just deal with it


Words uttered. Lines said. Everything you want to hear too, which throws you right off. And though you’re having the same thoughts and saying the same things to this new other, it feels like there has to be something wrong. Because it’s so goddamn right and easy. Like, what the fuck?

You don’t get this lucky, really like ever, because it’s you. And you’re quirky and a bit of a character, filled with isms and a lust for the spontaneous and batshit cray, yet you want to lock shit down with this one because it’s so rare. Which is also a mindfuck in and of itself. You’re not someone who wants to lock shit down really ever. That’s precisely why you date people who live out of town. Freedom and independence guaranteed. No strings attached. But this time, this is different. So how did this happen to you? Like, just happen? It really doesn’t matter how or why it happened, because this (What is this?!) works, despite your inability to conceive why. How is it that you met someone who speaks the same eff’d up language as you? Who is willing to ride into the sunset (or rainstorm), one late night escapade at a time?

We meet people day in and day out. We go on a date, arriving at it with no expectations, other than to take it as it comes. Could be another terrible Tinder story for your friends (or in my case, readers) to feast on. It could be sickly awkward. Or it could blow you out of the ball park and just work and lead into the wee hours of the morning, because you can’t get the fuck enough of one another. Those ones, I tell ya, are the rarities that make the experience of dating – the good and the god awful – worth it.

But before you get to that moment and onto the same wavelength, you have to go through the dreaded I-guess-I’m-doing-this mindset.

You head over a bar, prepped for the worst. You screengrab your Tinder conversation with this other to your bestie, so they know what up. So you can show them what you’re in for here-we-go styles. You get there a bit early so you don’t have to do that awkward ‘Are-you-so-and-so’ making your I’m-on-a-Tinder-date status known to all.  You order a double vodka soda to sip the this-can-go-terribly-wrong jitters away. And then, as you’re sitting there sipping,  you catch eyes with your date who just arrived and you know with certainty it’s going to go well. You just fucking feel that shit. Let’s do this. As they saunter over to where you’re sitting over at the bar, all you can do is smile at yourself and await what’s to come. And come. And come.

Obvious chemistry. Hilarious conversation. Lines used. First date banter which is highjacked by figuring out early on that you have a mutual connection, six degrees of separation style. A look exchanged. A lean-in for the kill. And like that, it just got better. You did it. Tongue tied. Hella confused. How did you get this lucky? Whateves, soak that shit up. Roll with it.

When we begin dating someone anew, it’s tough to appreciate it for how great it is, because human nature tells us that good things don’t happen just like that. So we try to look for problems, or borderline create them, even if they clearly aren’t there. Is it bad that we have that shared mutual connection? Does that eff with the vibe? We tell ourselves that the conversations we’re having and all their flattery is just them playing the game, trying to seal the deal. But what we must realize is dating is not about the words. Words are easy. We’re adults. We’ve gotten our D’s S’d and notches under our belts, so of course we know what to say to get to that end result. Of course. Which is precisely why it’s not the words they’re saying to you – every day that they’ve seen you since they met you, by the way – nor the ever-forthcoming texts they send. But it’s their actions. The fact that they choose to spend their time – free or otherwise – with you. That they spend their days, head in their phone, texting the shit out of you. Pictures from the night prior. Inside jokes of another night on the town shared. These are the things that have weight. Not the comments and compliments that we all sort of say when suddenly smitten with someone new.

People can say what they want to get what they want, so though the words and flattery is all well and good to hear, be attentive to their actions. Don’t write them off. For that is how you really know whether someone is a match for you. Are they doing? Is it two sided? Is there a mutual balance of the flow of conversation and switching around schedules so you can make time together work? Acknowledge that. Love that. And to keep that shit up, continue to maintain that status quo with no expectations from them other than to enjoy and soak up their company one day at a time.

– Jen


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