Iwill not soon get over my perplexities about dating, and the hypocrisy that often comes with it. I had been hoping that my move into singledom would come with greater understanding of the whole pursuit to love, lust and everything in between but that is precisely the opposite of what happened. Two months into it and I am no less confused than when my ex and I decided to call it quits for the sake of our sanity. We loved each other to the moon and back but couldn’t seem to get along for more than a day without World War Three threatening to break out. So we said our good-byes and, after moping around a few days, unsure about whether I’d made the right decision, I realised I rather liked being on my own.
There was something inherently powerful about not having to please anyone else but me. Sure, there were the things I missed but the delirium that came with thoughts of the extensive liberty now set out before me was more overpowering. Ever since I was old enough to date, and perhaps before that, I’d been in and out of relationships with not much time in-between to really think about what I wanted out of life and how another person would factor into my ambitions. At 25 here I was, young, single, and not quite sure I was looking.
One afternoon my friend Carrie and I took off straight after work and headed to a bar in the marina. Now, if there was anyone who was more excited than I about my new-found freedom it was Carrie. As we sat at the bar ordering round after round of Strongbows on that weekday afternoon, she did not neglect to inform me that she’d told me numerous times before that I needed to date more, and not just keep someone around because it was comfortable and familiar.
“I’m so happy for you!” she said smugly in between sips of her drink. “Now you can do like the rest of us . . . date, and get to know what you like.”
I finished my third drink and looked at her, and then at the glowing yachts beyond that seemed to get fuzzier by the minute. Was I really expected to go through the introductory stages of courtship, or whatever level of interest deemed appropriate by complete strangers, over and over until I found someone, just like they did on those tacky dating shows? Rather than respond to my friend and encourage a conversation we’d had one too many times, I signalled yet again to the bartender.
“Date?” I scoffed when finally the man behind the counter slid another drink in my direction. “People actually date here?”
“Well, you know,” Carrie said, smiling knowingly.
“I know what?” I asked. “That in order to do this island dating thing I’ll have to come out with an entire posse just so people don’t think I’m a ‘ho every time they see me with someone new, never
mind if that person is family or not?”
“You know how it is,” she repeated. “But who cares about people? Who knows what they’re doing with their lives anyway . . .”
I was no longer listening. I was growing by the minute less and less interested in the world of dating. I glanced from Carrie to the bar as two good-looking strangers took the seats directly across from us. Sensing I was no longer paying attention Carrie followed my gaze to the new arrivals who were also checking us out. A dazzling smile and an outstretched
arm broke the spell of silence that had followed their entrance.
“You ladies look gorgeous . . .” said one of the gentlemen, breaking the ice. “I’m Anthony, and this is Jason.”
Perhaps the whole dating thing wasn’t all bad after all . . .