Cautiously Pessimistic   Leave a comment

For many years I have been accused of being a pessimist – mainly by my ex, so I’m not sure if it counts – and have spent a lot of time trying to prove it untrue. Which is not easy. And while I’ll cop to the occasional bout of cynicism, and I own time share in snark, I balance that off with periodic head-shaking displays of naivete. So I decided to relabel myself as a realistic optimist.  I think it sounds nicer.

I hear voices emanating from the ether saying “A what?”

Here’s my take on it: A realistic optimist is someone who really, really, really hopes that everything will turn out for the best (or the way I want it to; I have noticed these things are not always the same…) but knows if they don’t he or she will be devastated and unable to function without copious amount of tears and gallons of ice cream.

And maybe not even then.

So, while always hoping for the best, the realistic optimist always has a back up plan (or several) in place. Just to be safe. Seems reasonable enough, right?

Did this make me less of an optimist? I don’t think so. I think it made me someone who wants to be able to continue moving forward in life without falling apart when ‘perfect’ doesn’t happen. Which is a lot.

Some examples:

  • Three years of infertility treatments? We can adopt, and I won’t gain all that weight! (I was told the second half of that came off as self-centered; I countered that I was attempting to look at the glass as half-full.) In the end it didn’t matter as the treatment worked, I did get pregnant, and neither the weight nor the two months of bed rest mattered in the grand scheme of things.
  • The trips to Italy, New Zealand, and Europe that never happened because there was never enough money? Stay-cations are a great way to explore the beautiful area where we live and get done some of the house projects we’ve been meaning to work on. Although, now that I think of it, those projects never did actually get done, and I had to pay someone else to do them after the divorce…

Anyway, you get the idea. Having a wish and a back-up plan to keep yourself – okay, myself – sane is just smart thinking.  At least it is for me.

Here’s the current dilemma, and big surprise, it deals with my social life:

The wish exists to find someone to share my life (duh…), and since I don’t go to bars (boring when you don’t drink), have a lot of free time without my son (see previous post), or know a lot of eligible, single, heterosexual men, this has left online dating as the main plan. And the back-up plan. And the back-up to the back-up plan.

Today, I took down my profiles on the three dating sites I have been using. As of right now, I have no plan.

I can hear the consternation from here: “WHAT?!? All you’ve been doing for last two years is complain about your lack of social life and write about it online! But why? You’ve been writing insightful and entertaining blog posts about wanting to meet someone since your divorce! Is this part of your plan to be more spontaneous?”

Short answer: Because. And no. 

Long answer:  I made this decision for several reasons, three of which are listed below.

  • The time of year. SLUG season is again upon me, and frankly the amount of work involved in online dating is daunting when you all you want to do is go to sleep at 5pm because the sun has gone down.
  • I am officially tired of getting the “Hey, beautiful, I’d like to get to know you better” messages from people who can’t decide where they actually live. (Profile says western MA, blurb says Sweden. Really.) Or who are on peacekeeping missions for the UN in places where the UN doesn’t have peacekeeping missions. (I am a both a Reference Library and not stupid, thank you very much.)
  • Not getting responses from people after having gone through the trouble to craft an interesting and personal message to them based on what they have written on their profile is disheartening.
  • I would prefer not to spend time playing the dating game with people who seem really enthusiastic about meeting then disappear off the face of the earth once we start talking about making actual plans. (This one was one of the more recent set of communiques I’ve gotten recently.)

There has also been the guy from one of the Jewish sites who wants to Skype with me so we can get to know each other better but who is never online even though his profile says he lives on his laptop, the guy I did Skype with who nicely informed me he prefers hairy women and would request I stop shaving at all once we become a couple. (While I appreciated his honesty, I thought this was Too Much Information too soon and was definitely presumptuous. Not if we became a couple, but when.) Oh, and the guy who told me I’d be perfect if I didn’t have a kid already because he hates having to plan around a partner’s free time and would rather just do things spur of the moment. (News flash, dude: I wouldn’t be perfect for you even without a kid, as I live by my very pretty pocket calendar. Otherwise I don’t know what to do with myself.)

I realize this all sounds like sour grapes, and maybe it is a little. I read somewhere recently that all us single people who figure we’ll join a dating site, find someone within a few months, and then go off into the sunset are expecting way too much, that finding someone once you’re no longer in the college whirl of being surrounded by people all the time is more like a job than an adventure. The problem is I already have a job. Two if you count parenting. And I’m tired. So I’m going to take some time off from this additional job for a while.

This isn’t to say I’m giving up. Tomorrow I am going for a walk with an interesting, English gentleman I met for coffee a few weeks ago, and on Wednesday I am having dinner with a guy I know from the library who very sweetly brought me a brownie on a day I desperately needed something good to happen it was delicious – and doesn’t seem fazed by my serious lack of available free time due to the parenting job. Both seem like nice guys, and it will be interesting to learn more about them. But the active search is going into hibernation mode for the winter months.

It may be the lack of evening light, but I will say my realistic optimism is fading somewhat. While I am not giving up on the hope of finding someone, my outlook is becoming gradually more pessimistic. I’d prefer to call it realistic, but I try not to lie to myself online, so instead I’ll call it cautiously pessimistic. Maybe when SLUG season is over, I can force it back up to something closer to apathetic. At least it’s a plan. I’ll work on the back-up portion once there’s more sun in the evenings again.

Anyway, it’s past 5pm now, so I’m going to find my bed. If I’m lucky, there will be a purring cat in it waiting for me. For right now, that’s all I’m hoping for.


Posted November 14, 2015 by wordsaremylife in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: