Single. Dating. Life.

I left my therapist’s office in tears the other day. Rewind. We’re sitting in her office facing each other. She’s on the brown fluffy couchy seat, and I’m on the darker one. Two matching ottomans sit cozily between us. “How’s everything going?” She asks. I steel myself and say, “Ah, you know, I’m hanging in there.”

She proceeds to grill me with follow-up questions from our previous sessions. “How’s the career stuff going?” and “What’s up with the dating life?” and “What have you done on both fronts in the past week?” I give a blow-off response like, “I’m doing the best I can.” Then, I flinch a bit and my face falls. It’s only a second, but she catches it. She makes her living by noticing things that others don’t see.

“What was that emotion a few seconds ago?” she asks me.

“Uh, I dunno. I’m just, you know,” I pause, “frustrated.”

I balance a 9-5 day job, two blogs, freelance writing assignments, a memoir project, and my social & dating lives. I handle it by minimizing the amount of drama in any particular area so that it doesn’t affect the others.

Lately, my dating life hasn’t been going well. “You go on all these dates,” my friend Rachel once told me, “and you’ve got a lot going on for you. I don’t get why you’re still single.” I don’t get it either. And, that’s exactly what I tell my shrink.

Those of you who regularly read this blog, and other stuff that I’ve posted online already know I’m the first to admit I’m a work in progress. I flirt shamelessly with boys, but I’m picky when it comes to actually dating. I pick guys based on looks, and I bail when there isn’t a deeper connection. I analyze my dates, but I freak out if a guy gets too intense with me. A nutjob, I’m perfectly imperfectly human just like everyone else.

“I’m really really reeaaallly fucking frustrated,” I tell my therapist between tears. I fill her in on the latest updates about HIM as well as a recent visit from a great male friend who’s also a kind, warm and thoughtful lover. I extend my left arm to the table beside me to quickly grab more tissues. We’re 45 minutes into our session, and I’ve rubbed my nose so much that it’s starting to chafe. But, it’s not about the guys. They’ll come, they’ll go. It’s about me.

I’m tired of facing all of life’s bullshit by myself. “Sometimes I feel like I get my ass out of bed every day,” I tell the psychoanalyst, “and face the whole fucking world on my own. I don’t have rich parents to provide financial support when times get hard, and I don’t have a boyfriend to give me the ‘there, there, sweetie, let’s talk and then kiss and hug and fuck until you feel really good’ emotional support. It seems like life is too much for just one person. Frankly, sometimes I get kind of sick of it. It pisses me off.”

She counsels me for a bit more before saying, “I’m afraid we’ll have to stop there because we’re out of time.”

Shitmotherfuckindamn, that always happens. Just when I think that I’m getting deep into the stuff I really wanna talk about, time runs out. But, I guess there’s only so much you can cover in a 45 – 60 minute session. I’d like to say that I’ll spend the next few days ruminating over the State of My Dating Life, but that’s not realistic. I’ve got a lot on my plate between now and my next appointment on Monday. As much as I love the delicious company of men, I’ve got tons of other stuff to juggle too. I mean, yeah, sure, I’ll reflect on the choices I make in love and fine tune adjustments where necessary. Just like I always do. But, it’s not something that consumes me. It can’t. I’ve got, you know, the rest of my other “life stuff” to manage.