Bar Hopping After Midnight

Maybe it’s more of something introverts relate to, but the other night I went out with some friends, and after a couple of hours and drinks I was done socializing and ready to head home. However, my friends weren’t. I enjoy going out, I enjoy an occasional drink or two, and I enjoy socializing, but I enjoy it in a much smaller dose than most of friends. They don’t seem to understand this. So, I wound up getting pressured to stay out past that perfect time to leave while I’m still content, and spent the last half of my night at a miserable decline. Sometime around 1 or 2 in the morning they decided we needed to hit yet another bar to play beer pong. Some of my friends are a few years younger than me, and these are the nights where I really feel the age difference. For most people I know, “Let’s party all night, every weekend!” ends after your early twenties and the goal becomes to just catch a buzz, rather than wind up wasted. I got called a “party pooper” and so because somehow in their eyes it’s better I stay out in a bad mood than go home content…and the pressure of “I’m going to leave with you so I don’t go home alone, but I just want to do this one other thing first…” the whole night, kept me out. So, around 1am or 2am we wind up getting to a bar that I feel like only college kids go to and I’d been forced into super-bitch-mode, wanting nothing more than to head home, and fantasizing about sleeping in my bed alone. Sitting alone on a barstool, watching my friends wrap up their game of beer pong was of course when everyone began to hit on me while I was in bitch-mode…

(Unattractive) Random Bar Guy #1: “Hi, I don’t usually do this but…but…I…I just wanted to tell you that if you were a natural disaster you would be global warming.”
Myself: “Oh. Yeah, ha. Well, thank you but I’m not really interested in meeting anyone right now.”
(Unattractive) Random Bar Guy #1: “Well, I just wanted to talk…”
Myself: “Yeah I know, but you know, just this whole scene and everything. I’m really, really tired and I’m waiting for my friends to finish this game of beer pong so I can go home.”
(Unattractive) Random Bar Guy #1: “I know but I just think you’re…”
Myself: “No really, thank you. I just, I’m really tired, sorry. I really don’t want to do any of this dating, talking, meeting people, any of this stuff…”
(Unattractive) Random Bar Guy #1: “But I just wanted to chat and…”
Myself: “I know, thank you. I just…Sorry. I hope you find someone to talk to tonight!”
(Unattractive) Random Bar Guy #1: *Walks Away*

(Average-Looking) Random Bar Guy #2: “Hey, you look cold.”
Myself: “Oh um, yeah I am pretty cold actually, but I’m just waiting for my friends to finish their game so I can go home.”
(Average-Looking) Random Bar Guy #2: “Oh, well, I just thought you looked cold and so I thought I would mention it and um…”
Myself: “Yeah, I am cold, but I’m really tired and not really interested in meeting anyone right now…And you know people like keep coming up to me to talk to me…”
(Average-Looking) Random Bar Guy #2: “Well uh, I’ll just save you the trouble then and I won’t be one of those people, and I’ll stop now…”
Myself: “Okay, thanks!”
(Average-Looking) Random Bar Guy #2: *Walks away*

(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Hey, what’s your name?”
Myself: “Oh we’re talking now?”
[How f*cking bitchy is that?! I was so done with that night, hours ago! He was probably the one I was the meanest to]
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Uhh I guess…”
Myself: “Yeah um…I just really don’t want to do this. I’m really tired, I’m waiting for my friends to finish their game so we can leave and I really feel like this is an early 20’s bar.”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Oh…Well…”
Myself: “Well –How old are you?”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Er…Old enough…”
Myself: “Yeah, early 20’s, you see. All of you just want to meet and f*ck, meet and f*ck and I mean that can be fun for some time, but you just grow out of it. I’m really over that phase.”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Well, but it’s fun…”
Myself: “Yeah, I know I mean that’s cool, it is for a while, just not anymore for me. You’re from [STATE CENSORED]?”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Yeah”
Myself: “Yeah, well I’m just kind of tired of dating and meeting people and hooking up at bars and all…And I’m tired of guys too, so now I’m also interested in girls.”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “Uhhh…Like hooking up with girls?”
Myself: “Well, you know, dating them, possible relationships…”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: “You like girls” *nods head*
Myself: “Well, I’ve always dated guys but-”
(Pretty Cute) Random Bar Guy #3: *Walks away while I’m mid-sentence and whispers something quickly to his group of friends, pretty sure along the lines of me not being interested in guys*
Myself: *laughing*
[
At least by saying it that way he didn’t take it personally…]

So, I’m not really sure how into dating I am right now based on my “push all guys away” mode. I keep thinking about what if I had had a different sort of conversation with the cute guy earlier in the night, but at the same time I’m pretty okay with not having met anyone that night. I guess I’m torn between the idea of staying single, being in a relationship, and the dating crap that’s necessary to get there.

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The Dating Cycle

Dating is exhausting. It’s an endless cycle one needs to repeat unless they’d rather remain single. Sure, I guess there are rare instances where it works out and stops –people do marry, and some don’t even get divorced…But then there’s that other chunk of us who scroll through our FaceBook newsfeeds day after day and wonder how it’s possible another person we know has gotten married, engaged, or pregnant each and every day when we haven’t even added anyone new in the longest time. Most of us witnessing this phenomenon are in our 20’s and 30’s, and have probably wondered about hitting our 40’s and see it all changing to “so and so’s relationship status has changed to divorced” day after day. Those of us dating over the last less-than-10 years are really the first to experience this social media craze in which our relationships are now broadcast more than ever. It’s a new norm we’re settling into and feeling the pressure of “keeping up” with those around us even more. Early into your 20’s is when you can still remember all too well, the general reaction being “Oh no!” over “Congratulations” upon finding out about someone’s pregnancy…But after some time it settles in that you’re an adult now. Only, sometimes dating doesn’t feel so adult. People play games, there seem to be unwritten rules to these games, and then we find many who just end up acting childish.

It’s the cycle that tires me. -The one in which you meet someone new, you think they may have some potential of being the type of person you’ll develop feelings for, and so you spend time with the person again and again. You talk and talk. You ask each other questions. You explain yourself to them, and learn about every bit of them that you can. You share and experience with them, all until you’ve developed some sort of positive connection. Money is spent. Thoughts are spent. Time is spent. You make sure you don’t check in too much, but still call just enough. Though, “just enough” is a different amount for everyone. You slowly work on getting used to someone new, feeling comfortable around them, understanding them, and hopefully they develop an understanding of you as well. You put your best impression out there while remaining yourself and the not-so-great rest of you is eventually exposed, as well as the other’s. You might even feel “love” (however you may define it) at some point beyond feeling “like.” And then when you’ve completed exhausted all of your energy doing this and feeling comfortable and accomplished in all you’ve gotten through, one of you will crush the other. One of you will end the relationship. And if the rejection, and acknowledgment of no longer being able to speak to or see someone you’ve come so accustomed to being with so often isn’t devastating enough, the fact that you will now need to repeat this entire process from the beginning with someone new will be. Even if you are one of those people that can eventually look back at something and remember the good, appreciate the experience, learn, and enjoy for the sake of experiencing, it still takes some time for that to settle in.

Now all of that is “best” case scenario, I must remind you that before you even get to “you meet someone who you think might have potential” you meet a lot of people who don’t. You weed through them on the internet, or in real life. You go to parties, to bars, to shows, to social gatherings of every type. You meet, and meet until you find someone who just “might” and even then they might not end up being a great match for you. There’s also often rejection in asking someone out, which is an even more personal type than the kind you might get on a job interview…Remind me again why those moments you shared where you were laughing and close outweigh the downsides of dating? Or is it that people get to a point where either the loneliness or in-the-moment good feeling temporarily blinds us from what dating is really like? Don’t forget the relationship quarrels as well! When my last relationship ended I found the fact that I’d have to start the cycle of dating from the beginning all over again, more upsetting than the fact that this person would no longer be a big part of my life. Maybe it’s just harder on introverts. Whether you’ve associated yourself with being an introvert, extrovert, or neither, I recommend reading “Quiet, The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.” (I’m sure it’s on amazon.com or something.) Introverts like social interaction, but are drained by too much of it. I know that for me personally, the amount of social interaction one must go through to find a date has always been pretty draining. Enough dating can make one think, “is it really so bad to settle?” But I got a text from intellectual-conversation-guy which means a first in-person meeting is in the works…And so, I move into the next stage of the cycle…again.
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