Today I used the hydro massage bed at my gym. With the purchase of a premium membership, I can use it for 10 minutes a day. It is heavenly, and usually I leave feeling relaxed.
While being pampered, there are the options to watch different videos of scenery, whatever kind anyone might happen to like. I always choose the ocean and beach views. For some reason, today, while lying there and watching the waves lap against the shore, I felt strangely cheated. Even though the water was aqua blue, and the sand looked good enough to run between my fingers, it just wasn’t good enough! It felt like I was being offered a cheap imitation, when all I longed for was the real thing. Keep in mind, I live in a desert!
That is kind of what I am feeling about online dating now. I know that I am in the Sahara of dating here in El Paso. Many romantic comedies have been making their debuts in the last few months….everything from The Vow to The Lucky One. Even though I have boycotted these types of movies for the moment, (with the exception of The 5 Year Engagement, which I did enjoy because it gives a more real portrayal of love) they remind me of those static video feeds that I have been watching longingly from the massage bed. Both are an illusion of something real that I am longing for.
Every year I manage to escape to the beach at least twice, but this year I have been spending money on promoting my book. Online dating is something that I have still been semi- regularly dabbling in, but like my beach video- lately that process has felt artificial and disappointing.
While the ocean videos tease me with their ideal images, the fact that I can’t smell the salt in the air, feel the breeze off the water, or bury my toes in the sand, remind me that what I am experiencing is second best. Receiving emails from men that have nothing in common with me, are either 21 or 55 years old (no offense to any of you out there), and don’t appear to be even looking for more than a quick fling, feels….well, second best.
Leaving the gym and pondering these things in the car, I could have felt discouraged. Yet I didn’t. How fortunate that I can have a chance to relax on a massage bed after a hard workout. How fantastic it is that I get to go on a beach vacation with one of my best friends in July for a whole week. Even though I want to feel the sun dry my skin after a long swim in the ocean right this minute, it is ok that I must wait. I’ve experienced the bliss of the beach, and know that when I have the opportunity to return, it will be as awesome as I remember.
I have also been in love. Even though right now, in my current circumstances, it seems like an arduous task to remain open to the possibility of finding someone special. I know that I need to patiently wait. Not just “kill time”, but remember how wonderful it is when that connection with the right guy finally ignites. Just like doing the backstroke in a crystal clear ocean, when the right relationship does materialize, I know that it will all come back to me. The feel of my hand in someone else’s, the smell of that cologne that only he wears, and the warmth of his smile when we laugh at something no one else will. Until then, I choose to remain optimistic. Who knows, maybe I will meet that guy while on my beach vacation! Stranger things have happened.