I spent the weekend “supervising” a space that my friends at Bottom Shelf Films were using to film an entry for the 48-Hour Film Project — not that they needed any supervision, but I’m gettng off-topic here — and I noticed something that has changed in the way I approach dating.
See, since I can remember, I have either been in a relationship or I have been looking for one. When single, I used to enter a room full of people and immediately assess which men in the room were available to me and then, of those, which I would choose to pursue. When in a relationship, I often tried to keep a “Plan B” on the side – someone who I would potentially try to date in the event that my current relationship failed.
However, as of late, I’ve noticed that I enter rooms with potential “Dateables” and immediately say, “Nope. He’s not here.”
Now, I’ve been dating for quite some time and I can scan a room of 30 men and tell you which three are at the top of my predatory list. The difference is these days, I don’t pick out the top three. It’s as if I used to make the best of any potential dating situation, no matter the selection. These days, if I scan the room of 30 men and there isn’t a guy that really appeals to me, I don’t approach any of them.
I no longer go out with guys from OKCupid to simply practice dating or just to have something to do. I have stopped trying to kindle old flames with exes or with guy friends with whom, for whatever reason, I was never able to make it work.
I oscillate between being panicked about possibly missing out on opportunities, and satisfied that at least this way, I won’t rush into another bad relationship. It’s a strange feeling to proclaim that at 36 years of age, at my current “fitness level” and professional status at this stage of my life, I’ve become so selective about who I choose to date that I say, “No,” more often than, “Yes.”
Leaving Writers’ Workshop last night, I passed through Atomic Empire and only gave a cursory glance to the many guys who were there playing games in the store. The last time I was single, I would have made good eye contact and zeroed in on at least one of the guys there and tried to flirt. But this time, I just couldn’t be bothered.
And I think I’m okay with this.
I wanted to go home and work on the next MHMG Episode and plan for my upcoming NYC trip anyway. I’m pretty sure I won’t find the future Mr. Kelley Hightower at a NYC Pride event, but that’s okay, too. He’s out there, and I’ll know him when I see him.