The Dating Game: The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat
Time for some comic relief. In the novel I’m working on, one of my characters insists that our only purpose in life is to make God laugh. God, in effect, sees the banana peel we are about to slip on. My past week is a case in point ...
In February, with great trepidation, I returned to online dating. A very happy relationship I had been enjoying ended abruptly in October. I could write a new book on depression based on coping with the aftermath, but let’s not go there.
A friend told me that dating and relationships and love amount to “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” I added that our brains simply are not built for this. It’s difficult enough for the chronically normal to cope. For someone with bipolar, when things are good, things are really good, really really good. When bad, really bad, really really bad.
Last week, after several false starts with other (very lovely) women, I experienced the thrill of victory, only to face the agony of defeat three days later. The extreme emotional whiplash proved incapacitating. I resolved to go to sleep for the next 20 years. Unfortunately, I woke up later that afternoon.
A two-day-old message was waiting for me. Should I reply? Based on questions the two of us had answered, the dating site had declared us a 99% match. Time to test that proposition.
We arranged to meet in a section of a recreational area reserved for walking dogs. She was so focused on her own puppy that she hardly acknowledged me. Moreover, she struck up serial conversations with every dog-walker going past. What little conversation we did have, it was all about her puppy.
We sat down. Finally, a chance to talk. In mid-sentence, she abruptly got up to strike up yet another conversation with yet another dog-walker. She actually walked away from me. I got up and patiently waited. When she finally returned, I told her we had a major problem. Naturally, she tried to justify her behavior. So much for Ms 99%.
I returned home feeling lower than the IQ of your average follower of talk radio. No more online dating for me. It was time for that 20-year sleep.
Next day: I’m headed out the door. I check my emails. There is a new message: “What a great profile,” I read. “I am impressed.” Blow me down. I am equally impressed by her profile. I waste no time responding. I am suddenly feeling good, really good.
Somewhere up there, God has to be laughing.
Your thoughts on dating, relationships, love? How do you manage or not manage?
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