I am a comedian. If you have seen my set, listened to my podcast or anything I have done, it’s fairly obvious I am not great at dating. In fact at some point now I say “I’m just not good at it” on stage. Most of that is my fault but I have come across this cycle where I date people who are dating people, and not on purpose. I’m confused by it, appalled at some points and now genuinely discouraged again. It’s complicated but maybe someone –anyone?- else has had this happen this too.
Life And Art
In the fall of last year I wrote a joke about having been “dating” or “talking” to someone who gets engaged during that time, which was and is true. The only part I exaggerated was that it has happened to me four separate times. At the time of me writing the joke, only one person got in engaged and one was seeing someone very seriously (like years) while we were “dating.”
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” -Oscar Wilde
As a stand-up comic I like to talk about my life, things that have happened to me or things that I have witnessed. I don’t do political material because right now I enjoy not thinking about it for a moment. Also, I’m too stupid to really know what I am talking about. I want the audience to be able to relate to stuff I have been through or at least understand it. I think comedy is art… sometimes. Those times are when it really does imitate life.
I started telling the joke in October and since then I have either had this happen again or found out that while I was dating someone in the past they were with someone else – a total of 5 times now. My subconscious must have been so uncomfortable with the fact I wasn’t completely telling the truth on stage that it was like, we have to fix this.
What Is Happening?
In the past 2 years I have dated 2 people that got engaged during the time we were hanging out and 3 people who were soon moving in with a person they had been seeing more multiple years. Sure I want to blame it on an outside force and I am starting to think maybe this is all a simulation but here is no way that I am not at fault for some of this.
A lot of this may stem from the fact I am a pretty traditional person. I get jealous, I like monogamy but love is the scariest thing in the world, so I just stay away from relationships all together. I feel that if you are going to tell someone you love them and only want to be with them then you should do that. If those feelings change, you should also tell them. My issue with the fact this keeps happening is that they are lying to the other person more than they are lying to me.
I have watched someone I loved be with another person when they said they loved me and there are few pains greater. To know that I was, or could have been, the partial cause of someone else feeling like that, makes me sick to my stomach. Even though I am a badass-independent-strong mama-cool girl, I don’t like it when other people are hurt. Also, I am lied to in this scenario as well and I don’t like that at all.
Hopefully, this is a simulation and I am just someone’s Sims character and they saw me thinking about a person I had dated a year ago like “I should tell him that I did really care about him and I’m sorry and that he is the only person I had considered a relationship with in the past 7 years, yeah I should do that.” Cut to a day later when a friend of mine runs into him and confirms that he not only was with someone the whole time we were hanging out but they are moving in together. Cool, number 5. So whoever is in charge, made that happen so I wouldn’t embarrass myself. Good on you, I hope you win this game.
What Am I Doing Wrong?
Obviously, there is a flaw in the people I am attracted to, how I am treating the relationship or just me as a person that is leading to these situations. If I think about it, after having been burned before, I do steer away from finding out the truth. I never ask if they are seeing someone else because I am usually not looking for something exclusive, so I don’t really care. I don’t want them to ask me that same question so I just don’t bring it up.
Note to self: When they don’t ask if you are seeing anyone else, they are seeing someone else.
In reality I am fine with them casually dating or hanging out with other people, I have a weird life, it doesn’t work for relationships. My issue is with them being in a serious relationship with intentions of ending up with that person and them not being aware that you are out here swinging your dick around.
Note to self: Dick swinging is not attractive.
My indifference has led me to gloss over a lot of things that in retrospect would have been strong indicators of what was going on. More than one of these cases had excused text messaging, where every time they would be texting or calling a certain person they would vigorously explain who it was. “Oh this is Sarah, she is my best friend, nothing is going on at all, we are just friends.” Even though I NEVER asked who it was or what was going on, I don’t explain my text messaged because I’m not hiding anything. I did have one person ask me why I wouldn’t check my texts in bed, was I hiding something? I just didn’t have any messages.
Note to self: When an unasked question is answered, it’s a lie.
I am upfront with the fact I am busy, I am out of town a lot and I’m kind of a bitch. I hope the other person is honest about their situation too. The only scenario I have found honesty in has still been real fucked up, someone who did get married, told me but then said they still wanted to date and it was okay in their situation… and I did that for awhile. Maybe because my standards of normal are so low and I don’t think anything can function or because it was the first person who had been moderately honest with me in years. People just want you to do what they want and will lie through their butts to get you to do it.
Alternative Dating Styles
As a result of my naturally traditional intuition I had previously viewed people in open relationships or poly-amorous relationships as ‘outsider’ and weird. After all of this, however, I have a much greater respect for that amount of communication and confidence in your relationship it would take to make that work. It’s not traditional, sure, but at this point traditional just means you are cheating on each other.
I have more than one married friend who has threesomes all the time and that works great for them. I know a few people that have an extra girlfriend or whatever and everyone is cool with it. I know a small amount of people who have had an open relationship work for them. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around how comfortable I would be in a situation like that but I respect it far more than I do anyone who has just started dating me even though they were going to propose soon to someone else.
The fact that is plural is insane.
The amount of security, love and communication it takes to talk to someone about what you are feeling instead of cheating on them is admirable. Pretending you are single and sleeping with someone DAYS before you propose to someone else, is not.
There are a few things I am saying:
1. This is a weird pattern and I don’t know how to fix it but maybe someone else has had this happen too.
2. This all may really be a simulation.
3. Stop judging people who have an alternative style of relationship, if it is working that’s better than half of us anyway.
4. The most important, if you do have someone who is on your same page, doesn’t cheat on you, treats you right and communicates. Enjoy them, have fun in those moments and cherish the fact you found something good. Because everyone is lying and it will come out eventually so you might as well have fun for a while.