by: Adam Guernio
After taking a dating sabbatical to re-assess my dating habits, I slowly but surely dipped my toe into dating once again. It was a lengthy process that involved giving out more trust than I was comfortable with and trusting myself not to revert back to the dating addict I once was. Now I found a great guy and moved beyond wondering if I can trust him to wondering if I am ready to stop being single. But before I could find out, we were trapped in New York City for Hurricane Sandy. We were running out of money and sharing a small space and had to trust each other more than we were prepared to do.
After three days, we were combining what money we had to try and book plane, train and bus accommodations. Sometimes they’d take our money but inevitably everything was either too expensive or ended up being canceled at the last moment. We were frustrated and tired. After the third day, we were doing laundry because we had run out of clothes and on the way to the laundromat, we passed a car rental place. We stopped in and found that it would be $500 less than advertised and they had cars available. We left that night, by taking a two day road-trip across the country.
It was eerie how effortless it was leaving Manhattan. After three days of trying to leave, it took less than 15 minutes of driving before you couldn’t see the skyline anymore. We traveled as far as we could, passing shadowy towns with no power, finally stopping to sleep in a Pennsylvanian town where the residents proudly called themselves “rural mountain folk.” The first hotel we stopped at was full of people without power at their homes. At the second hotel, the desk agent regretted to inform us that there was only one room left and we’d have to, gasp, share a bed. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t assumed we’d be sharing a bed and asked if there was a discount for the “inconvenience”. Soon, we walked into the honeymoon suite with a king size bed, a full bar and whirlpool.
The next day, we arrived home in Chicago. We did it. We survived and I can say with certainty, I can’t imagine doing it without him. I came to New York searching for a vacation with my sweetie and found myself having to work together to survive the largest storm in history. Like surviving a car crash with someone, we had a bond.
Can I trust him when I need, not just when I want? If it gets tough, will he get up and leave? When all I want is to be left alone, will I want him around? There were so many questions for him I didn’t know I was waiting on for answers. We were each other’s support system, personally and financially. And I have to thank Sandy for forcing the issue. I don’t know if I’d let myself be vulnerable enough to find out the answers to those questions.
There has been debate about what to call Sandy. Is it a hurricane? A superstorm? But by the end of our vacation survival experience, I knew it to be a perfect storm. The definition for a perform storm from Webster’s dictionary includes: an event arising from the powerful combined effort of a unique set of circumstances.
Without this clusterfuck of awful, I might still be sheltered and waiting for something to go wrong. But something bad did happen and it turned out not to be bad at all. And that’s the moral to the story, it seems. No matter how much you work on taking time to learn about yourself and to trust others, the final test is to let go. Nature answered what nurture was afraid to ask.al from dating. The author went from compulsively dating to abstaining from dating and decided to write about it. Like a food critic writing during a hunger strike. Though the fast has stopped, the saga continues as the author finds all of his dating problems waiting as he begins to date once again.
I wouldn’t be able to appreciate him if not for my time writing this column. For anyone wondering why they are having a hard time dating, no matter how many people they date and or how often–that is your problem. It isn’t about the number or frequency, it’s about learning who you are. Because, without that, you’ll never know who you deserve.
I put the work in. I spent over a year trying to figure out why I liked the guys I did, why past relationships didn’t work, if I was excessively repeating relationship patterns or blindly following relationship role models. And I found my guy. I believe writing about being single and dating while inside a relationship can only ruin the happiness of my relationship. So then Serial Dater has to end.
I thank everyone who read and supported Serial Dater. I invite you to keep on this journey with me with my new relationship series Boyfriend Land. While Serial Dater dealt with being single and dating, Boyfriend Land explores this magical new land I’ve found myself living. If you are or have been in a relationship, maybe you can relate. If you haven’t yet, maybe this foreign place will entice you like science fiction used to thrill me. Either way, Boyfriend Land beings soon.
Editor’s Note: As this is the final Serial Dater, we at In Our Words want to express our love for Adam. This was our first column, Adam was one of our first regular contributors, we are proud to not only be his colleague but to be his friend. We look forward to publishing the upcoming Boyfriend Land and reading more from Adam.