Romantic comedies make dating look fun … Not in my case

Luis Bahena

I have a friend that somehow always manages to have some sort of romance related drama. I found myself up until 1am in the morning one night discussing her latest romantic drama with a cigarette in hand and an empathetic ear.

I usually don’t smoke, but she does, and I was having my own personal tough times with the wonderful world of dating, so it seemed appropriate to join in.
Her woes: The guy that she started dating starting being a little flaky. Then, he put her on edge when he told her over the phone that they “need to talk,” but wouldn’t say what about.

My friend likes to know where things are going. She likes no surprises and tends to put things on the table. I’ve warned her in the past of putting things on the table too soon, so I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe this was moving too fast and he was breaking up with her.

Well, he said he was going to call her back. And guess what. He didn’t! So there we were, 1:30am, outside in my patio, smoking a cig and venting on sucky romances and bad dating experiences.

I had my share of bad dates towards the beginning of the year. I usually prefer not to date. There’s a lot of time and emotions that go into dating that I usually just steer clear. But I told myself that I would give dating a shot this year just to try something new.

I went into the dating game with an open mind and an eagerness to meet some interesting characters. And yeah, I met some interesting people alright. It was as if every single date I went on came with its negatives.

Either one date was too available (U-Haul anyone?) or emotionally unavailable. Then we had the one that kept on talking about their ex, then the flakes, and the too serious ones. It was never the perfect package.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s no perfect package, but give me a flaw that I can work with. Somehow, every single date I went with just made me realize that I would much rather stay single.
The other reason why I wanted to date was because I wanted to get over the certain crush. Ah yes, we all have crushes, and I am as guilty as they come. I heard somewhere that the best way to get over one addiction is to replace it with another.

Yeah, that doesn’t really sound healthy, but if the new addiction is a good one, why not. Well, dating didn’t work, but it did get my mind off my old crush, so things were good.

But as life would have it, I recently met up with my crush in passing at a bar. Got to love bars sometimes, you’ll never know who you’ll run into.

But yes, we chatted on this and that, and updated each other on what’s been going on with each other’s lives. It was good, reminiscent of the old times, and I unfortunately found myself falling again in the same ditch.

So there I was, talking about my woes with my friend, cigarette in hand, and even though I don’t smoke it felt right. It was a very melancholic mood. But as good friends do, we lifted our spirits and went on our way.

I’m not sure what my friend is going to do about her romantic woes, but I know I do not want to fall into the same pattern. Lucky for me, I have work and school to distract me and keep me busy.

The truth is, dating is hard and having a crush is probably harder. With dating there are rules and guides and all sorts of stuff that can guide you towards a “successful” date, whatever that is. When dealing with someone you like, it gets a little tricky.

You don’t want to say too much but you don’t want to say nothing at all. And I hate the “what if” scenario. At this point, I think the best thing for me to do is keep my distance.

In a way I have moved on, and I do not want to take two steps back when I have already taken three steps forward.
As hard as it sounds, sometimes the best thing one can do is walk away. No harm done, no drama to clean up after.

I’ve gone through this once already that I don’t really want to go through it again. I know I’m doing the right thing, but of course, there will always be doubt. There’s always doubt when it comes to matters of the heart.

But as the saying goes, “fool me once, shame one you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” Yeah, I think I’ll stick to my books for a while.

And who knows, maybe the next time I’m up until 1:30 in the morning talking to my friend about romance it won’t be in such a melancholic state and there will be no use for the cig then. Here’s to the hoping.