5 dates into a new relationship. You’re getting to know someone. She’s into you. You’re into her. Sure there’s things you don’t know if you are going to be okay with in the long term, but you’re working through some of them and trying to figure out if it can work. But in that timeframe, you’ve got someone to kiss, you’ve got someone sitting next to you at the party with her hand on your leg, you’ve got someone to call at the end of the night when you’re on the road. There’s hope. There’s excitement, there’s the thrill of getting to know someone and finding ways you complement each other. It’s all an adventure. It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride, and it’s exhilarating. Until the sudden stop at the end. I’ve had two of the experiences in the last few months and both ended because we were too far away. Needless to say, I changed my dating preferences to like 15 miles. Not going there again. It’s painful. You invest time and energy and money and you begin to commit and then the rug get pulled out from the table and a few glasses break.
So I accepted the news and agreed. I had similar thoughts and worried the distance was going to be an impediment and when she confirmed it (and my travel) had been concerning to her, I figured that was reason enough to end things. So, instead of a date on Friday night. Volleyball and going out with friends. It was fine, and okay. But there’s this nagging feeling of “what could have been.” Not to mention that whole thought process of “How long until I find something?” So just to be clear. I’m not desperate at all. If I was desperate, I would have gone on multiple dates with a number of girls I had the option to do that with or I would be dating someone from my friend group. They are great people and they are great friends and I truly love them, don’t get me wrong, but it just seems to me that it wouldn’t work with any of these ladies for a number of different reasons.
So that leaves me in between.
Have I mentioned how much in between sucks? I’m sure there are probably many of you out there right now that are “in between.” I think to some degree or another, we’re all in between something, right? It’s that whole thought process we go through about how life will be better when “X” happens. X can be anything. Graduation, babies, marriage, new job, new house. I think X has been all of that for me at one point or another. So the rest of this blog is not about how in between sucks. But about what to do when you find yourself in between.
First off. Re-read the last paragraph. We’re always in between. So if you aren’t in between relationships, you’ll be in between something else and it will nag you. I think that is why I have worked really hard since my divorce to find contentment in whatever situation I find myself. Yes, the alienation from my kids sucks and I’m in between when they loved me and when they may have a relationship again. Yes, the job is difficult right now. I literally made half the income I did last year and gave my ex-wife more money than I made. Yes I’m not quite finished with the re-hab of my house that I moved into more than 2 months ago. Yes, I’m in between relationships.
But this is the 2nd thing. Take stock in what you have. This weekend (in spite of the “breakup”), I had dinner with 15 of my guy friends and like 20 of their kids for Easter. Pandemonium in the house, chaos when it came time to eat, kids squirming everywhere during communion we had and the short talk that was given. But. Heaven. Kids, friends, great food, good conversation and just love for one another. It was beautiful. Later, went out to hang with some of the ex-girlfriends brothers. I love these guys and their friends. I missed hanging with them. We had a great time and I introduced the old friends to some of the new friends and there was just a good time from everyone. Then two friends brought over breakfast to the n0t-quite finished house and we cooked bacon and eggs and sausage and cinnamon rolls. I did have too many cinnamon rolls. I confess. Then Easter dinner with more friends on Easter Sunday night. Bad karaoke in the living room. Duck lips pictures (of which I did not participate — I do have morals…) and just a great time by all. I have friends (something i have not had the last few years and something I treasure). I have a job. I travel to cool places in that job — San Francisco as I’m writing this… I have a great Cat. Don’t judge. He’s awesome. I have a family who loves me and lets me pontificate about how frustrated I am to be ” in between.” I have areas to serve at church and people who love me. I’m a very, very lucky and blessed man.
3rd. Improve the heck out of yourself. Get better at what you do. You have free time that your “in-between” is forcing on you. Take advantage. Work out more, pray, find a small group, cultivate better your friend group, join a team, learn to dance. All of us have these things nagging us in the back of our heads that we’ve always been too scared to do or we’ve dreamed about but never attempted. Go do those things. Become a better, more well-rounded you. Chicks dig that. Guys love it. Become a more fascinating person.
4th. Get back on the horse. Had a fascinating discussion with one of my girl-friends the other night. I think I felt I was being a bit judge by being on the dating sites again. I get the impression that she’s disgusted by it. But I told her this. I know what I want. I want to be in a relationship. If that’s the case, then I need to go get what I want. I need to work towards that goal, I need to become the best me I can be in that process, but I also can’t sit around the house and wait for Ms. Wonderful to knock on my door. I do see a lot of women who either are doing that or have just given up and don’t seem to care anymore. I think that may be logical for some people, and I don’t judge them for their decisions, but when my friend said, “I’m content where I am, I don’t think I need a man to make me happy.” I said to her, “So if I told you tomorrow a man would come into your life and you’d begin a great relationship that lasted a long time, would you say, No thanks, I’m good.” She said, “Of course not.” And I then told her I thought that was a true indication of what she wanted, and if she did want that she should do something to reach that goal.
I’m not sure if that’s a guy’s approach to the problem or it’s just a personality thing, but I can’t imagine wanting something as important as a relationship and literally not doing anything to pursue that or get there. So that’s the 3rd thing — get back in the mix. Whether that means online dating or just going out with the friend crew to places you have a shot at meeting someone, it does mean not hanging at your house wistfully imagining what you are not trying to achieve. That’s a bit like hoping you’ll win the lottery without buying a ticket.
So that’s what I’m doing while I’m in between. Anything you’d add to that list?