I have a wonderful life: amazing friends (real and cyber), a stable job that I love, a beautiful home, and hobbies that keep me busy and happy. I'm lucky and I know it. The only thing missing from my wonderful life list is a significant other, a best friend I can smooch on. A week ago I was fine with that; I enjoyed being alone and, for the most part, was grateful to not have the complications that come with a relationship.
A week ago I also went on a first date that blew me away. We connected on many levels, discovered we have many similar interests and priorities, and he's cute as a bug in a rug. Okay fine, he's hot. And chivalrous and romantic. And masculine and artistic. I was so comfortable with him that all of my usual anxiety and guardedness melted away. I was on cloud nine. I was weightless and joyful and excited.
And then I received a message from him on Saturday night, calling from a local hospital. On his way home from our date he lost control of his vehicle, rolled it several times and literally crushed his left arm and hand. In the past week he's undergone three surgeries to put his arm and hand back together. And yet, despite the fact that our first date almost killed him, he still wanted to see me. So I went to the hospital. Every day this week. Because he asked me to come back every time I went and it felt right.
To say this is an interesting dating situation is an understatement. I mean, he's been in his underwear and an adjustable bed on our dates numbered two through five. I've already met 75% of his family and helped him do things that are generally considered taboo in the first week of dating. (Out of the gutter, pervs, I'm talking about washing his hair and being present for medical discussions about private bodily functions.)
Here's where it gets tricky for me: I'm a person who needs a playbook. I get anxious when I don't know what's going to happen. I need a plan. I need to know what to expect. And guess what? There's no playbook for this situation. He will probably go home tomorrow. Home for him is an hour away, in another state. Where do we go from here? Do we go back to the regular dating playbook? How will his recovery affect our ability to see each other?
Having tasted the sweet nectar of companionship I'm not sure I want to go back to my quiet life of solitude. Sure, it's easier and certainly less dramatic, but it doesn't have any kissing or holding hands or googly eyes. The logical part of my brain knows that the best course of action in a uncertain situation is to sit back, see how things play out and react accordingly, but the part of my brain that has been saturated with serotonin is spinning.
We're watching you.
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