I have been undergoing a little experiment with regards to dating, which is to not date. To not actively seek, to be content in my single-dom. I am so tired of the online thing. And I have given up trying to make eye contact with any guy in this city. Possibly, I am purposefully creating a little hedonic adaptation in my life, something I just read about over at The Happiness Project, a sort of law of diminishing returns, where you adapt to new circumstances until they become normal. You get a certain amount of time before something new becomes something old. Dating, for me has definitely fallen into that category. It has, after all, been y.e.a.r.s.
I have this theory that after a loss (divorce or death), you kind of go through a wild, animalistic stage. I think it has to do with trying to replace intimacy with sex. Eventually you realize it doesn’t really work, though I have to say it sure is fun for a while. It is possible of course, that I simply got through my thirties.
What I am finding now though, is this kind of “settling in” stage. I am content with almost all aspects of my life. I am over my wild stage. It got old. And now, as Gretchen talks about, the best cure for hedonic adaptation is deprivation. I figure if I deprive myself of dating, then perhaps when something really great comes along, I will appreciate it all the more.
The odd thing is, I am finally feeling OK with being single. Before, I would moon on and on about wanting someone in my life, someone to share experiences with, someone to give me The Look. But these days I am beginning to understand why many women, once widowed, remain that way.
I get to avoid:
1. juggling of kid schedules
2. suspicious kids who don’t trust anything that happens after they go to bed
3. ricocheting emotions
4. swooning over love horoscopes
Plus, I get
1. super buff by virtue of the crush on the trainer at the gym
2. to watch Grays Anatomy (or whatever girly show I want) without interruption
3. the sonicare all to myself
4. the two-person closet all to myself
5. to avoid ever having to watch a football game
Of course, if someone were to come along who could deal with my kid/widow/9-11 circumstances, liked Grays Anatomy, had his own toothbrush, and didn’t like football, then perhaps I would consider giving him a drawer in my closet. Just one.