Getting to know people and enjoying their company can be really nice. It is especially nice when you get rid of the superficial activities you’re supposed to do and mundane conversations you’re supposed to have. I rather not ask you about your favorite color unless you want to tell me about the first time you realized it took you to a safer place or that you looked really good in it. Talking about how many siblings we have doesn’t matter much to me unless you manage to describe your family dynamic as you list all of them and their ages. Please, do tell me about your sister and the differences between her and her boyfriend; discuss how she can be a bit uptight and how that’s to be expected with a big sister.
It would be nice to learn about your exes and especially nice if you don’t use the word ‘crazy’ to describe them. Talk about how their dad ran an accounting firm so you studied accounting, and as soon as you two broke up you switched majors and colleges. And now you have no idea what they’re doing except “probably making a lot of money.”
It feels nice really enjoy cooking and baking and seeing how a potential match feels comfortable in the kitchen, getting the sugar out of the pantry and grabbing the wooden spoon to stir. Never mind that it is my kitchen — the easiness they feel in it makes my heart feel warm. I can tell how much someone thinks they may like me by how many episodes of The West Wing they suffer through. Ask questions and tolerate how often I mix up descriptions of episodes and find it endearing how many feelings I have about each character.
It feels good to receive a text that tells me to never feel obligated to sleep over. That opens up space for me to say I wouldn’t feel that way and would like to sleep over because I also feel that coziness. It is a coziness that used to scare me but now I crave it. Sometimes I feel like I have to constantly have it because one day the coziness will be gone and so will that person because they realized they Can’t Handle It.
It would be better if dating eliminated and not exacerbated the anxiety I feel when someone doesn’t text me back and wasn’t followed up with the immediate assumption that they found someone who talked less, knew all of the lines to their favorite film, kissed differently, felt softer, had the ability to not be afraid of anything. I would like dating more if asking “what are we” didn’t seem like the worst way to find out “nothing.”
Dating is boring and no longer of a hobby of mine, it’s a lot like the ex whose number I delete often but keep adding because it doesn’t matter, I know it by heart, and no matter how silly I feel, it gets me closer to a coziness that appreciates my love for Toby Ziegler and thinks trying a new coffee shop with me is exciting, or takes the cookies we baked together to their mom and will probably tell her that while it sucks that they aren’t sure what they’re doing in life, they found a babe who reminds them that it is all okay.