Every few weeks I receive a certain phone call, the “Maurice! Why am I single; I just want to be loved and cuddle; don’t you?” phone call. I rarely know how to answer this call. I do, from time to time, get lonely, and I want a warm body, but that is it. Once I moved to Chicago some of my friends, after walking in on me drinking red wine in the dark while listening to Joss Stone’s “What Were We Thinking,” seemed to try to have a mini-intervention policing how I emotionally survived a recent difficult experience and suggested I date random guys. When I mentioned to a friend over the phone that it would take a special guy to get me to be in a relationship right now, another friend called “bullshit” on my position because—well I don’t really know why. But the truth is this: If I were in a relationship right now, I would be settling for a relationship.
You see I am nursing a broken heart, and these things take time, or at least they should, or at least even if they shouldn’t, for me they do, take time to heal. And yet, very few of my friends seem to get this concept. Even when I attempt to be naked with them and confess how broken I feel emotionally after what the last guy I truly loved did to me, how it felt as if he took my body, ripped it open at the abdomen, shoved a dirty hand in and reach up through the intestines, over the diaphragm and a little past the lung, beyond the hear, through my throat, behind my eyes, and stuck his finger tips in my brain, wiggled them around and pulled out chunks, they still don’t get why I am not out and about dating.
I could date. I had a date scheduled for this evening. I tried to stick to it because I had my friend’s voices in my head telling me to just do it; it is just a date, live, fuck ol’ boy you are Chicago now; I did it when I moved, but in the end I had to listen to me. My voice said “No.” and I canceled. I felt so very powerful.
It does one no good to trade the voice of an Ex for the echoes of well-intentioned friends. Sometimes you must listen to yourself and believe, as well-intentioned as they are, your friends are not you, and you must know how to heal yourself. For me that means not dating for a bit; it means sitting in the dark sometimes because then the world is moving slower and I can breathe and think. For me it means finding power in turning down a guy, even a potentially great guy, for an even better guy—me.