Datesturbation (or the safe practice of “dating for one”)
I’m amazed by my imagination. And I say this with a slight shake of my head–as in “what the hell are you thinking?” This is not a nod to my creative genius. It’s a statement about my tendency to creatively fill in the blanks. I’m damn good at it.
I met Donny online (of course) where we chatted briefly before exchanging numbers. His pictures were adorable, and I fell in love at first sight with his witty texts. And when we moved to actually talking on the phone, his voice pushed me right into heady infatuation. It was sexxxxyy.
Now–I never actually met Donny in person. But really, who needs an IRL meeting to fall in love these days? I developed a fun crush, in spite of the fact that most of what I learned about him resembles nothing of a man I’d typically date:
He’s studied Kung Fu for over 20 years. (I’ve never even seen Karate Kid.)
His profession is not entirely legal and rhymes with “powing grot.”
He lives in the middle of nowhere, which keeps his secret safe.
He plays in a polka band. Seriously.
He’s a diehard gamer. The kind who would spend a week at a Dungeons and Dragons convention. In fact, he did spend a week at a Dungeons and Dragons convention.
And, I eventually found out, he has a girlfriend. Who I believe is a Wiccan–at least if my Facebook stalking proves me correct. She practices magic, so clearly not a woman to mess with.
When knowledge of Glinda the Good Witch entered into the picture, I knew that nothing would come of my virtual crush on Donny and I needed to shut this situation down immediately. But can I confess something to you?
I didn’t. Now, before you label me a home wrecker, I swear to you on a stack of Wiccan bibles (if there is such a thing) I refused to meet him in person, even though he eventually began to push for that. I knew I wouldn’t take our conversation offline. But I did indulge in a little texting here and there, and for a while, I enjoyed having a tiny crush from afar.
Eventually that crush faded, I focused my attention elsewhere, and our conversations dropped off. Last week, I heard from him again.
Me: Hey! So, wow, how are you?
D: Great! I’ve been thinking about you . . . how are you?
Me: Busy – same stuff. Work, work and more work. Dating occasionally. Drinking wine to cope with it all. 🙂
D: Well, I was wondering what you’d think about me driving south to see you one weekend?
Me: . . . do you still have a girlfriend? (Who can cast a spell on me?)
D: Well . . . yeah.
Clearly Donny was still (or again) looking for a little lovin’ on the side, which I turned down immediately–but I’m not gonna lie, I started crushin’ again, albeit briefly, and felt the same disappointment as when I’d first learned of his main magical squeeze.
Now, let’s stop here for a moment. This man is a pot-growing, Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing, Kung-Fu-fighting polka band member with a spell-casting girlfriend who’s looking for, at the very least, a little flirtatious fun on the side. What the hell is there to crush on here?!
My imagination. Because the man in my imagination is adorable, witty, fun and great at flirtatious banter with a sexxxxyy voice. Begone all that other reality crap that’s way more spot on than my creative thinking . . . let me just push those details aside and focus on the image I’ve conjured up of Donny and crush on that for a while because, damn it, it makes me feel good . . . and. it’s. safe.
And therein lies the crux of why I believe many of us are remarkably adept at developing a serious crush on someone who is unavailable/we’ve never met/not really compatible/has a few charming qualities.
Simply put, it’s safe. Why date a real person who can potentially bring baggage, heartache, drama and commitment issues into our lives when we can take a skeleton of a man we’ve met online, fill in the blanks, make him The Ideal Boyfriend, and crush on him via pictures, texts and the occasional phone call? Sure it might be disappointing at times, but it will never carry the pain of a real-life breakup. And sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, all I want is someone to adore from afar.
I’m not a witch . . . but I’m pretty good at magical thinking. Am I a commitment phobe? Possibly. Afraid to get hurt again? Perhaps. Emotionally unavailable? At times. Working on these issues? Absolutely.
In the meantime, I’m steering clear of men with spell-casting girlfriends. Or non-spell-casting girlfriends. Or men I conjure up in the romantic corners of my mind. Or hell, right now? Anyone with a penis.
At least this week.
Categories: Hard Lessons Learned