I'm a little sad today. A little lonely. Only a little, though. It's too cold to take my usual walk in the park, I've been sick the last couple of days, and I know I need to give my body a day to properly recover, but being cooped up has me restless. Haven't had any alcohol in a week, and the lack of Sunday hangover is nice, but illness always makes me a bit emotionally fragile.
So, where am I? Still trying to move forward. I did a little online investigating and found out the details of Barman Ben's play. It opens later this month and he's the lead (he would be). Ben hasn't sent out the email for it yet, but I probably shouldn't go, regardless. I don't want to see him and risk a relapse. Avoiding Cozy Bar this past week has been easy because of being sick, and hopefully it will get easier. Sophie was there the other night and said she didn't see him (rehearsal?). Every day, Ben exists less and less to me.
I've been emailing various bachelors from the online personals (doesn't that make them sound all classy-like?), and it's reassuring to discover it isn't a total desert out there. Since I don't feel invested and am not making a finding a relationship a top priority, and since I don't care whether or not I impress these guys, it's easier to be honest, irreverent, and have fun with it. I've been asked out on two impromptu dates this week, but had to turn them both down for various reasons. I spoke with one of the guys over the phone, long enough to know we don't sync up well enough to meet in person. The other one I'm in the midst of scheduling a date with for this week.
When I decide to get back out there, I don't like to waste any time.
Meanwhile, I have also been e-flirting with a man across the country, let's call him Web Wesley. I might be doing a bit of freelance writing for him, so we can't get too carried away with the flirtation, but we've had this strange instant rapport. I'm really enjoying our correspondence and I think we're kind of developing cyber-crushes on each other. The great thing is, Wesley knows all about the blog, and is familiar with the PUA world (we even agree on the instructors we favor versus ones we think are shady), but exhibits no symptoms of being a social robot. He's charming and genuine and reminds me of why I supported the seduction community in the first place. He is also inspiring me to do some serious thinking about where I want to go career-wise.
Wesley mentioned something recently that I've been thinking a lot about ever since. I never realized this before, but when I come across somebody I'm interested in, I get anxious, but not always in the same way (and not always in a good way). Sometimes it's the nervous butterflies, the elation, all those warm and fuzzy feelings that accompany a strong attraction. It's a happy anxiety. Other times, it'll be a similar lightheaded, elevator-dropping, tingly feeling, but warped somehow. A darker anxiety. With Ben, it was always the it'll-end-in-tears kind of anxiety, like it was too late to do anything because I was already pushed off the cliff, so I might as well enjoy the freefall and not worry about where I might land. I've had that feeling in relationships, too. I would go along, knowing I was emotionally invested but not being able to truly relax, truly be myself. Wesley mentioned that the darker anxiety stems from knowing deep down the other person is unavailable somehow. It's so true.
It can be difficult to distinguish between the two anxieties, because the heart wants what it wants. I've followed my share of unwise relationships to their untimely ends on the strength of that sentiment, ignoring my deepest instincts. Love can be a potent cocktail when mixed with delusion or false hope. At the same time, I've also had laughingly brief relationships, or ended things before they began because I did listen to those instincts.
In the end, I didn't refrain from asking out Barman Ben because I was shy or scared, or stubborn that he be the one to ask me out. It's because deep down I knew, despite any potential interest, he's not available. He's not for me. It turns out I was able to save myself from the freefall after all, and take a step back from that cliff.
Being in touch with other men this past week has reminded me how much better it is when there is an actual dialogue generated, when there's attraction that feels like it can lead somewhere. I just need to remember to distinguish between the positive and negative anxiety, pay attention to my instincts, and be a little more careful. The heart wants what it wants, but it doesn't always know what's good for it.