Why you can be glad it didn’t work out
I lean back, pushing my shoulders against an office chair in an attempt to absorb any comfort it can muster. My arms swing behind my head and my eyes stare at the ceiling, convinced that there is naught to do but wait as my computer crawls through multiple lines of codes. A common morning.
At the corner of my eye I catch that slight endorphin releasing glint from my phone. We all know it in some shape or form. To some it’s the notification above your favourite app icon, to others it’s the subtle vibration you feel from your forearm to your handbag that causes a frantic treasure hunt for your offending device.
Which precariously gets bigger and more slippery every year that soon we’ll all need hand bags just to carry one.
There was a time where that glint would release a surging reaction in my chest. Like a warm balloon inflating quickly from my chest, taught with curiosity and excitement then popping and dissolving into the air around me. Now I just hope it’s not some late payment reminder.
Like a curious adult reaching to release a familiar note from a piano key I tap my phone, it flickers obediently, revealing a message from a past date experience. The message read “Hi, are you still good to come over today?”. It was amusingly obvious that this was not meant for me as our date only lasted an evening and wasn’t missing any number of shades of grey.
I let her know that I was probably not the intended recipient of the invitation, she responded somewhat apologetically and I began to swipe her profile back into the WhatsApp archive category. Or as I like to call it, the dating graveyard.
A feeling of curiosity slid into my mind and like a bored grave robber trawling through a cemetery I found myself scrolling through my WhatsApp graveyard inhabitants. Weightless intrusive thoughts washed through my mind like “she was hot” and “I wonder what would have happened if we went on a first date now” but also thoughts like “why did I think she was a good fit” and “good thing that didn’t work out”.
Strangely I have a few of my passed dates randomly popping up on my Instagram due to me stupidly hitting that “add all contacts” button and not realising that it would in fact ADD ALL MY CONTACTS.
I found my feed occasionally showered with Instagram posts from long forgotten women I attempted to connect with online. I was made privy to some of their opinions, hobbies and just things they found appropriate for Instagram, which admittedly was mostly food, holidays, selfies and trying to do yoga head stands.
What was the saying, hindsight’s a bitch, well in this case I should send her flowers for the warm fuzzy reality check. Surprisingly most of the rejection nostalgia and reminders of how it didn’t work out filled me with a sense of fortitude, time and experience brought with it a clarity for what I needed from another person, not to mention a bunch of red flags to look out for. Of course it did also bring with it some “what if” moments but they were as fleeting and nonsensical as wishing you picked the correct numbers on a lottery ticket.
A lesson in letting things go, every door that closed allowed another one to open. Each door with varied detail and design and each attempt to open presenting a skill and confidence resembling a secret agent ordering a martini.
With a flick of my fingers I attempt to navigate away from my WhatsApp graveyard, my device obeys and I am filled with a confidence and assurance that dates that didn’t work out are paying off.