It’s easy to offer sound, rational advice to love-struck peers, but as soon as your own heart is hit with a meat mallet, it’s impossible to see things clearly. Leaving Chicago was one of the most traumatizing events of my life to date. I left behind the college version of myself I’d grown to know so well but I also forced myself to turn my back on a relationship that I thought was The Relationship.
Looking back, I chuckle to think I could have ended up with a tattooed college athlete with diamonds in his ears, but when you’re in it, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in what you have. I was so overwhelmed by the good stuff and utterly blind to the obviously bad.
Once in DC, I made a life for me. A Kat life.
I tried so hard not to be a pushover and to do the things that made ME happy, but even living just for me, it was hard not to want someone to be with. I like when guys dote on me. I like having a built-in friend, companion, and travel buddy. Everything is more fun when a boyfriend comes along. Social situations are less stressful, life feels safer, and I’m happy waking up next to someone I care about.
So with my man du jour leaving DC for good, I’ve had to adjust to “expiration dating”. We are still a couple in the truest sense of the word (we go out, hang out, don’t date other people, etc) but there is a finality to it that I haven’t experienced before. I know with absolute clarity I want to get married and be a mom, so what am I doing with him? Why am I wasting these weeks hanging out with this particular guy when I could be breaking up, moving on, and meeting someone new? Why am I emotionally torturing myself? I tend to cling to the status quo, happy and complacent with things just the way they are, so maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to hold on to something that will never be more than what it is now.
Or maybe, sadly, pathetically, I’m clinging because I feel like I might change his mind in the next 10 days. I know it’s hopeless (I’ve spoken to him about it) but I don’t WANT it to be hopeless. I want him to think I’m worth it.
The craziest part is I know we aren’t even right for each other. Sure, we are compatible in some ways, and bring out good sides of each other in certain situations, but I’m outdoorsy and active in a way he never will be and his love of fantasy sports and late nights is something I’ll never entirely understand.
So, as the expiration date on my expiration dating comes closer, I guess I’ll just have to focus on what makes ME happy. A friend recently told me, do what you love and you’ll find it.
So simple. So perfect.