Wherefore art thou Romeo?
The above is a well-known quote from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Many people believe that it means “where are you?” but it doesn’t. It means why, as in why are you named Romeo and not some other name, from some other family, because then we could love each other in the sunshine without this silly family feud hanging over us. It’s from the same soliloquy as the thing about a rose smelling just as sweet if it was called something else. Juliet wasn’t asking the gods to GPS her boyfriend; she wanted him to change his name.
This wherefore confusion was a vocabulary question on OKCupid, back when I was still looking for someone. I not only answered it correctly, but also I marked it as “very important” that any man I matched with also got it correct. There were also math and logic questions that I thought were simple, so I marked those as very important too. What about the questions regarding love and relationships? Eh, I marked those as low or moderately important because I wanted to be open-minded. But math? No way could I ever be interested in a math slouch!
So foolish. And I never learned. Through my very last dating disaster, I believed I could only be attracted to someone highly intelligent and witty, and I kept ignoring the fact that these guys often had no clue how to behave decently. (I don’t mean YOU, of course, lol.) And I am not saying all the dumb men were angels… of course not. But I persisted in placing the highest value on all the wrong traits.
Even as I became aware of this and consciously tried to change my preferences, whether on OKC or anywhere else, I found myself unable to do it. Time and again, I’d get entangled in drama with some smarty-pants jerk. Finally, I decided that I could change one thing about my own behavior, which was to quit dating altogether.
I am now coming up to my 5-year anniversary of dating “sobriety,” which is November 20, always right before Thanksgiving. This is convenient because I have something to look forward to (family time) whenever I get deluged with the sads in the fall. Yes, I met a few men after that, but they weren’t really dates, just first meets that went nowhere. All that tapered off to nothing by mid-2017.
Much like an addict who occasionally misses the high, I sometimes miss the excitement of meeting someone new and feeling that first sizzle of attraction. There’s nothing like the euphoria after the first kiss when everything seems possible. But it never turned into reality for me, or when it did, on rare occasion, the good feeling didn’t last. And when I came down from the high, the crash was horrible. I need to remind myself of the pain periodically, to keep myself on the sober path. The high is not worth the fall.
PS: Advice is unwelcome, while commiseration is appreciated. Comment (or not) accordingly.
Image from Pixabay.
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