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Ok, it’s time to wrap this one up.

My subscription to certainlyspinster.com has finally run out and we’re up to our last lesson.

One bright and clear morning in South Florida, I got an email from certainlyspinster.com.

Certainlyspinster.com: We found a new match for you! Dougfunnieismyhomeboy is 25 years old and lives in Delray! Dougfunnieismyhomeboy won’t know how to quit you!

Me: Quotes from Brokeback Mountain? That’s where we are now, certainlyspinster? Really?

I logged onto the site and fell head over feet when I read this guy’s profile. He likes Blackadder, he listens to Ingrid Michaelson and freshlyground, his favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and he goes to church every Sunday.

I swooned over him, reader. I freakin’ swooned.

Then I read his profile and my dream life with him in which I become a writer ingrained within the literary canon, we buy a spacious 4-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, adopt 4 children, and summer in Milan came crashing down.

What was it in his profile that made me take a sledgehammer to my imagination?

This: “After a couple months of soul-searching, I finally know what I’m looking for in a girl. I’m ready to commit and put in the time and effort needed to make a relationship work. If you’re willing to take the good along with the bad and take a leap of faith, send me an email.”

Key phrases in those sentences:

1 ) Soul searching

     I joined certainlyspinster when I was feeling depressed, lonely, and ready to kill the next person that changed their status on facebook to “in a relationship.”

2 ) Know what I’m looking for

     Do you know what I’m looking for in a guy, reader? I sure don’t.

3 ) I’m ready to commit

      ….um…yeah…um…I…no.

That guy’s profile was perfect. He’s the guy I wish I could randomly meet in a coffee shop. He’s the guy I day-dream about. He’s the guy I realized is too good for me because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WANT!

Despite my complaining, my bellyaching, my bemoaning of my single state and the lack of grace and tact that people exhibit in regards to it, I’m probably better off on my own. As it stand, the “it” being me, I’m tangled. Tangled in what, you ask? School, myself, work, myself, my blog, myself, my writing, myself, life in general, and myself. I’m just a bit caught up in myself. Primarily because I have no clue what I’m looking for in a boyfriend. Let’s not even bring the word “husband” into this equation because it will lead to a crying and gnashing of teeth and there are so few perfect molars in the world that it would be a pity to damage mine.

See what I mean about being caught up in myself?

Dating is not for the weak kneed or faint of heart, clubs to which I am a card-carrying member. I tend to fall in like easily and frequently and then wonder why I get hurt. Now, some may cry out in horror when they read this, but here’s why I and many other people tend to get hurt: we don’t really care about the other person.

Take a moment to curse my life and start constructing a voodoo doll in my image.

Are you done?

Ok, so here’s why I believe that it’s our own fault we get hurt in relationships.

Actually, I shall shy away from “we” and say “I”.

This way I won’t be pelted with wet garbage.

8 times out of 10, I enter the “I like you” stage completely consumed with how the guy makes me feel. He makes me laugh; therefore, I like him. He always encourages me; therefore, I like him. He has eyes that can poke a hole in my pissed mist 100% of the time; therefore, I like him. No matter what, it’s always about what HE does for ME. I’m at the center of the “I like you” stage. I don’t really care about him, otherwise,  my “I like you” stage would look something more like this.

He’s trustworthy and follows through with his commitments; therefore, I like him. He’s ambitious; therefore, I like him. He’s kind to others and doesn’t get angry very easily; therefore, I like him. He pays more attention to others than he does himself; therefore, I like him. He’s speaks well of other people even when he doesn’t necessarily like them; therefore, I like him.

If you take the time to get to know someone, they’ll tell you exactly who they are without saying a word.

And in a relationship, shouldn’t the other person be your focus rather than you?

The couples I’ve known to make it are 100% focused, committed, and devoted to the other person. Their list of important people looks something like this:

1 ) My spouse

2 ) My family

3 ) My job

4-99) Other things I don’t have room to list

100) Myself

This is what my list looks like:

1-100) Myself.

Do you see the difference?

It’s quite sad.

What I’m trying to say, is the same thing I’ve said in the past, dear reader; I don’t think I’m ready. Why on earth I have to learn this lesson every couple of months is beyond me. You think it would have sunken in by now, but I’ve got a head as hard as adamantium and the emotional depth of a box of hair, so c’est la vie. This time next year I’ll probably be treading the same ground in new shoes with a wider vocabulary.

Grad school has done wonders for my vernacular.

Maybe one day, I’ll learn this lesson good and proper and never struggle with this again. Maybe one day, I’ll meet someone who makes me want to chuck myself out my number 1 spot and then we’ll get married and have those 4 kids I mentioned earlier.

And I’ll become a writer whose work is instilled within the literary canon.

So obviously that day is not tomorrow.

Either way, I’ll keep you informed.

Lesson 10: A little self-evaluation goes a long way.

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