How often have you seen that statement in an online dating profile? Do you tell yourself you’ll make an exception for the right person, should they come along? That you only want casual encounters but are open to something more if you meet someone worthwhile, or the one?
If I think of my own history, the men I’ve dated while I was clearly (now) not emotionally available for a relationship – Johnny Id, Fox, HWSNBN, most significantly – they weren’t the right men for me anyway.
Or were they?
How much is the perception of people when you aren’t ready, or the people themselves?
If I met someone meant to be the one (or one of the ones, to be more accurate), would my emotional availability still be a barrier? Would that person’s entry into my life magically accelerate any remaining emotional progress I needed to make?
Or do we tell ourselves we will make an exception because a) it sounds less douchy that way and we don’t want to scare off “quality” people, and/or b) we can’t admit we actually aren’t ready for anything more emotionally?
If I actually meet someone who could be an amazing match, but I’m not ready, I argue I will still have to sort out my shit even if I’m dating them. I don’t think someone else can magically advance my personal progress. In fact, moving too quickly with that person could backfire if I’m not ready.
There are a few men with whom I’m been exclusive since becoming single. Some of you may remember the torturous back and forth with Johnny Id as we tried to sort out open versus closed. Johnny was BTE: Before-Tony-Era.
I’ve had two “After Tony” phases. The summer of 2015, and from this part January to now. That summer I met Fox. I thought I was emotionally available; I went a little wild after Tony for a few week period. Maybe it wasn’t enough. I knew I was still in love with Tony but told myself if I met someone with potential I would be ready.
Fox and I didn’t work out – I had doubts from the start – but was that because of my emotional state or because of who he was and his suitability for me?
And now I’ve met Alan, who is rather lovely. He’s got the magic combination of sweet and dirty which I need. He’s asked to be exclusive and I said I’m not ready yet.
So it begs the question – if he was a real potential long-term boyfriend for me, would I have any hesitation in saying yes? Or am I now just being too pragmatic and cynical? Is the reason I can be measured with him because I’m not overwhelmingly into him?
I haven’t been monogamous with anyone since the beginning of January, when I broke up with Tony. I’ve enjoyed the freedom to do whoever I want when I feel like it. I also have told myself if the right person comes along I won’t hesitate to jump in.
So why haven’t I?