A Little Bit of a Lonely Mess

4/08/2015 The Charmer 4 Comments

I really have been a mess of different thoughts and emotions recently. No new dating stories, sorry. But maybe I'll have something to say that you can relate to.
Warning: It's kind of a long post. And it's kind of raw.

For the last five years, it seems like my Facebook has been one endless cycle of engagements, marriages, and newborns. Strangely enough, it still hasn't stopped. I was certain all of my friends were married by now but it seems like every month, they prove me wrong because another one gets engaged. Yesterday I got back from taking a weekend trip to another city and didn't check Facebook until today. My newsfeed was one picture after another of couples in love, couples getting engaged, couples with their newborn baby, or couples with a "we're pregnant!" announcement. Usually when this happens, I just shake my head and laugh to myself, muttering something like Another one bites the dust!

Today was different.
Today was the first time I cried.

It wasn't a big cry, and given the time of month it is it's quite possible that the tears were more hormonal than situational. But today it felt like all those years of endless happy pictures gathered together into one giant toothpick and stabbed me in the heart.

I've never been excessively needy. I like boyfriends but I've always been fine without one. I'm okay being on my own...I mean, I moved across the world to a foreign country by myself. I've never felt like my life was missing anything even though I'm going on 25 without a ring on my finger. In fact, I'm one of the seemingly few LDS singles who really enjoys the single life. I don't fret about being married.

But today, as I looked at my mission companions and best friend and even ex-boyfriend (I'll explain later) happy and in love, I realized how much I really do want that. Even with my wildly adventurous life in China, I often catch myself thinking You know, this would be even better if I had a husband here with me.  I love my life, but it's lonely sometimes. And even though some days I still declare stoically that marriage "isn't for me," it's becoming more and more apparent that I actually want to take that step sooner rather than later.

A few recent situations have also done their share to wreak havoc upon my emotions.

Situation A. My very best friend in the world is on the verge of getting engaged. A couple days ago her boyfriend just called her dad...you know, "the call." This summer I'll have the privilege of being at her side when she marries him. Am I thrilled? Of course! Is it crazy and really strange for me? Umm, yes. During our four years of college, she was usually at home on Friday nights while I was off on one date after another. She was always the one to comfort me after my most recent heartbreak and we'd both wonder aloud when the losers would get their acts together and realize how amazing she was. The truth is, we both expected I'd find my way to wedded bliss first. I think she's been even more surprised than me that she's going to be the first one married. We always joked (half-seriously, of course) that maybe one day if neither of us got married we could be cat ladies together. Well, obviously she's chosen a better option than a bunch of smelly cats...and even though I'm happy for her, it still leaves a little tear in my heart.

Situation B. Secondly, The Ex. Not Mr. Director, but the other Ex, the one I've known for 5 years and first started dating when I was 19. Up until last summer, he still harbored pretty strong feelings for me. Even though I didn't feel quite the same way about him last time we chatted, after four years of not being together, I still care a lot about him. I guess a better way to put that is he's still one of my good friends but I can't see myself marrying him. Well, according to a handful of recent Facebook photos, it seems like he has finally moved on and started dating Caroline. She's been in and out of the picture with him for about as long as I have...in fact, I think he knew her even before he met me. The best way to describe Caroline is to say that she is the cutest, friendliest girl to ever stroll across BYU campus. As a guy, I'd date her. As a girl, I secretly wish we were best friends.
So I should be thrilled, right? I know I've moved on from him and I really do want for him to end up with an amazing girl. Then why do I feel a little tug on my heartstrings when I look at those pictures? 

Situation C. I don't know if I was cut out for long-distance relationships. For most of the 8 months I've been in China, things have been great with Ammon. But recently I've just felt kind of blah about the whole thing. My schedule's a little different this term so we can't skype as often. We're down from skyping 3 times a week to 1, and now I find that even during our skype sessions I'm just not feeling "into it." I guess it could also be because of the complicated nature of our relationship; it's a relationship with a deadline. Ammon's mission papers are in, and even though I'm excited for him, it makes the whole dating situation feel a little weird. Usually when you date someone, you try to avoid thoughts like, Okay...so when I'm single again in 2 months, then what? But although he still sees our relationship lasting throughout the next two years and into eternity, my mind is more focused on the two-year gap I have ahead of me and wondering what will really happen.

Situation D. In all honesty, this might be a big reason why I've been feeling so "off" in my relationship with Ammon.
I met a guy.
Ironically, he has the same name as Ammon, but for the purposes of not being confusing I'll call this new guy Aaron.
A few weeks ago we had a big YSA conference [yes, we even have YSA conferences in China!] and I met Aaron. I was quickly reminded that I don't really know how to talk to cute American boys anymore and probably made an idiot of myself, but he didn't seem to mind. He was funny and attractive, he wasn't afraid to make a fool of himself during the dance that night, and he could sing (the whole reason we met in the first place was because the people in charge asked us to do a musical number together). Basically the Charmer's dream guy, right? The subject of relationships came up, and I told him about Ammon. I could sense that he backed off a little after that but even still, after the conference was over he told me that I should let him know if I ever visited his city because he'd love to see me again (he lives about 2 hours away from me). Did it feel good to flirt with someone for one night? Heavens, yes. I did feel a little guilty about it, but not as guilty as I feel three weeks later when I still can't stop thinking about him.
I've tried to get him off my mind. I've tried telling myself that we probably wouldn't work out anyway and chances are I won't see him again.
Well, guess what? That hasn't worked. I'm still thinking about him. I'm thinking about him more frequently than I should and wondering if it would be totally unfaithful to Ammon if I hopped on a train one day and let Aaron show me around his city like he offered.

As you can see, the usually composed Charmer is a bit of a mess at the moment. I can't wait to watch general conference this weekend (our broadcast is a week behind here in Asia) because I don't doubt it will be exactly the type of enlightenment that I currently need.

But until then, any encouragement would be appreciated. I'm not sure that any of you have ever been in this particularly strange situation I've found myself in, but if you have, I obviously want to hear your advice.

That's all for now,
The Charmer

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Anonymous said...

I am 25 and graduated from BYU and working full time. Though I would describe myself as being content as a 25 year old single woman, I too would definitely say that there are moments where I just feel lonely. I know how you feel.

I am no stranger to Situation A. The last of my close female friends is getting married this summer. There's something incredibly discouraging about being the last one standing.

As for Situation B, when a guy I liked once but hadn't had feelings for for about four years got engaged, I cried. I definitely didn't like him that way anymore, he wasn't the kind of guy I wanted to marry, yet for some reason it made me very emotional. Shrug.

The Rational said...

Maybe this is a bit old (I'm reading the blog a bit backwards) but if your missionary's okay with it and if you've prayed about it and think it's okay, go and see that other guy. Even if you just end up being friends, that's what you need when you feel lonely.

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