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On Liking Someone

August 20, 2010

Photo courtesy of jaimelondonboy

Okay, readers. I’ve been holding out on you.

Here’s the thing: I like Chef. I don’t know when it happened, but I started liking him. Which is odd, because I’m dating for sport at this point, not really expecting (or wanting) to meet someone. Why haven’t I told you this before (at least directly, anyway)? He reads the blog (well, he used to, and he claims he is no longer going to read it. He decided he wasn’t a fan of the blog anymore after reading about me hitting on SPO last week. But still, I don’t believe he’s going to go cold turkey, so I still have this sense that he is reading anyway. Note to self: Do not tell future prospects about the blog.). Also, I feel like saying I like him is putting all my cards on the table. It feels a little like that part in Jerry Maguire when Dorothy says to her sister Laurel:

“I don’t know if you’re interested in this detail, but I was just about to tell you that I love him. I love him, and I don’t care what you think. I love him for the man he wants to be, and I love him for the man he almost is. I love him.”

At which point, Jerry is actually in the hallway listening intently, completely without Dorothy’s knowledge. How unbelievably embarrassing. See the clip here (sorry, I couldn’t seem to imbed it into the post). Note: I’m not saying I love Chef. I like him. Let’s not get crazytown here. But, mentioning that I’m beginning to truly like him feels strange. It’s much easier to make fun of guys and find endless flaws than to admit to having an actual connection with someone.

None of this is to say that I’m ready to revoke the Year of Yes, cancel my Plenty of Fish profile or stop recklessly flirting and dating. I’m in a weird place with all that – this is my time to date. I’m so excited about it. I feel almost inspired by the opportunities that are ahead of me at this point. But, it is an interesting development to like someone. It’s good to know that I have it in me. And I suspect he likes me too.

Part of me thinks it’s unfair for me to even be dating at all right now. I want to date, meet new people, possibly build connections, but I have absolutely zero interest in settling down. I settled down for seven years. I almost got married and settled down for the rest of my life. Before I started dating my ex fiancée at all of 18 years old, I had probably only dated two other guys, if that. I’ve done my fair share of settling down, and frankly I feel like this is my time to be perfectly unsettled.

But is that fair to the people I date? Initially, I thought it was fair – as long as I was honest and direct about my intentions. But now I’m wondering if the problem is not really my honesty, but that my intentions are not good in the first place. So unless I find someone in the exact same place (ie: just looking to have fun, treat the other person well, but ultimately not anything serious for a long time), I’m afraid that I’m going to hurt some people and end up being the asshole in the end.

The thought that I can’t seem to get out of my mind is that I don’t want a boyfriend. But even more than I don’t want a boyfriend, I don’t want to be someone’s girlfriend. I was almost someone’s wife, and I’m still sort of recovering from that and the fact that I feel like I lost my happily ever after.

Sorry for the randomness of this post … just needed to get some of this out. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 **Want to catch up on how I got here with Chef? Check out The Chef: Part 1, The Chef: Part 2, Sad Face and Five Dates With Chef Recap.)**


42 Comments leave one →
  1. natasha permalink
    August 20, 2010 11:57 am

    Sometimes you find an awesome tomato when you originally went to the store for a cucumber… Give the tomato a chance!

    • August 20, 2010 2:46 pm

      LOL, love how you have extended the analogy, Tasha. What’s interesting is the phallic tones of your extension – did I go to the store for a cucumber (ie, random hook ups) and end up with a tomato (an actual relationship)? Hahaha

  2. August 20, 2010 12:02 pm

    Hmmmm… not to sound harsh, but I’m reading a huge dichotomy here. You say you don’t want a boyfriend, but you seem to be going down that path with Chef, no?

    I think the bottom line is, we can’t control whom we like. We can go around saying that we want to date casually and meet new people and not do anything serious. But, if we end up meeting someone we actually like (or could start liking), then we get attached, and we start wanting to spend more time with them, and before we know it, we want them to be a significant other.

    That’s how human emotions work, ya know?

    Anyway, just a thought….

    • August 20, 2010 2:45 pm

      Not harsh at all, I appreciate your opinion. You are right, it is a huge dichotomy. I do feel like I’m going down the relationship path with Chef, and while part of me likes it, the other part of me isn’t sure it’s right at all. Problem is, I’m not sure which part of me to listen to. Frankly, I never imagined I would find someone I even would consider going down that path with so fast; I figured I had months and months of searching before I would even find someone with which I would consider it. I think this is just too soon for me to feel this way, you know?

      Do you think it’s possible to just date casually? Or do you think that until I’m ready for the possibilty of a relationship, I should forgo dating all together? Interested in hearing your perspective on this…

      • August 20, 2010 2:56 pm

        I think it’s possible to date casually, but only if you date people you know you can’t see long-term potential with.

        I don’t think you can casually date someone who has qualities you can actually fall in love with. Because that’s what your heart is going to do, whether or not your mind is trying to keep some distance.

        Of course, if you do only date people you can’t see a future with, you run the risk of really messing with someone emotionally.

        I’ve had some friends announce that they need to take some time to themselves and be single for a while. But then, by some stroke of luck, they meet the person of their dreams and end up in a relationship.

        Then, I make them eat their words. Muahahaha. 😉

        • August 20, 2010 3:26 pm

          Maybe the key here is to date people I see absolutely no future with, and they also see absolutely no future with me – so not hurt feelings, but fun dating? LOL, somehow doubt that would work.

          You make good points. I still have no idea what to do. I need a friggin’ life coach.

      • August 20, 2010 3:57 pm

        Actually, there’s one girl whom I consider to be a good friend. We’ve hooked up a few times, but I can’t EVER see myself being interested in her romantically. She also can’t see herself EVER being interested in my romantically. And that works out perfectly.

        So, in spite of our occasional “boundary crossing,” so to speak, we’ve still been able to maintain a close friendship.

        Anyway, to answer your question… yes, I fully believe it’s possible. However, you just have to make sure that they’re exactly on the same page as you.

        So… what are your intentions? How far are you willing to go? I think you kinda have to work these out before the relationship gets too far if you really want to just date casually….

        • August 20, 2010 6:54 pm

          You are right. I need to figure these things out. The only thing I know for sure is I don’t have any answers right now. Ya’ll definitely got me thinking today …

  3. August 20, 2010 2:43 pm

    Okay, possibly crazy idea: either date or don’t. If you are going to truly be “Simply Solo” that means being completely solo. Dating and not being committed and not really being someone’s significant other is “complicated solo.”

    Maybe take a significant amount of time off from the opposite sex altogether. Time to be alone. Really alone — no dating, no kissing, no nothing. Read “Eat, Pray, Love.”

    Wait until you are ready for real, true, deep, intense romance and then date. Otherwise you’ll be engaging in frivolous, phony, shallow, luke-warm flirtation. Do or do not. The in between is complicated and unsatisfying.

    Once you’re ready for something real then go date again. Then read “Calling in the One.” (http://www.amazon.com/Calling-One-Weeks-Attract-Love/dp/1400049296/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282329745&sr=8-1)

    Although I love reading about your dates.

    What do you think? Is that crazy?

    • August 20, 2010 2:59 pm

      Oooh… that’s very Yoda of you:

      Complicate not. Date. Or date not. There is no complicate.

      😉

    • August 20, 2010 2:59 pm

      See, I’m not just about the movie quotes. I’m about, ummm… manipulating them to suit my needs. 😉

      • August 20, 2010 5:48 pm

        Okay it’s official I have an actual crush on Dennis — not just a writer crush!

        • August 20, 2010 5:49 pm

          Heard it here first. Can we set these two up???

      • August 20, 2010 6:42 pm

        Ooooh. What happens if two bloggers date, though? Might it not lead to the coalescence of matter and antimatter and cause the ultimate destruction of the universe?

        Could be… fun. 😉

        • August 20, 2010 6:56 pm

          I want you guys to go on a date and then you both write blog posts about it. Could be awesome!!! And a chance to learn about yourselves… And frankly, somewhat akin to reality TV for your readers. I’d personally enjoy it!!

    • August 20, 2010 3:04 pm

      Definitely not crazy, good points. And LOL on the “complicated solo.” You are right on. Simply Solo was probably more of a catchy blog title than something I actually thought was achievable.

      Part of me says I do want to be completely alone (as scary a proposition as that is). But the other part of me feels like I really missed out on the key years for dating, flirting, having fun – and I desperately want to find a way to get those back (especially while I’m still young!). I want to be able to get my 18-25 years back. No way am I going to have the opportunity to get back the years when I should have been hanging out at frat parties (haha, I guess I could but that would make me somewhat of a cougar at this point), but I’d like to get back some of the experiences and learnings of getting to know different people and figuring out exactly what I’m looking for in someone. There is something to be said about what you learn about yourself by dating the wrong guys (and a few right ones).

      Why do I think that it must be somehow possible to date casually for awhile? Guess it’s only possible if you don’t find anyone you like?

      This is part of the problem: When I first started dating my ex, I was just 18. I didn’t feel ready for a relationship. In fact, when he asked me to be his girlfriend, I told him I would be – on a 30-day trial basis. Then 30 days became 7 years. And I almost married him. I look back now, and I know I wasn’t ready at that time. Part of the reason it ended up being so long-lasting was because he was sick – he had a kidney transplant just a little bit into the relationship. Something about that time of our relationship really solidfied what we had – I became incredibly close with his parents and I basically could have lost him, and that made me love him even more. And that time was what made me think we were going to be together forever (partially because we were able to handle the sickness and health part). Sometimes I wonder if that never happened, if we would have lasted as long as we did. Anyway, this is all to say that in the past, I have settled down before I was ready, and it wasn’t good for me in the long run. So while I think it would be ambitious and a good idea to really go “Simply Solo,” I also don’t want to sacrifice the fact that I REALLY want to get out there and date and somehow recover some of those lost years and opportunities.

      I know, I want to have my cake and eat it too…

      I have no idea what the right answer is. But as always, I appreciate your comment, Crystal (and that you challenge me, definitely!).

      • August 20, 2010 3:12 pm

        Meet Complicated Solo, Han Solo’s crazy neurotic bipolar half-brother.

        Let me know if the Star Wars references are starting to get old…. :-p

        • August 20, 2010 3:23 pm

          LOL, you guys crack me up with the Star Wars references. It’s especially funny considering I am one of the only people in the world who hasn’t seen Star Wars …

      • August 20, 2010 5:57 pm

        I think it is possible to casually date for a while. But I think “a while” is only a few dates. After that, either things get serious or they fizzle out (and you become just friends or friends with bennies or something else). With relationships — especially male/female ones things are usually going forward or they are falling apart.

        They are always evolving or devolving.

        I have to say that it is wise of you to realize that there are things you learn about yourself from dating the wrong guys, but I don’t think you really missed out on an amazing thing by being paired up from age 18-25. You missed out on a lot of drama for sure. But it sounds like you had some dramas of your own.

        I still recommend Calling in the One. I think every woman — especially single ones should at least read it. It’s about falling in love, but “the One” is really you.

        Also, Dennis — I love the jokes and I’m not even a Star Wars fan!

        • August 20, 2010 6:33 pm

          Calling in the One – Got it. Trip to the bookstore has been planned and will be executed next week :). Appreciate the recommendation.

          You are right, I know you are right, about casually dating (although some part of me doesn’t want to believe you are right). Ahh, I think I’ve got some things to figure out in the coming months. Not that any of this is dire, but I think it’ll be good to at least start thinking about some of this stuff.

          But, you have at least reminded me today that I need to focus on me a bit more – I’ve been really focused on dating/getting myself out there, but I think I got lost somewhere in there (not completely lost, but somewhat). So, thanks.

          Happy weekend!

  4. August 20, 2010 3:31 pm

    I think Dennis has given a lot of wise advice. I have the idea that it’s possible to date casually, but then I can’t actually think of anyone I know who has successfully managed it for long. Maybe this is partly why people have holiday flings – then the ending is enforced whether feelings start to develop or not!

    • August 20, 2010 3:59 pm

      Hey, thanks, Matt!

    • August 20, 2010 6:52 pm

      Ahhh, good point! I need a holiday fling!! Now we’re thinking. Maybe I should stop thinking about traditionally dating all together and go down more non traditional avenues…. Flings on vacation, dating men who are as unavailable as me… Ha, I could even throw a married man or two in the mix!! 🙂 Clearly kidding, but I guess you are right. I keep hearing about casually dating, but I can’t think of one success story (with success defined as fun times casually dating, no resulting relationships).

      • August 20, 2010 9:11 pm

        I’m going to NYC at the end of Septemeber. I am open to any advice you all have about me having a holiday fling. I’ll be there for a week! Perfect for something hot and short!

  5. Ramon permalink
    August 20, 2010 6:35 pm

    I think i agree with u on this one 100%!! You almost had the ball and chain around your ankle!! At leat you can say you almost been there and done that.. I dont see anything wrong with letting ur hair down a little. I do think its fair what you are doing as long as you tell them that its a NSA kind of deal!! Your just dating and making contacts thats all! No harm no foul! Besides you are just fishing like a few of us out here do. I have carried similar weight on my shoulders and its not easy at all. Especially after being so close but yet so far from that specail day in your life.. You are a smart talented women I know you will be alrihgt in the end.

    • August 20, 2010 7:23 pm

      Thanks, Ramon! Appreciate your perspective. Always good to hear what I wanna hear… Haha. You just reassured me that I’m not a jerk and my behavior is completely fine!! Lol, not really. I know it’s gray area. But I think you are right, at least until I can figure this all out I can be upfront about my desire for NSA. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Millie (Mom) permalink
    August 20, 2010 7:11 pm

    Baby, don’t be blue. Everybody just wants you! Because you are a catch. Have fun, date guys, but don’t get let it get serious. NO SEX!!

    • August 22, 2010 5:31 pm

      Haha, thanks Mom! No worries on the no sex – remember, I’m a virgin! 🙂

  7. August 20, 2010 9:45 pm

    I said it once and I will say it again. I would date you just to read how it went later. But unfortunately you are on the east coast and I am mid coast.

    You also get super bonus points for quoting Jerry McGuire. I quote it still as well. But usually it involves me telling my friends not to be shoplifting the pootie.

    • August 20, 2010 11:06 pm

      We’ll just have to do that date when you visit the East Coast! And I will be happy to write a date recap … I’m interested to see how it would go, considering you’ve never actually been on a real date!

      LOVE Jerry Maguire. Tons of good quotes. Except for that “you complete me” bullshit!!

      One of my faves is: “You see this jacket I’m wearing, you like it? Because I don’t really need it. Because I’m cloaked in failure!”

      PS: Alright. I shoplifted the pootie.

  8. August 21, 2010 2:22 pm

    Cat…..yes…it’s a conundrum of choices here for sure, even WITH the Yoda wisdom abounding 😉
    It’s tough..you naturally only want to “date” people who interest you, but then you’re going to run the risk of falling into the relationship hole…and that’s precisely why my “dating endeavors” have *never* worked..ughh… So, I clearly don’t have the answer…BUT… my opinion is that if you’re honest, and someone gets hurt, then you’re not responsible for that actual hurt of theirs… You aren’t deceptive in this, so if they choose to think/hear what they want in spite of your honest disclosures, then that’s on them, my friend. Sad and not what you want to happen, noooo…but certainly not your blame or fault.
    A few other random thoughts:
    – Jerry Maguire is one of my fave movies to quote…the whole damned thing is fabulous! And you used one of my MOST faves too 🙂 Yay! you:)
    – I think it’s cool that you like Chef! He sounds very likeable! If along this “wrecklessly dating” path, you meet the one you WANT to settle down with, then I think that’s awesome…nothing is really by accident..errr umm everything is..um…hmmmm? Yoda??
    – Dennis n Crystal sittin-n-a-tree W-R-I-T-I-N-G…. hehe 😉

    • August 22, 2010 11:58 am

      LOL… W-r-i-t-i-n-g. Very funny 🙂 Thanks for your comment, and I appreciate the advice. I’m not sure where it’ll all shake out, but I think you are right – the most important thing is to be honest!
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  9. Dana permalink
    August 22, 2010 9:35 am

    Whoa. Holy shit I’m having the SAME problem right now!! Ugh. Once you figure out an answer, be sure to clue me in.

    • August 22, 2010 11:54 am

      Haha Dana, will do. Can’t promise I’ll have the answer anytime soon… Much more complicated than I expected!!

  10. August 22, 2010 7:53 pm

    It’s soooo super awesome that your mom knows about your blog AND reads it too…what a great Mom you have Ms. Cat!!
    PS Ryan..u crack me UP 😉

    • August 23, 2010 9:44 am

      Haha, thanks KaPau! My mom is awesome :). Think she’s my biggest fan. As long as I stay celibate. Haha!

  11. August 28, 2010 2:08 am

    Sweetheart, many, many guys in their late 20s are all about just dating without any pressure or worrying about the future. Don’t spend much time worrying about that one.

    • August 28, 2010 12:41 pm

      Thank you for this comment! I agree with you – just gotta track down those guys and stay away from the ones who are ready to get married :). Thanks for reading and commenting!

  12. November 18, 2011 1:50 am

    Oh Future Catherine, I think I’m going to be in Past Catherine’s position very soon! What advice does Future Catherine have?

    • November 26, 2011 9:11 pm

      Oh! Sorry about my delay in getting back to this comment!

      Wow… Future Catherine says that it if doesn’t feel right, press the pause button. Make sure it’s right. Or you could really hurt someone. Or end up in a position where you are eternally doubting your decision.

      Future Catherine also says that if it’s just nerves, not intuition saying it’s wrong… dive in. See what happens. But above all, enjoy it. Feel the joy. It may not last forever, but pay attention to it and enjoy it while you have it.

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  1. Weekend at the Lake (Meet the Parents) « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey

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