Hatred Cradles

I turn 35 later this year and for some reason the thought of doing so has seemed so especially dreadful lately. I feel like I’m at my peak right now in terms of beauty and vibrancy and youthfulness and for some reason, at the stroke of midnight on my 35th birthday, that all starts to automatically decline and I officially become less desirable.

In short, I guess I’m starting to feel my biological clock ticking ever so louder, and not really feeling like I have anything to show for it. There is a small part of me that still ideally would like to explore the idea of having a kid or 2 at some point in life, so I suppose what’s frightening is the fact that no matter how young I may look and feel, my reproductive system declines more every year that passes. And should the auspicious occasion ever arise where I find a suitable candidate to reproduce with, it may be significantly more difficult, or impossible, to do so. Even worse, the opportunities I’ve had so far to bring life into the world will come back to haunt me. Maybe it’ll be my just desserts.

But on the other hand, being completely devoid of romance at the moment doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.I’m starting to think love just may not be in the cards for me. I’m not bitter, I’m not unhappy, I’m not depressed really at the thought of that, I’m just starting to come to the realization that that just might be what my destiny is and maybe instead of fighting against it, I should learn to accept it and to concentrate on other things.

Life seems so much simpler and less stressful when there’s no guy for me to worry about. When I’m not anxiously awaiting texts or continuously ruminating over whether *he* likes me or doesn’t like me. Even if a tad more gray and boring as well…but what’s the alternative?

The mere thought that I am worthy to someone, that someone out there is thinking of me and striving to make me smile, is a great feeling. I’m like a cat basking in the rays of the sun, slowly swishing my tail back and forth. Content. Then his attention wanes, the sun disappears, and I’m cold and lonely again. It blows.

People frequently gush over their “better halves” and how love has made them better people or enhanced their lives and blah, blah, blah, but I’ve never been able to share that sentiment. Romance to date has never made me a better person. I’m unequivocally all the worse for it. I’m anxious and needy and moody and at my most insecure. I’m bratty and whiny and pathetic.

“Isn’t it funny. I’m enjoying my hatred so much more than I ever enjoyed love. Love is temperamental. Tiring. It makes demands. Love uses you. Changes its mind…But hatred, now. That’s something you can use. Sculpt. Wield. It’s hard or soft, however you need it. Love humiliates you, but hatred cradles you.”

Ingrid Magnussen in White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Now, I’m not necessarily in complete agreement with Ms. Magnussen because she was seriously emotionally disturbed, but I can see where she’s coming from. I’m not a strong proponent of “hate” but I get her point about love. Because the periods in my life like right now, when there’s no one out there on my mind, I feel at my best. I’m confident and strong and secure. I feel beautiful and confident and like a force to be reckoned with.I don’t “hate” anyone, but in having no one to obsess over, I have more time to obsess about myself. In a good way.

And to be productive. I’ve lost weight, done a lot of reading, and as of late, with all the free time on my hands due to a lackluster social life (not just dating-wise, but also in terms of general drinking, which I’ve kind of lost the taste for as well), I’ve signed up for kickboxing and to tutor elementary school children in reading. I have also booked several traveling ventures for the year, including a trip to Costa Rica in December that so far just consists of myself. And whether I end up going alone or not doesn’t really matter.

That’s not to say I’m not lonely, because I am. As a heterosexual woman, I do miss having a male or several orbiting my atmosphere. Which is why I cracked over a week ago and renewed my Bumble account. Yet became quickly annoyed with seeing the same guys I used to see before, swiping left on most of that ilk. And also got annoyed  with the time limit stipulations (24 hours to open a conversation with a guy upon matching; but then he has to answer back within 24 hours as well or the match deletes), which made everything seem forced and rushed. Plus I wasn’t really a fan of being the one to have to initiate conversation 100% of the time.

I also called them out on the fact that they censor “gratuitous” swimsuit shots from women, yet I’ve seen a myriad of bathroom mirror selfies of bare-chested men. I sent them feedback, complete with an evidentiary screenshot, and got a form response. Screw you, Bumble.

So back to Tinder. And the quality of potential suitors is not at all impressive. I’m swiping left like 90% of the time because I’m being really discerning in who I match with, and most of these guys are not IT at all. But it’s a start I guess. Not that I’m expecting any miracles.

On another note…I ran across Benji’s profile on Bumble, promptly left-swiping. Then what do ya know – he texts me for the first time in 5 weeks, his explanation being that he got a vibe from me that I didn’t want to be bothered. Which is kind of true, but I didn’t want to be mean. He asked me out again for next Saturday and I told him I couldn’t make it. He then asked about Friday and I never answered.

 

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