Life's awkward moments #8,974: Someone you haven't seen in years comes up to you, grabs your left hand (without a word), to find an empty ring finger and then proceeds to "Care Bear stare" you down with equal parts disbelief, disgust, and concern. The joys of being an unmarried 30-something year old woman. And by "the joys", I mean "the bullshit"... Always, the bullshit.
The above scenario has indeed happened to your girl; though to be fair - perhaps the word "disgust" should be replaced "feigned outrage". I mean, I guess in a way, I should have been flattered that someone would be so surprised and upset by my bare ring finger. Perhaps I should have smiled cutely and thanked him as he all but non-verbally mourned over my pseudo-single status? And when he tilted his head to the side, as though to sympathetically ask with his eyes: "What the fuck? How is this possible?", maybe I should have just shrugged and coyly said: "I guess it's just not mean to be right now."
... My reaction was not that. While I laughed it off and kept my general composure, on the inside I was dryly whispering:
Like: who are you to feel badly for me just because I'm unattached right now? What if I am in a relationship but just not married? Is marriage where I'm 'supposed' to be in life right now? Is that the general bar that's been set for women? Aren't there other goals and ambitions to be fulfilled in life, apart from marriage and settling down? In any case, my honest answer to his non-asked question was simply this: "Why? Because I live here." Here, being the good old Canadian capital. Home to Parliament, the Disney handsomeness of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and every type of Beavertail pastry imaginable.
And yet, although I live in a city of nearly a million people - most of whom are educated and gainfully employed, it is seemingly impossible to find a suitable "bae". Being an introverted recluse doesn't much help the situation... (neither does having general self esteem and/or a decent level of personal standards, apparently); but even from an online dating perspective, the selection in my vicinity seems dismal at best when it comes to the general criteria I'm looking for in a bae. Which brings me to this:
How far would you go for love?
Literally. I'm talking mileage, kilometers, Airmile points... How far would you be willing to travel to find love if you felt you couldn't find it in your own city? Would you be willing to move to another city, province (or state, for my peeps south of the border), country or continent for the primary purpose of expanding your dating pool? Assuming you had the necessary means to pick up and move and be able to support yourself in a new environment, would you make the leap to leave home and start over somewhere new, hoping that your special bae was out there? Or would that kind of drastic action equate to desperation and insanity?
During a convo, a friend recently advised that finding a significant other should be treated like a "job"; that you've got to stay at it and sift through all possible leads and options. The romantic side of me tends to disagree, as I'm inclined to think that love finds you when you're ready for it. But the realist in me agrees with her. Sometimes, you've gotta swipe left until your thumb bleeds. Sometimes you've gotta meet a few frogs before you find your prince. Sometimes you've got to re-jig your wants vs. your needs and determine exactly what it is you're looking for and the best way to make it possible.
So, if one were to look at finding a bae like they would finding a job, I'd say that packing up and moving to pursue a new opportunity doesn't really sound all that far-fetched. Then again, I also would never move to a new location without knowing for sure that a job was waiting for me there.
I tried the long distance relationship thing once. It was cute and sexy in the beginning (me being young and smitten and what not). I can still recall how excited I'd get to pack that weekend bag and buy that bus ticket; not to mention the butterflies I'd feel once I arrived in a different city and got to hug on my boo. BUT then it all went to shit when I discovered that only one of us was viewing our situation as a serious relationship. And ever since that jarring experience, I've pretty much sworn off the idea of falling for someone outside of my area code.
Is it wrong to avoid the potential devastation that could come with a another long distance relationship after being burned once? Or is there still the potential to find THE bae by giving long distance another shot?
Relationships are hard enough when you're in close proximity. It's hard for me to trust that putting hundreds of kilometers between me and my S/O could have a positive outcome, even if I've seen it work for others.
I suppose I should never say never, but for now... I don't see the area code odds being in my favour.
If you've got a 'duffle bag love' success story to share, I'd love to hear it! In the mean time: *cues Drake levels of melancholy*