Learning to sit with yourself in quiet acceptance is a noble and worthwhile endeavor. We are, each and every one of us, ultimately alone. We are born alone and we will die alone. It is a valiant and wise person who sees this and embraces it. But that does not erase the one unflinching and vital truth that we instinctively know:
Being single sucks!
I spent the last year doing almost everything alone: taking planes, buses, taxis by myself. Sleeping by myself. Eating by myself. Going to events, shopping, taking walks alone. Doing yoga by myself, and sometimes in awkward public places. I earned a degree of self-confidence that I never had before. I’m okay alone! For a while. But ultimately, I believe that human beings are driven by a desire to couple up, to find a partner. And when I got home from my travels and started gathering together a new life back in the U.S.A., I decided to explore my options.
And what might those be, you ask?
Well, common sense says you meet people who might be compatible when you are doing what you like to do. Where do you work, worship, play? What are your interests? I am a writer, and that’s a solitary task. Maybe writing conferences would yield some interesting prospects. But do I really want to partner up with someone who does the same thing as I do? I watched “Hemingway and Gellhorn” last week. It did not end well. Maybe I can meet someone at work. I work in education with young children. Dating any single dads is out (besides the fact I don’t want to take on a young stepchild; mine are grown. Why commit another crime when you just got released on parole?) Dating other teachers would only work out really well if I were a lesbian, since 98% of early childhood teachers are female. Same goes for yoga class, where the majority of students are women. There are a few men in yoga classes, though. I’ll keep my eyes open. Usually they are too young, which is nice if my eyes stray from my own Trikanasana in the front mirror and linger on the twenty five year old guy behind me. Yum. But I’m not going to ask him out! What about the Buddhism temple where I attend services occasionally? Opposite problem. Most of the attendees are long retired, many are married. I don’t go for married men (and if every woman in the world said that, they’d have no one to cheat with, right?) I really want to date someone closer to my own age. Not in his twenties, and not in his seventies.
And I want someone who is, like me, on a spiritual path. My last boyfriend was about as spiritual as an artichoke. No, less actually, because you can peel back the leaves of an artichoke and eventually see its heart. I want a man who seeks intimacy on all planes, not just in the boudoir. We’ve already covered that base (see “Are Yoga Teachers Better in Bed?” – published in elephantjournal.com)
And yet, I admit it, I hunger for that above all else – the physical contact with the one special person who has learned my body as I have learned his. There are women with high sex drives in this world, and I happen to be one of them! And although, like a typical woman, I want emotional intimacy, companionship, someone to talk to over dinner and hold my hand through a bad PMS day, sometimes I just want to get nailed. But it can’t be by just anyone.
Last winter, between trips to Spain and South America, I was home for a month, so I put up a profile on Plenty of Fish. It’s free! I added some pictures and published my playful “ten things to know about me” list. When I opened my mailbox the next day, there were 88 responses. I was floored. Are there that many men out there looking for someone like me? What are they like? I started to sort through the emails, thinking “I really don’t have time for this!” I found some messages brief, saying something like, “hey there.” Others were slightly more articulate. Others were riddled with spelling errors or text speak. I closed my eyes and picked one who said he’d drive from Denver to Longmont just to have a drink with me. He was nicely “ethnic”, which is my preference. He seemed intelligent.
I got to the bar and peered inside. There was no one there, but I’m not the kind of girl who would walk away and say “you blew it buddy!” I decided I’d wait. As I walked in, the bartender looked up, and I noticed two young guys at the end of the bar.
“I’m supposed to meet someone here,” I explained.
One of the young guys walked up to me. He was absolutely gorgeous and absolutely smashed.
“It’s me,” he said. “You’re supposed to meet me.”
Oh, wishful thinking. He looked like he belonged on the front of Tiger Beat magazine. So adorable! And not much older than one of my daughters.
“They stopped serving me,” he said. He offered to buy me a drink, but I reminded him that I was meeting someone and it would not be very nice to be waiting with another man. After pestering me to come home with him, or at least to give him my phone number, he left with his friend. When my actual date came, serious, unsmiling, unlaughing, un-fun, I wished I could rewind the clock and go home with the young and drunk guy. Mr. Sullen and I had a few drinks and decided not to have a second date.
Is this really what it’s going to be like?
Waylon Lewis, editor of elephantjournal, recently posted about his search for a new girlfriend. His call prompted a response article from three beautiful female writers, all searching for love. If everyone is looking for it, why the hell is it so difficult to find?
Someone suggested to Waylon a Yoga Dates adventure. In the interest of research, I might sign up for one soon myself. Hmmmm, there is a Yoga + Sex discussion next Saturday, sponsored by Yoga Dates…
I’ll let you know how it goes!