Worlds & Time

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Back to Dating

I found out last night that my ex is dating again.  Not the casually-meeting-guys-online-and-having-sex kind of dating, but he met someone that he thought he might be able to have a relationship with and dated him for a couple of months.

Honestly, the bigger emotional jolt was just talking to my ex.  When he responded to me from Shanghai then started actually talking to me, I started crying, and by the time he mentioned this new guy (Joey) I was done with the tears and didn't feel the need to start up again.  I have to wonder if that's a normal reaction to have.  I think that most people would freak out more about their ex dating someone new even if they stayed friends and are on speaking terms.  That's not me though.

I've been doing mostly the former kind of dating.  I wouldn't mind the latter kind of dating, but I just haven't found anyone.

More specifically, I've found a couple of guys that like me and one guy that I liked.  The guy I liked had a very serious different of opinion about what should comprise a relationship than I did, and so that didn't work out at all.  The other guys, the ones that like me . . . I'm just not interested in them for a variety of reasons.

My relationship with my ex taught me a lot about what I'm looking for in a relationship.  My breakup from my ex has taught me other things.  The thing that has surprised me the most is that I no longer like being the smartest person in a room.

Almost all of my ex's friends had Ph.Ds, MDs, or JDs.  One of his best friends did not, but that friend eventually became a VP at an international bank based on mad skillz.  I have a BA in English and not a lot of other stuff going on.

Don't get me wrong, I never felt like I was out of my depth hanging out with them (well, I mean, except for the drinking, but I never tried to keep up with them anyway).  They all had their subjects, but I had mine.  I know science fiction and fantasy and publishing.  I have stories about meeting GRRM, Neil Gaiman, Jo Walton and working on Polar Express and The Little Prince.  I follow politics more than enough to know what I'm talking about and have specific opinions that I can generally defend.  I know enough about economics, religion, science, and technology to be able to have meaningful conversations with people actually working in those fields.  I've also traveled extensively, love weird historical bits and pieces, and can talk a bit about art.

All of the people around me in Boston were exceedingly successful, and the people that I've been meeting here in Albuquerque . . .

I've retreated into my head a little bit.  I don't feel like I can be myself around a guy that thinks that the movie "The Immortals" is a good representation of Greek myth.  I have to carefully tailor what I say so that I don't slip up and imply that he's an idiot for not understanding why I don't think that Zeus and Athena having sexual tension is appropriate, or that I've been to Greece and know that it's not a featureless desert.  I have to explain brief references to popular media that seem obvious to me.

This is just frustrating.  I look at these guys and know that it would drive me absolutely insane if I tried to date them over the long term.

A week or so ago I did exchange a quick series of texts with my ex and mentioned that I was talking to a doctor, and he said, "Oh, so you're dating again."  That was nice of him, but it just reinforces this point, that I guess I can't date below a certain intellectual threshold.  Maybe I could, but not without a set of other positive attributes to make up for that huge lack.

So, I'm sleeping my way through Albuquerque, to see if you can do a relationship that way.  Waiting for a decade for a friend of a friend to introduce me to my next boyfriend seems like too long to me, and even then, it would be ridiculous to assume that it will last all that long.  My ex and I lasted for seven years, but that was probably longer than it should have lasted.

I am open to alternatives.  We'll see.

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