How’s the dating?

A loaded gun question

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It was at a new workplace that I was asked a highly unusual question, how’s the dating? Like how is the weather except about my intensely private life.

My coworkers at my main job know that I’m a highly private person. So, my personal life is never spoken about. No one knows I’m a writer, or that I get my science on weekly that I squeeze in with working full-time.

I was talking about my ex since I was asked the question if I was with someone. I never ask this question personally, but people seem to do it like a small talk filler.

I told her I was out of a relationship, and that started a quick fire succession of questions I really didn’t care to answer.

“How’s the dating?”

This question is asked and my mind immediately blurts out, “what?”

“The dating, are you and your ex dating people right now?”

I know I’m going to have to deal with this being single. I haven’t been in a long time because I was committed to that one person for part of my lifetime. We were together for a long stretch of my life. Still, this seems highly obtrusive and I shake my head.

“I don’t do dating. I don’t need or want a relationship right now. I’ve been in one for too long.”

I wish I could hit a button where this ends things. But she continues to go into why I didn’t work out with the man I was with. What terrible, horrible thing happened to cause us to fall apart? Was it his idea or my idea to do it?

It was mutual, I hear myself saying. The terrible thing was that we drifted apart and stopped fighting for each other. We chose not to love instead of fostering, evolving, becoming stronger in what we had become.

We were stuck in the past of what we were, versus what we are now. He wanted me to stay the same, I desired for him to expand like me and garner genuine friendships like I had. I couldn’t be someone’s whole world, even though I was for so long.

What is he like? Your ex? This woman digs deeper where I just want to walk away and slide on headphones. Feign being deaf, but I’m in a situation I can’t disengage that easily.

I think of the man I was with and all I can think of to describe him are soft words. The first thing I use to describe him is that he’s good. And he is, with a good soul, smart, sweet, and kind.

I say how he’s honest to a fault, never lies even when I tell him he should. Because he makes things more difficult staying stuck to what he thinks his truth is. And this makes it hard in his career when others don’t see it as well as he does.

I wasn’t drawn to him by superficial things. I felt that immediate spark when I was my essential self and he looked at me with this ‘wow, this woman is something.’

He could keep up with me and my sharp mind, and my even sharper tongue. We fell for each other that first night we met. I’ve never been like that with anyone else in my life like I was with him.

At a certain point she stops prying, which I’m thankful for her to leave me alone. In this moment I know I’ll miss him, I’ll miss us. I’ve been denying it, not facing it, pretending I can release and let go without a single tear cried.

Because I’ve cried so much trying to make us ‘work’ when we aren’t meant to anymore. I want to say I’m sorry but that won’t fix anything. We’ve said those words more times than I can count. I remind myself over and over again, “everything in our life has a beginning and an end.”

This is our end. I’m prepared for this. It still doesn’t mean it doesn’t fucking hurt.

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