Dating is a funny thing.
Dating is awkward as it is, but it’s even more awkward when you’re sober. I used to drown my discomfort in a glass of wine, telling stories my date couldn’t follow, but since moving to Boston in 2016, I’ve barely dated at all.
Well, compared to when I lived in New York City, that is.
Sure, I’ve met people in various ways- traveling back from NYC on the Megabus, substitute teaching, through recovery circles, and on an app here and there. Each interaction lasted for a very short while, most likely because I detected their bullshit and realized I was something much different than what they created in their mind.
This morning I noticed that The Fix quoted me in their recent article, “Are You Ready To Date Sober?” Ironically, I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.
My default answer the past year or so has been “I’m not interested in dating anyone at all.” That’s actually not true, though. I would be interested in dating someone- but only if they were interested in a sober vegetarian cat person.
I’m done with pretending I am someone I am not.
I’m also done with changing for someone, switching my views, or doing things I’m uncomfortable with doing- and I’m certainly not going to pick up a drink just to make you feel more comfortable.
Part of recovery is learning to love and accept yourself for who you are- loving yourself for what your heart says, not the world around you. Despite being someone who prefers to stay in on a Friday night, sautéing up vegetables while drinking a seltzer, I’m confident there’s a lid to every pot…
I just might not be ready for mine yet.
You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you first meet someone?
That little sign that says, “stay away,” or even, “he seems a little douchey?”
I try not to generalize or stereotype (keyword: try), so I often used to ignore that gut feeling.
I give the poor chap the benefit of the doubt, despite his obvious attempts at overselling himself. Over the past 15 years or so I’ve seen the same patterns, over and over, and as soon as I do, I shake my head and think “damn it, Kristin, you already had this one pinned.”
Within the first few exchanges, if a man suggests going on vacation with you, talks about your future, wants to introduce you to his family, or takes you somewhere elaborate, run. Fun fast.
Listen to your intuition.
It won’t oversell itself to you.
Today I picked out a pearl-embellished little black dress to wear to work. It’s Friday, which calls for a little pizzazz.
Even a gal who doesn’t “party” anymore can enjoy a flouncy dress to ring in the weekend, right?
Of course she can.
I strolled through Cambridge, Dunkin Donuts in hand and my Karen Walker shades on. I felt fantastic, with a Holly Golightly energy about me.
Dressing up gives me life!
I hopped onto the bus in Harvard Square and headed into the office. Listening to a song that I envisioned as the soundtrack to my glamorous morning commute, I closed my eyes and felt grateful for this summer day.
I hopped off the bus and walked into my office. As I sat at my desk, a coworker walked by and said hello.
“You look nice today,” he remarked.
“Thank you,” I replied.
“I say this because it’s casual Friday,” he continued. “You don’t have to dress up.”
“I know.” I smiled. Dressing up makes me happy.”
Although it’s Friday and I could have worn jeans, life is about the moments- especially the small ones- that bring you joy. Slow down and smell the flowers, spritz on that special perfume, and splurge on a delicious lunch.
Here’s to Casual Friday- and doing what gives your own workday a little pizzazz.