By Anonymous, 35-year-old New Yorker
I want to be happy like everyone else. I date a lot. I’ve had long-term girlfriends in the past, they just never panned out. Most recently I ended a relationship with a nice girl, sweet, good family, blah, blah. I couldn’t stand her stories though. My mom told me to stick it out, stop being a picky SOB (she wants a wedding and a kid before she hits the eternal hay like every other mom). And like a mench, I obliged. These stories, though. Like getting a tooth implant without Novocain. They were cringe-worthy, and not because of gory details. The punch-line resided in an insignificant detail 12 and a half minutes in. Speechless. I didn’t have the moxy to tell her how I really felt. It was all sarcasm. So I eventually ended it. And mom eventually agreed.
So, yeah, single. Dating a lot. Multiple girls at once. Sounds like every guy’s dream… hmmmmm, in some respects, I think so. Others? Nightmarish. Dating apps are a fairly recent phenomena, in my life at least. Remember, I’m 35, and had to pick up girls the old-fashioned way at one point: at a bar, say hello (how scaryyyyyyyy), buy her a drink, strike up a conversation, and exchange phone numbers… cell phone numbers, jeez, I’m not that old. Although a lot of the time, it never came to that. After a few too many, it was back at either of our respective places. Depending on how much we drank, then maybe decent sex (I take no credit – after 2 drinks I am toast). Wake up the next morning, leave. That’s the last time I saw most of them. But I digress.
So, single. Dating multiple girls. Here’s the good news. It’s little commitment and a lot of the fun. When I want to be alone, I can be alone. When I want sex, within a reasonable time frame like a couple hours or so, I can have sex. (No, I can’t roll over and… but, I don’t need that.) There’s no “my brother is expecting us at 9:30(am) to set up the playroom for Rosie’s birthday” or “did you remember to thank my mother for those scented candles?” God, I dislike scented candles.
It keeps things interesting and fresh. A new face, a new voice, a new sense of humor. I am constantly entertained, excited. It’s also a little secret agent-ish (in the most sissy non-secret-agent-ish way possible). And is it wrong that I get a little tingly when I have them fooled? Or maybe they have me fooled, and they are better at the fooling. Whatever. So be it. Ignorance is bliss.
Here’s the bad news: It takes up sooooooo much time. And I can’t exactly be forthright with girls about the others. Look, some guys can, I can’t. I’m a paranoid sensitive male with an overbearing Jewish mother. Being honest with girls about my sex life is akin to eating street meat with an inflamed prostate – you just don’t do it! So there’s being secretive, which I hate.
It’s hard to fully be myself, which takes up sooooo much energy. Yes, while having different company around makes things interesting, it’s exhausting remembering names, colleges, mom’s favorite tv show, boss’ pet peeves, and the way she feels about waiters bringing out bread before the meal. As the Dude puts it, “And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, uh, limber.”
The last and certainly not the least painful or cringe-worthy (not like old girlfriend’s stories, thankfully, for you) is: I am essentially alone. I don’t really have any solid connection to any of these girls, and can’t be completely open and honest with my feelings. There, I said it. I have feelings too, despite what you may have thought reading this filth.
I want someone to be there through all of life’s adventures, thick and thin. To hold my hand when I have a bad day at work, and to hold back my head from hitting the toilet. I want that to be the same person, to have consistency. Because, ultimately, I want a life with someone and not just this transient what-have-you. But for now, I’m having fun.