Roses are not just red.
I must confess: I am a fan of Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. I wasn't always a Bachelor Nation super fan and used to think you had to be crazy to go on a reality dating show. And then, I became single...
Within the first few weeks after the breakup, mainly out of curiosity, I decided to download Tinder to get a sense of the climate of the dating world, one I had lived outside of for the past six years. I created the most basic profile possible and started looking through and swiping: left, left, left, left, left, right, left, left, up, Superlike, um... undo, oops, um... you can't undo?, left, left... I had so many questions that made me feel like missing the past six years was like missing sixty in this new kind of online dating world: What does sex-positive mean? Poly? What does GGG stand for? Is this what dating is like in Portland?
This is why I brought up Bachelor Nation earlier. Yes, it's kind of nuts for people to go on a show to find love. But isn't it just as nuts to spend countless hours swiping across faces on your phone, matching with people, and then meeting (or not) meeting up with them? If the goal is to be in a relationship and get engaged, isn't something like Bachelor a more direct route versus trying to decipher acronyms in a dating profile while your eyes glaze over from seeing so many faces scroll by on a tiny little screen? Plus, the helicopter rides and trips to Argentina are probably way better than a first Tinder date.
I went on one Tinder date pretty early on after the breakup. We walked our dogs and played PokemonGo on the walk to dinner (no, that's not a joke). It was surprisingly pleasant, but not something I felt or felt like doing again. Then, a few weeks ago I decided to delete all of the dating apps I had downloaded to my phone to distract me from the breakup - there goes Tinder, and Bumble, and Happn, and Coffee Meets Bagel. This past weekend, I accepted a brunch invitation from a guy I met on a bus ride home from an event that we both attended. I was a little naive at first, not realizing it was a date and it ended up being fine but... no. I told both of the dates that I just wasn't ready. That I needed more time.
I need more time. That's so strange to say coming out of a relationship where time was this thing that was pulling us apart, in a way. I wanted to get married and try to have a family before I turn 40, which is four years from now. Actually, three and a half years so, basically - not a ton of time. If I was taking the logical path, I'd get right back into dating and use every moment possible to reach this goal of mine by 2020. But, don't I need more time? Will I ever meet someone that I want to marry or procreate with again? What is the perfect formula to recover from a relationship? If it's true that it takes 1/2 the length of the relationship, then I should probably rethink that whole marriage and kids before 40 idea.
At the end of the day, these are just questions and thoughts that run through my head and heart. I know that I can't actually control things like when, or if, I will meet someone who I want to spend my life with again. What I can control is me. I can take this time to get myself together, find and do what I love to do, and prepare myself to be open, should I meet someone who I want to be with and who wants to be with me for the long haul.
About the photo: This is from the Rose Garden in Portland, aka Rose City. Even though I don't really like flowers, especially roses, I find this garden to be so beautiful and one of my favorite sights in the city. It's crazy how many different colors and variations exist in this test garden and it makes me wonder: Why do they only give out red ones at rose ceremonies?