I broke a promise I made to myself. I said I would not check Erika’s Facebook profile until my birthday in March. I honestly wasn’t going to, but we’re in the thick of online dating season. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and its approach encourages single women to prioritize not being single. Whether its because they lower their standards or increase their initiatives is beyond my ability to speculate. Consequently, I’ve been getting some likes on my profile, mostly from women I don’t find particularly appealing, but I just got one from a very fetching lady who ticks a lot of my boxes.
There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to say it’s over. As if her relationship is going to explode, implode, or fizzle out, she and I will rekindle our relationship, sort out all our problems, and live happily ever after. My birthday in March will be six months since she sent me that letter about finding someone else. I realize six months is a sort of juvenile milestone with which to measure a relationship’s durability or potential longevity, but when you’re an established adult in your thirties, there’s more reason for that rationale. You’re not some dumb kid still wet behind the ears with no knowledge of the actual work relationships entail. The potency of those feelings are much more balanced. You know they won’t last forever, so you need compatibility underlying them when the newness wears off. You’re intentional to establish if that compatibility is actually there early on. If it isn’t, you know to cut your losses. Not to mention, by the decade of one’s thirties, you’ve likely entered an era of gainful employment and built up some financial stability, so that fact removes the material barrier. Again, it’s not like your in high school or college with little to no way of taking care of the practical side of a relationship (rent, bills, groceries, etc.).
“In six months,” I said, “I’ll check out her profile to see if she was single again.” The interest I just got from this new woman made waiting that much tougher. As I proceeded to Erika’s profile, I saw a thank you note posted to her wall from her boyfriend, thanking her for accepting his marriage proposal. Maybe I should be hurt at the finality of that development. I probably would be, if the finality were more apparent. For one thing, don’t newly engaged couples normally post couple photos shortly after the event? Her profile picture is still of her and her friend Mary. She has a few posts on her wall thanking one friend for the a congratulatory card and another post asking for a Disney themed wedding sign. Actually, I stand corrected. Her banner photo is a collage of her and her now fiancé. I guess the only remaining item of confusion is that her relationship status doesn’t list her as engaged.
Perhaps, that’s a minor quibble. I suppose what we had is buried, now. It’s time for me to move on, too. To fully move on, I mean. Now, I’m paranoid that my finding a new relationship will guarantee hers to crumble, I’ll get one of her sobbing phone calls a few months from now, and I’ll have to add to her pain. In all fairness, if her uncontrollable crying hasn’t scared him off by now, he probably is the man for her to marry. Either that, or she did that annoying thing exes do by becoming a better person after the break up, and she doesn’t burden him with that behavior like she did to me. That seems most likely. Of course, if Erika and her fiancé do break up, I don’t doubt that she’ll revert to her old behavior and heap it upon me. Oh well. I’ve got a pot of white chicken chili in the fridge along with a fresh batch of 7 layer bars. Isn’t that all any man really needs?