As a single guy, I’ve been going on a lot of dates. Ok, so that’s a bit of a brag, but it’s true. Not that these dates are just falling into my lap, I’m going out and actively looking for them, but still, being single and in New York City is pretty amazing if things break your way. You kind of roll and keep working with it. For me, it’s a numbers game. I really haven’t dated a lot, so I guess I’m making up for lost time. You figure that it’s a numbers game, at least that’s how I rationalized it.
And so, you start getting texts that you don’t answer, you store numbers with just a nickname. You go back a week later and you don’t even remember why you have the number saved. The whole time, you juggle, and keep things in the air, keep one eye on the prize, and one eye on what else is out there. It’s a pretty selfish existence, and it’s great, for a while. It’s great, until you finally want someone to text back, to call back, to actually spend more time with. It’s about that point where the tables are turned. You have a choice to make, to either brush it off as another slight emotional casualty, or actually invest your time in making something happen.
If you choose the latter, that’s great. But, then you realize how much of an asshole you’ve been. For every girl you’ve blown off, every text you’ve ignored, there’s someone else on the other side of that. For some reason, they only started mattering if you wanted something. I’ve been single for so long that, being selfish was the norm. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about other people, it was just that when it came down to a lot of things, the only person I had to worry about was myself. It was lonely, but it was easy. I didn’t have to communicate, I didn’t have to worry about anyone else. It was amazing in that sense, absolute independence, I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and I had no one to hold me accountable.
Once you get on the other side of things, where you want someone to choose you, it all changes. You would disavow every other girl you’ve been seeing to make sure that she knows she’s special to you. And you just hold on to hope that you’re the only one she’s seeing, even though you have no right to demand it, or no reason to be disappointed if it doesn’t turn out that way. But nevertheless, that thought gnaws at you, that you’re not the only one.
The worst part was the realization that you’ve been that guy, that asshole, for at least one other girl. And sure, you probably didn’t mean to do it intentionally, but it still happened, and you’re still complicit. But now, I guess I’m getting my just punishment by waiting on the other end of it. Karma, is a force of goddamn nature.