The great Jane Austen once wrote “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” She was right, and as her facsimile currently stands at the edge of my desk in the form of a fully-hinged action figure, I feel it appropriate to confess that I am most assuredly guilty of these “rapid” transferences.
My mind has jumped from admiration to love (and from love to matrimony) nearly a dozen times since I launched my great “experiment” six months ago. PSM#3 was the twentieth man I dated as a result of my online liaisons; this brings my lifelong total to… give me a sec, I need to do the math:
17 men from Match.com
3 men from eHarmony
4 proper boyfriends (beginning at the age of 17)
2 English boys “dated” while living in the UK (“dated” because I’m sure they’d beg to differ)
4 American boys “dated” while living in the UK (“dated” because, unbeknownst to me, the majority of them had girlfriends back home)
That’s thirty men! Thirty dates, thirty dresses, thirty eventual disappointments. And yet I’m still just as hopeless as I’ve always been when it comes to the feminine rapidity of my imagination.
Nonetheless, I feel myself starting to get jaded. Not hopeless—never hopeless; I can recite Sense and Sensibility in my sleep; I own a Jane Austen action figure and four copies of Pride and Prejudice—but it would seem that the natural side effect of dating so many men is that eventually you start to get desensitized. Yes, I was disappointed in my evening with PSM#3, and yes I spent the majority of my weekend moping around, eating chocolate and drowning my sorrows in Hugh Grant flicks (until I finally mustered the courage and requisite snarkiness to blog-it-out) but I’m reaching the point where I expect my dates to disappoint me.
The worst part about my date with PSM#3 was not when he left me standing on the street corner to hail my own cab (although that was a definitely low point in my dating career, right down there with the time I accidentally went out with a mistress-seeking sugar daddy); rather it was the moment when I got home, fit my key into the lock and realized, “Shit, I guess I won’t be marrying him after all.” For in the time it took PSM#3 and me to complete eHarmony’s guided communication process, to compose our initial emails, to exchange phone numbers, to schedule a first date and to reschedule that first date thanks to his having caught a stomach virus a few days prior, nearly three weeks had gone by. And three weeks is a long time to wait when your mind jumps as rapidly as does that of your average Austen-reading female.
I’m not sure how many more times I can put myself through this emotional roller coaster, or even if I should. I’m afraid that if I keep dating at this pace, I’ll reach a point where I expect to be disappointed, and while this will spare me some inevitable heartache in the long run, I don’t want to reach this point.
(And for this reason, I’ve told PSM#4 not to contact me again until he is back on American soil. No sense getting my knickers in a twit while he’s off gallivanting through the Indian subcontinent, especially as I’ve always wanted to marry a man whose work might require my being whisked away to some exotic locale).