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Jewish Journal

Sex, Companionship, Intimacy, Relationships & Hope

by Ilana Angel

June 11, 2014 | 8:15 am

I date. Not because I like dating, because I don’t. I date because I'd like to find a man to share my life with and if  I date, I have a better chance of finding him.  Dating is not fun. The hope of meeting someone great is fun, but the actual activity is a drag. It requires a sense of humor and a strong liver because drinking is going to happen.

Drinking happens before the date to calm your nerves, on the date to get though it, and a nightcap after to help with the shock of disappointment that sets in with every bad date you have. If you can handle the alcohol, and find a way to laugh at the absurdity of it all, dating can almost be exciting. To clarify, excitement comes from hope.

I believe I can get everyhing I want from one man. Great sex, meaningful intimacy, and emotional companionship. It has eluded me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe. If I didn’t believe love is possible, I'd be at the animal shelter right now getting a cat. It is easy to give up and settle into a life of being single, which is fine.

It is just not what I want. I have friends who are happy to be alone. They’re not lonely, simply alone in terms of a romantic relationship. I am alone and lonely. I like having a partner to share the mundane things as well as the important ones. I want to share my life, my bed, my dreams, and my struggles. It should not be this hard to find.

I have found great things in all the men I have had relationships with, but have yet to find everything in one person. It’s not like there have been glimpses of the things I want, as much as they have each had one thing perfectly, yet nothing of the others. I’ve tried to talk myself into seeing everything in men that did not have them all.

I am so ready to not date, I see what I want to see more easily than I see the truth. I fell hard for Coach. He was all the things I want in man. He is sexy, smart, compassionate, wise, a great dad, a good friend, and a thoughtful human being. Even with all that, we didn't communicate clearly and we missed out on something great.

I found my feelings were hurt a lot when I wasn’t getting the things I was giving. When you give everything to someone it is not to get things back, but if you give and don’t feel what you’re giving is understood, you are probably giving it to the wrong person. I miss him and sometimes I hope we’ll figure it out and make our way back.

Dear Lord. I just did it again. I saw the things I wanted to see. Do I do that because I am a romantic or because I am an idiot? I waited for Coach to step up and he couldn’t do it. Perhaps he chose not to do it, but again, I am making this about him and not me. I don't know why it didn't work, but life goes on.

One of my dear friends is “Chef Allison”. She is a remarkable personal chef so if you live in LA and need a chef I will happily make an introduction. We were talking about Coach and Chef said she would be happy with a great lover, great friend, and great dog. That is all she needs to satisfy the desires of her personal life.

She would get sex from a lover, intimacy from friends, and companionship from a dog. An interesting theory, but completely impractical for women. We inevitably want more from our lovers, get sick of picking up dog poop, and friends come and go. What we really want is a great lover who likes our friends and will pick up dog poop.

Chef and me are very different in terms of what we want, but at the core of who we are as women, we're the same. We want to love someone and have them love us back. We want to be stimulated emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We want to be with someone while still holding onto our independence and space. Not easy.

How hard can it be to find someone we want to wake up to every morning and fall asleep with every night? How hard can it be to find a friend who will hold all of our secrets without disappointing us? How hard can it be to find a great lover we won’t fall in love with? When you write it all down you see how impossible it actually is.

In talking to my friend Michael, who is my closest male friend, he doesn’t think you can get everything from one person. He says the perfect companion, intellectual counterpart, and sex buddy should be three different people. It's not a guy thing because Chef Allison said the same thing. Are they realistic or am I delusional?

Not everyone wants the same thing, and we have our own ideas of what we want our romantic relationships to look like. Mine might be unrealistic, but the hope I feel knowing each date might get me there, is enough for me to keep trying. One day my Prince will come. Maybe he already came and just needs to look back to see clearly.

I believe in love and hope that never changes. If I give up hope I will give up dating. I don’t want to settle for less than what I am able to give, and while I know I may not find someone who looks at love the same way, he must at least make me feel like the things I bring have value.  There has been disappointment of course, but there is no failure.

As long as I try and can laugh, I will try again. There are tears, but mostly laughter. Laughter and a blog. Writing about my dating is cathartic and when I hear from other women and their dating stories, I realize it is not just my journey. All women who are dating are dealing with the same things, which while sad, is also comforting.  

I'm not looking for a sex buddy, best friend, or dog. I hope Chef finds those things because when she falls in love and lives happily ever after I will say I told you so while she is picking up dog crap. As for me, I'm going to keep on dating, even though every bad date gets me closer to the cat shelter. I am jaded but hopeful.

I had a date last weekend with a man who posted an outdated picture. I noticed right away and asked him how old the picture was. He said it was 14 years old because he couldn't find a recent one. Really? I asked how it was possible he was a dad and unable to find a picture that wasn't over a decade old. He was shocked.

He said he looked the same now as then and I should not be so “surprised”. He said he didn’t want to include pictures of his adult children, didn’t know how to crop a picture, and I was rude to question his photo selection. I told him he looked quite different and he should start playing fair in the dating game.

I showed him how to take a selfie, thanked him for his time, paid for my own drink, and left. This bad date got me closer to success, gave me a blog, and inspired me to call Coach. We caught up and I got a little perspective. At the end of the day I believe in what I want, know I will find it, must remain hopeful, and keep the faith.

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