“You need to take a break,” a friend tells me.
Just three weeks, she says. Believe her, I will feel better.
“You will be able to re-charge a bit so that when you are ready to get back into it, you will not feel so despondent,” is her reasoning.
But I seem to be incapable of actually taking the dating Sabbatical I talk so much about.
My wheels are always turning. I’m always checking Jdate or following up on set-ups in progress only to be told that the guy in question is not sure he wants to be set-up.
Or to have to answer intricate questions before the gentleman will even deign to call me – the kind of questions that suggest to me that said fellow is not really interested in being in a relationship. Because in my experience, which is vast at this point, the only way you can get to know someone is by getting to know them. Questionnaires are really just foils. And also: Annoying. I’ve never been much good at multiple choice questions. Give me essays or give me death!
Which is a good segue back to the question of a real, Hashem-fuelled rest from the exhausting and futile scamper, scamp, scamp round the gerbil wheel of the dating game. I mean, I take yoga. I be loving yoga! Don’t I know that in order to grow we first need to be at peace? To be still? To breathe into it?
Oh, ‘tis very hard for this Jewess to do!
For even though I know in my heart that every time I think I’m moving forward I end up right where I started, I can’t help myself.
I always think if I stop, I’ll die.
Worse: that if I stop, I will die, wretched and alone.
But who’s to say this won’t happen even with all the effort? So at least if I stop and still die alone, I won’t die so exhausted and depleted?
The only problem is just when I start to feel vaguely at peace with it all, ready, at least internally, to actually take a break, something happens to push me once again into dating frenzy mode. Like finding out that all the teeny-weeny babies I babysat back in the day are getting married. Or that they are already married with many children enrolled in this one Jewish day school where my whole (very small) universe sends their kids.
“Why do they want to get married so young?” I ask my mother.
It’s the fashion now, she tells me. And then: “They all just seem to find someone. I keep hoping that you will, too.”
But what if I don’t? I say to her.
When I was in my 20s, I was too immature. The thought of being partnered up so seriously and so young made me want to run for the hills, which is exactly what I did.
But as I near my 40s, why does finding this kind of partnership seem so impossible?
So maybe my friend is right. Maybe I need to really turn everything off. To stop wondering. To stop planning. To stop scheming. To just be.
Me thinks at this point I have no choice. To keep up this pace is not just bad for my health, it’s bad for my soul.