I’ve recently been reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Why Not Me?, and I’ve realized that Mindy and I have a lot in common. Well, except for the part where she’s a successful comedy writer living in LA with beautiful skin who gets to regularly make out with Chris Messina. But, when it comes to men, we’re looking for the same thing: “I just want a boyfriend who is sweet and trustworthy. That’s it. And no neck tattoos.”
It seems like a pretty simple and reasonable request, but my search for this sweet and trustworthy boyfriend has been a pretty tumultuous one. The best and worst thing about dating is the roller coaster of emotions that come with it. There’s the nervous excitement before the first date; the constant checking of your phone to see if he’s texted yet; the minor heart attack after hitting “send” on an ill-advised text; the jubilation after a date finally goes well; and then the constant state of nervousness during the first few dates wondering if this is really turning into something or if you are just being punk’d. And, of course there’s the crushing disappointment when he doesn’t call, or when he’s nothing like you expect, or it just falls apart for no real reason.
In looking back over my year, what I mostly remember is all the small ups and downs of my dating life, and how exhausted I am. Since I don’t have any particularly awesome major milestones to look back on, I’ve decided that instead, I will recap my year of dates. Get ready for a bumpy ride:
January: The year started out great. Ohio Against the World. My Buckeyes won the National Championship, and I watched all of the playoff games with my boyfriend. I was finally in a real relationship and very optimistic about the future.
February: Things are good. My boyfriend and I have really cute Valentine’s day plans, and although they don’t quite go as expected, I’m still optimistic.
March: I get dumped. In a very cruel and hurtful way. I realize my “relationship” was a giant joke. I don’t really remember much else about this month.
April: Newly single and sad, I hang out with my friends as much as possible. At the end of the month, I invite myself along to a guy’s night at a video game bar, and I meet a guy! He’s very drunk and I’m pretty sure he won’t remember meeting me, but it’s ok because I’m back in the game!
May: Guy’s Night Guy remembers me! We go on a date, and although I cry on the way there thinking about how much I hate dating, once I’m actually on the date, I realize that Guy’s Night Guy is sweet and funny and immediately puts me at ease. We continue to date for the rest of the month.
June: June starts off pretty great. I’m still casually seeing Guy’s Night Guy (GNG), I go on vacation to Mexico, and life is looking pretty good compared to a few months ago.
July: Minor set back. GNG tells me he’s not sure he wants a relationship and goes across the country for a month on vacation. After he leaves, I join Tinder. My life is changed forever. “Playing Tinder” takes up a lot of my time, and I even get most of my friends to play it for me. I talk to a few guys (including a psycho who only wants to meet me if I agree to come to his house), but one in particular seems very promising. He’s a vegetarian skateboarder who thinks I’m adorable. We have a pretty magical first date, and the next few dates are just as good. We plan a fun weekend together, and then…. he never shows up. I don’t hear from him again. I vow never to date a vegetarian.
August: GNG is back! Woo! Things are great! I also meet a very tall, large man I refer to as the “Viking.” The Viking is hilarious, and we have three amazing dates full of lots of beer, hot dogs, tots and trivia. Then… I don’t hear from him again.
September: GNG and I are still hanging out. Since I am an excellent communicator, I have an awkward, unclear conversation with him about the status of our relationship, which I grossly misunderstand.
October: A few significant things happen in October. First, I think that GNG and I are exclusively dating until my friend sees him on Tinder (which I no longer think is fun). This leads to another totally awkward conversation where I realize that while I thought we were a couple, he did not. We then (and I really don’t know how) come to the conclusion that we should keep dating but also “explore other options.” So, I explore other options. I call the cute boy I met a couple weeks earlier, we have a great first date, he tells me he had a great time, and then… I never hear from him again. I then go on a date with a guy who offers to clean my apartment naked. He never hears from me again. I turn 33. I go on a date with a 26 year old who “vapes” and tells me lots of weird, racist stories. He never hears from me again.
November: November starts off with another first date. This first date lasts past midnight on a weekday, and we continue to date throughout the whole month, bonding over comic book shows and emo music. I was feeling optimistic once again. (Also during this time, GNG slowly stops talking to me completely.)
December: Emo guy stops talking to me. I do eventually get an explanation that is mostly him telling me how he’s WAY not over his ex. I pull my hair out. Right before Christmas, I go on a date with a guy who sounds pretty perfect on paper. However, in real life, he is a hyperactive crazy person who is in love with his cousin. As a last-ditch effort, I agree to meet a guy for an afternoon drink on New Year’s Eve. He is 5’2″ and never stops talking. I left around 8 to spend New Year’s Eve with my friends – where I probably should have been all along.