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Back in the Game?

Submitted by Monica Connaghan on June 3, 2010 – 10:07 pmComments

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According to an age-old adage, it takes half as long as a relationship lasted to get over it post-breakup. Wait, I may have heard that on TV. Hey, I was born in the 1980’s, cut me some slack. I don’t know any better. Anyway, six full months have now passed since my year-long relationship flamed out like a meteor entering the atmosphere, so if sitcoms are to be believed, I should be over the ex right about…now.

And I am, for the most part. I haven’t cried over him in months, no longer check his facebook wall compulsively, and I’ve been dating casually on a pretty regular basis. I certainly don’t miss any of his existential crises, nor his frequent jabs at my chosen career path. The dating’s been fun, too, I’m starting to genuinely miss the perks of being in a relationship-an omelet-making partner on Sunday mornings, a counselor after I’ve had a terrible day, a big spoon.  A pretty frightening realization is starting to dawn on me: I want a new boyfriend. Here’s the rub—Does wanting a new boyfriend mean that I’m ready for one?

My ex had some pretty daunting self-esteem issues, many of which he pawned off on me during our 12 months together. Half a year after excising him like a tumor, I feel largely back to normal, but I find myself anxiety-ridden as I wade back into the dating pool. The threat of rejection looms in the back of my mind, no matter how enamored a suitor may seem.

Trouble now is, I can’t tell if my neurotic obsessing over the meaning of text messages and length of time between phone calls is a carry-over from the year I spent in the loony bin, or simply part of the adjustment to dating in the “real world.” In college there was always a near-guarantee that you would run into a potential paramour again to keep the spark alive or at least get an explanation of why things fell apart, but out here? In a city of some 15 million people, if you want to disappear, you disappear. The thought of a guy not calling, and then quite literally never being heard from again, is pretty daunting.

I have a hunch that my problem is something altogether different—just a sign that the amateurs I’ve been seeing shouldn’t get called up to the major leagues any time soon. After all, if my ex couldn’t scare me off the dating game, nothing will. Batter up!

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