“Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.”
I love this quote. Simple and succinct.
And yet, man oh man, do we ever spend a lot of time looking back. Especially when we are recently single.
Why do we feel the need to rehash old mistakes (when we’ve probably just made a huge pile of new ones) but more importantly, why do we feel that crazy pull of “what if?” or “maybe this time?” You know, that niggling hope that an old love just might rekindle magically and save us both the bother of starting from scratch … yet again. Because of course we’re old now, and a little tired, especially if you’ve done the dating-dance as many times as I have.
My problem (or perk, depending how you look at it) is that I tend, or at least try, to stay “friends” with my ex-beaus. Some of them were flings, some were brief interludes, some never even truly materialized and some were full-fuelled affairs. The commonality here is that I’m still in touch with them all.
So, think I in my winesoaked state, what if one of those past paramours is finally ready for me? What if last time it was just wrong place, wrong time and now, a few hundred gallons of water under the dating bridge later, our right time has arrived? What if?
Well let’s see.
M and I have stayed in touch – sporadically – but he is delighted to hear from me, excited to hear about my new life and as it turns out now involved in an on-and-off-again 3 year romance. He and I are also entirely different religions, mine being highly personal and his being highly Jewish. Combine his relationship status with that pesky old religion thing and methinks the chance of us ever being anything more than “friends for life” (his term) is slim to anorexic.
Then there’s J, who was actually a date or two before M. J was quite the wild intellectual ride, a whirl of a wind which was facilitated on the other side of the country (where he lives). Combine geography with my latent realization that he was a stepping stone and I have long since stepped, and I haven’t even contacted him. I will, don’t get me wrong. I’ll reach out as a friend for sure. But that love boat sailed years ago … and hit a rock.
What about S? Also on the other side of the country and one of those flings that fizzled before it ever flourished. Except for when we saw each other (as friends) years later (when I was involved) and the sparks were flying like the marshmallows were already skewered. Hmm, I ponder. Maybe this is our time?
Notsomuch. S now has a new goddess by his side, a writer with such lyrical wisdom and intelligent beauty I wish I was a lesbian because damnit I’d want to be with her! So much for S.
Then there’s D who was a short-lived yet all-consuming dalliance. Problem was I was the only one who was all-consumed. He was still fishing. Yet we stayed in touch, laughed on line, promised drinks on patios and now … well, he has apparently reunited with one of his post-me tunas.
Or is she just for the halibut?
I am so very, very sorry.
But I do know that any future interaction with this particular fisherman can only flounder.
This brings us to G. The one, the only G, who I truly believed was the love of my life. So much so that I turned my life inside-out and upside-down to actually make a life with him. Except that wasn’t quite enough so he dumped my ass four times and finally left my life for good.
What are the chances of us ever forging something long-and-life lasting? Trust has been eradicated. Time has eroded ardour and affection. We are a barren wasteland of nothing, he and I, and most probably destined to remain so.
Where could we possibly go?
Which is why looking back is dumb. Lazy and dumb. You want to bet all your coins on nowhere, probably?
I believe in love. And I believe in love for me. Yes, ME! Even at my advanced age I believe in love for me.
My past is chock-filled (apparently) with great guys. They all brought great quantities of AMAZING STUFF to my table. I am incredibly grateful for every morsel. It was a damn fucking smorgasbord.
But now I crave just one perfect repast. One that will delight me until the day I die.
And so … my life is all about looking forward. Because that is where I am going.