Monday, September 12, 2011

All Good Things Must ...

In the past year and some odd months, I have journeyed down some pretty interesting roads and met some  interesting people. I set out to see what my dating life could be like outside the boundaries and constraints of the search for monogamy and love. In order to bind myself to this decision, I made a pact. That pact existed in the form of a blog. This blog, to be exact. This blog served as a written contract of sorts.

When I started the blog, I set out to tell of my adventures in dating. That was all I wanted to talk about. So, that is all I shared on. I blogged about my dating life. I didn't talk of my family or my friends. I didn't tell the story of how I dropped out of high school and worked my way to an ivy league school. I didn't talk about the things I love or the things that interest me. I just talked about my life as a sexually active, dating woman. That's all I had wanted to do.

It was great at times. Telling the stories that had forever been kept secret in mind freed me in a way I cannot even begin to describe. Women wrote me saying how they found comfort and freedom in my words. Men and women alike found my blog to be funny and entertaining. People found it sad at times. It was a lot like life. But, it wasn't life. It isn't life. It's a blog. It's not even a blog about my life. It's a blog about my life as a serial dater. It wasn't even about my dating life as a whole. It was one year of my dating life.

For one year, I stepped outside of the things that I had normally done. For one year, I backed away from my wants for love and companionship, because I had been driven by those things in the past. I wanted to ignore them for a short time and see what life could be like. I did. And, it was amazing. It was freeing and it was liberating. But, it was also lonely as hell.

For one year, every relationship I formed, every new bond I made was based on one small aspect of myself. People knew about the blog. If they didn't, I (or a friend) introduced them to it. People loved it and they hated it. It made some want to get close to me and I allowed that to happen. So, for that one year, I lived and blogged an experiment in life. It's not to say I wasn't really living and feeling, because I was. I was feeling all sorts of things. But, my interactions were not as organic as I would have wanted.

People that barely knew me started to draw conclusions on why I would write a blog like this. They passed judgments over drinks and talked about what they thought to be my motivation. People that I had never met thought they knew me and people that I thought I was getting to know never really met me. Relationships that I thought to be real turned out to be results of the blog. I got support and compassion from total strangers. I found solace in responses to posts. The responses were real, but they weren't enough. Someone that I care about dearly recently told me that I was portraying sex. That's all he saw me as. He had read the blog before meeting me. And, maybe he was right. But, I know I am more than that. I just chose not to share all of the aspects of myself with all of the readers of this blog. So, for those of you that don't know me (and that is pretty much everyone at this point), here's a little introduction.

I'm one of 6 kids. I grew up in a small mobile home in Houston, TX. I had some family issues and moved out of the mobile home at the ripe old age of 14. I moved in with my sister. More family issues pushed me to drop out of school and at 17 I found myself on my own, completely. I had a boyfriend that I clung to. When we broke up, I found a new boyfriend to cling to and this same story repeated for the next 8 years or so. After I dropped out of high school, I became a massage therapist. Practiced massage for 5 years and saved up some money.

After 5 years, I quit my job and went back to school. At 23 I got my GED and started to a community college. I scored really well on the GED, so the community college gave me a scholarship. While getting my AA at the community college, I worked as a sandwich girl at a local neighborhood deli. During this time I met a really nice guy and I started dating him. He's the one I was with last. He was/is a great guy.

While going to school and working at the deli, I got an internship with a Houston city council member. I worked hard and turned that internship into a job. For the next 3 years, I worked for the Council Member and dated the nice man. At the end of the Council Member's term, I applied to a very prestigious school in New England. Some things happened and the boyfriend and I parted ways. I got accepted to the school and I moved to New England.

While earning my BA in Government and Political Behavior, I remained single and celibate. I dated no one, had no companionship through my first two years of school. But, I made it just fine. During my second year of school, I received a call early one morning. The call was my mother telling me that my sister had been killed in a car accident. I went home. While home, my brother was in a bad car accident and he was severely injured. I spent an entire month with him in the hospital. Then, I went back to school.

Within my first two weeks back at school, my mother called to tell me that she had a cancerous tumor in her thyroid. And, my other brother had also been diagnosed with testicular cancer. My mother had surgery and made a full recovery and my brother is now in remission after a year of radiation. I had to take a step back and look at life.

My mother had married an alcoholic (my father) because she thought she could change him. My sister had been married three times and tried her hardest to do the right thing, then she was killed. I just didn't know what to do. But, I knew I wanted to step out of the life I had been told to live. So, I did. And I had fun with it. Nothing in my life has been traditional or routine. If I had stuck with the tradition of my neighborhood, I would have gotten married to a neighborhood boy right after or during high school, had a few of his kids and I would be living in a trailer in my parents' side lawn. If I had followed my own path, I would be a high school drop out working in a deli. I don't know how I was supposed to live. I don't know what the right thing is.

Having said all that, having told you all that, you still don't know me. Because, I am not my dating life and I am not the details of my life. These are merely ways for you to see more of my motivation. Hopefully, these few details of my life help you understand why I don't regret much of my life. And, even though this blog has stood in the way of me forming any real relationships in the past year, even though it has lead to some harsh judgments from people that do and do not know me, I wouldn't take back one word. I wouldn't change one thing. Because, the solitude that it lent gave me time to get to know myself in ways I would never have gotten to know myself.

And now, it's time to end it. I've gotten just about all I am going to get out of this experience and I am ready to move on. I don't regret it. I won't pull it down or hide it. I am not ashamed. I am just ready to move on to a new chapter. I am ready to rejoin the world and start having real relationships again. When I meet someone, I don't want there to be any glimmer in their eye. I want them to have only the same prejudice that they have for every one else they meet. Nothing special here. So, thank you to all of the people that have read and appreciated my blog. And thank you to those that have passed judgment, felt compassion or laughed along with me. I have battled with this, cried over it and now, I am sure that this is the last post of My Life As A Serial Dater. Happy dating everyone.

With Love,
Jehnifer (AKA Poly)

P.S. I feel I should note that I have (in the past year) formed one relationship that has meaning and will live on. I love you Chris.  

About Me

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I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
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