For the last couple of years, I’ve tried to prepare my friends for the inevitable.
Some people end up alone. Not “alone, but with…” Alone alone. I’m likely one of those people.
I eased them into this idea.
First, my laundry list of desires and dealbreakers made it impossible to consider real dating prospects. Then, it was my endless frustration with men whose desire to have me plugged their ears; preventing them from listening to anything I said about what I wanted or found attractive. After that, it was location. “I think I’ll have to leave the Midwest if I want to date for real,” I said. “Midwesterners want to get married and have babies.” I’d pepper in brief exchanges that *might* lead to something? “I bagged this 28-year old J. Cole lookalike last night” or “Guess who text me the other day?” Really? None of these interactions were of consequence (I take that back—when a muscled, tattooed 28-year-old lets you feel him up in a bar, that’s enough of an experience), but when it’s your turn to share in girl talk, having no romantic life to report dries things up real quick.
The hard truth: the last three years have seen me survive long no-sex stretches that prove I don’t really need sex.
Do I still like sex? Yes. Meg Ryan at the table in the diner, YES. Few pleasures compare to wrapping my long legs around a strong back or the first bite of penetration after it’s been awhile (these days, first strokes are like hugging a good friend I haven’t seen in years)*.
But when you go long enough without and your vagina doesn’t wither up or stage a violent rebellion against your common sense, you keep living. Humming along drama-free; your work life’s poppin’, you’ve got a little money in your pocket, you go on some trips and to some concerts, you eat and drink well, you’re creatively fulfilled, you rest easy every night
and are capable of curling your own toes, often into a deep slumber…
There’s no incentive to add unpredictable, unnecessary variables to the mix.
When I say this aloud, I’m greeted with insistent hope.
“You mean alone but with a friend that gives good sex and companionship, right?”
“You just have to find the person who can give you the kind of relationship you want.”
“There’s somebody who can let you have that, but in a relationship tho.”
Three years of life experience say otherwise. Specifically, the five months where it physically pained me to call a man I committed to my “boyfriend.” You know what’s required for a relationship? Wanting to be in one. And I don’t. I do not want to make room for anyone else in my emotional life.
And I feel bad. I wish I had excitement to report in girl talk. I know how I sound. Cynical. Fatalistic. You love me and want me living my best Maslow-defined life. All I can provide is the material evidence of my existence.
It’s been better, y’all. Way better.
[*] I guess in my case, first strokes are hugging a good friend I haven’t seen in years.
[**] Shouts to my Sister in Cynism who inspired the title of this post.