in a dick joke or two, and ‘dating’ for me became one of the most impersonal, easy processes a girl could go through.

Of course, there are many drawbacks to this form of ‘dating’ (if you can call it that). Mainly, the cons are directly related to the fact that you avoided the energy consuming part of getting to know someone. So eventually, you realize the dude is a total bore, or that he has no job at all, or that there is a warrant out for his arrest, or (my personal favorite) he already has a girlfriend -ouch- who decided to stay home that night.

I decided I needed to get serious and if serious meant going to the movies a couple times, then so be it. (By the way, the movies are in fact the worst possible first date ever. You simply post pone the first date entirely because you can not actually talk during a movie. It’s illogical.) Regardless, I realized real fast that a real date can be just as bad as meeting someone while cozied up in neighboring bar stools.

The first date I went on was with probably one of the most attractive men I have ever made out with. I mean it, all of my friends oohed and aahed when I told them who it was with. Some proclaimed their envy. I was just confused as to why he was even interested in me. Anyway, I had met him at a girlfriend’s wedding, and I’m not surprised he noticed me considering my outfit. (I was wearing a white, bedazzled fedora hat, a white feather boa and a red, polka dotted shirt that made my boobs rival that of a Victoria’s Secret model. Come on, I was celebrating.) Regardless, he started talking to me and next thing you know we had a ‘date’ scheduled. He suggested a movie (blah) followed by dinner and I obliged. During the movie, we pretty much just sat there all awkward-like, but it was dinner that threw me for a loop. He berated me with questions: what’s your astrological sign?, what do you do for fun?, how long have been single?, what are you looking for in a man?, what kind of music do you listen to?, do you have any pets?, How close are you to your family?, What do you think of me so far?

Holy shit. I was dizzy with talking about myself. I was sick of talking about myself. This man gave me anxiety. So I did my best to flip the interrogation, and it turned even worse. He began giving me the full, long version of his last girlfriend and how she had broke his heart. (Side note: whenever a man begins parading on about how his heart was broken by some chick, it always makes me stop and wonder: how many dudes use me as their sob story?) I began doing what any chick would; I pounded whiskey. When I finally got home, I sat on my couch, consumed even more alcohol, and pretty much sulked that out of all the talking, the only thing I had pulled is that this super hot guy blames his ex-girlfriend for everything bad that has ever happened to him. I avoided all of his phone calls and eventually he sent me a text saying I was everything he “had been warned about” and that if I wasn’t serious I could fuck off. (Apparently there was a PSA circulating through town that I wasn’t girlfriend material. Oh, and seriously dude. We went on one date.)

I was humbled, but that didn’t stop me from going on a bunch of other awful dates. One guy told me that he was an avid reader after I told him I was and when I asked what the last book he read was, he replied Where the Wild Things are. Found out half-way through a date with another that I had already been on a date with the guy’s little brother the previous month. He got up and literally walked out on me. Some other guy? He suggested we go work out for our first date, and when I suggested something else, he huffed, and our first date turned out to be one big huff because of it. The stories are endless. I could go on forever, but I won’t. I’ve already gotten side tracked enough.

Dating is tedious, but I did learn a couple things while going through it.

A) All men have an ex girlfriend/wife/lover/friend that makes them the shitty person they are today.

B) If you decide a man is not right for you, they will all find a way to let you know that you have made the hugest mistake via text, voicemail, email, etc.

C) If all else fails, pound whiskey.

D) Do not admit that you have already dated his brother.

So I went through all of these terrible dates, managed to snag a married man, caught a couple month long flings, and was even engaged to be married myself for a couple weeks, but through all of this I had yet to get to that comfort zone that my friends who had long-term relationships talked about. You know, the part that’s supposed to make all the tedium worth it. I didn’t even know what it was.

Cut to present day. I am now in the longest relationship I have ever been in.

The beginning was not perfect. Our first dinner date, he pulled out the chair closest to the fireplace, and I assumed he was pulling it for himself so I took the other seat. He stared at me blankly and said “I, uh, thought you’d want to sit closest to the fire.” He had pulled the chair out for me. I felt like a jack ass, but apparently was not used to chivalry. Once he over heard me talking to one of my girlfriend’s and we kept mentioning Edward (Edward Cullen, that is… the fictional mystical creature), he asked me who Edward was and I responded “my boyfriend.” He thought I actually had a boyfriend for 3 days before approaching me about it. He never asked questions about me, which I took as a sign to mean he wasn’t interested (but is actually just his demeanor, never pressing for any information). I ended up black out drunk and confessed way too much at the beginning of the ordeal. He had previously dated one of my friends. The married guy I had dated (is it dating if he’s already married…?) was one of his really good friends. Blah, blah, blah.  Like I said, it wasn’t perfect. It was even a bit tedious.

Yesterday, as the two of us were watching a movie, I looked over at him and he sat slouched with a Budweiser in one hand, and a piece of left over pizza in the other. His bare chest and stomach were covered in crust crumbs and his fly was wide open. His eyes were half shut almost as if he had been so tired that his eyelids couldn’t even finish closing and he kept making little gurgling noises like he was one of those Pug dogs that can’t breath correctly. I laughed but was touched with endearment.

That’s when I realized I had made it. I had successfully passed the whole ‘get to know one another’ part and made it into the comfort zone.

Dating may be tedious, but eventually its worth it. Maybe that’s why we instinctively keep pushing through one bad date to another; you know, to get to that part where a man passed out, covered in crumbs with his fly wide open, making noises that resemble a backed up toilet being unclogged is suddenly comforting rather than a signal to run.

I have a couple girlfriends who are still dating. I love when they call with their latest dating woes. I love hearing the terrible stories and laughing as we make fun of whatever they may have said wrong… but I don’t envy them. Not one bit.

Why? Because they’re simply working to get at what I have.

Oh, and dating is so tedious.

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