I know that the title of this post is also that of a Garth Brooks song. Fitting.
It’s been over four years since I’ve been on a first date. Since the divorce finalized a few months ago, I’ve purposely put off dating. Fought the loneliness, worked through the depression, learned to set aside my differences to be the daddy that the Fuzzball needs. And constantly put my want for adult companionship aside. Necessity.
Didn’t want to start dating until I knew that the urge for vendetta against the ex-wife was rendered null. Didn’t want to expose whoever I ended up dating to the vitriol that usually occurs when someone is rebounding. Yes, the language and grammar are abbreviated, it is a good start. Learning to speak an old language all over again, but with new parameters. Same way with dating. Much like speaking an old language that hasn’t been spoken in years. Some level of familiarity, but having to adjust to nuances in the pattern that didn’t exist before.
And this new chapter scares me. It is almost paralyzing. So I do what I do best. Hack. In my case, constant self-hypnosis and meditation. Implanting suggestions, making certain that they don’t show up as a conscious level compulsion. It allows me to compartmentalize more effectively than most. This is something that I did prior to meeting the ex. A necessity while I was in the service. A necessity while I was growing up. And something that, much like dating, I haven’t done in years. Due to the Fuzzball, I haven’t wanted to.
I want to show her an openness in my life. I think that now that I am moving forward, I have to revert temporarily. I can’t show her everything. Can’t show her the pain, can’t show her the insecurity, can’t show her the paralyzing fear. Can’t introduce her to anyone new until I know the role of everyone in my life. Can’t get her attached. So like smoking, the compartmentalization and suggestion implants are an old bad habit that’s easy to pick back up.
But at least I can show her that I can move forward. And if I do it right, I’ll be able to show her a new life before her memories become continuous. But most importantly, I’ll be able to do so for myself. I need this for me. Now, if all works out, I won’t choke so badly as Garth does in this song. Of course, with my luck, I’ll make the date scenario painted look like a flawless date in contrast. Either way, I’ll be smiling.