Swarm

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So you’re going about your business, living your life, humming along and then suddenly: they’re everywhere. They’re coming from all corners, out of every place, more and more of them all the time. But I’m not talking about a nightmare where my bed turns into spiders or accidentally running into a beehive. I’m talking about dudes.

Yes, dudes, and they’re everywhere! Ex-dudes, current dudes, wanna-be-more-than-friends dudes, calling, texting, popping up on Favebook and on (horrors) Loveawake dating chat rooms. What could I possibly have done to deserve this?

Most of us have, at some point in our life, experienced this phenomenon. It can be explained away with clichés (when it rains it pours, it always happens when you’re not looking) but the reality is actually somewhat unsettling. You spend weeks, or maybe months, despondent that you’re single then something happens that makes you get over it. You meet someone new, you get immersed in a hobby, whatever. The second that happens, BOOM! Swarm. Out of the woodwork they all come crawling. It’s like they can smell indifference (or even scarier, competition). They come to re-establish their place in your head, trying to crack open ever so slightly that door you thought you had closed, the one labeled “MAYBE”.

“WHY NOW?!”, you want to scream. “You had so many months (years?) where nothing was happening!” The answer, of course, is you. You are no longer that guy- (or girl-) repellent Desperate Dater. That scared, shivering little caterpillar that was so afraid of dying alone has blossomed, through the grace of God, into a shining, independent, got-its-shit-together butterfly. And that butterfly is HOT. People missed that butterfly. People are glad to have to back. People want to catch it…in their nets…so many people…with so many nets….

As you may have realized by this point, this happened to me recently, and I was duly terrified.  I was confused. I was pissed off. I wanted to tell them ALL to go away and leave me alone, dammit! I just got good with myself, painted my walls pink, settled into a comfy routine of May-sweeps bound TV, and now you all have to come up in here and crowd my situation. Then I did some introspection and realized (as is usually the result of the my introspection) that the problem is…wait for it…me!

(I know, shocking twist, right?)

You see, I am somewhat of a “hedger”. I’m addicted to possibility, I’m terrified of being hurt, and I like to keep my MAYBE doors propped open as long as humanly possible. All this adds up to my being one big commitment-phobe. If I were myself a dude, I’m sure many girls would have long ago dismissed me as a “playa”, but being an average-looking chick has made this fairly easy to get away with. I’m a playa! I’m a jerk. This is a hard thing to admit about myself. I pride myself on being as honest as possible with people, and rationalize it away when I can’t be (“it’s meaner to tell them if it would hurt them”). I have the requisite wounded-bird life stories and low self-esteem (“it’s understand able that I’m afraid to get hurt” and “he couldn’t really want to be with me, so why should I fully commit to him?” and “ooh, attention, this validates me!”).  I have a ton of excuses as to why I continue to engage with a bevy of dudes when they randomly pop up wherever, but it all boils down to this one truth: I am a scared, shivering little wimp who is afraid to stamp out any potential relationship that holds even the slightest little bit of hope.

I guess any semi-attractive person is going to have to do a whole lot of stamping in their lifetime if they want to get to the prize. I mean, isn’t that what commitment really is? Sacrifice, putting all your eggs in one basket, taking the plunge, stamping out all the dimly lit possibilities? That, my friends, is what’s truly terrifying. Regardless, I think I’m really ready to do it. After all, it’s the only way I’m going to get out of this swarm.

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