Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Oh thank God, I'm normal

At a birthday get together for my friend M, of vegan and kitten fame, (she's in the class behind me from Business school), I ran into her close friend and classmate P, whom I'd met a few times.

We were all seated outside under the propane heater at a swanky hotel bar in the Berekely hills, crowded around three small tables shoved together to accommodate the twenty of us. P ended up next to me, and we chatted away the evening.

Seems P is also somewhat recently divorced (a year or two prior to me, depending on how one chooses to count time). And it seems she is dating very much as I am: A few people at a time, deep fondness and friendship, but no crazy head over heels stuff. Love? Yes. Lust? Yes. In love? No. It was great to hear someone else, and particularly a woman, who's approaching the dating world as I am, because I've been feeling a bit like a freakshow when the women I'm dating melt down over the lack of exclusivity. Some handle it more gracefully than others, but it's been a challenge. Maybe I'm nutty? Maybe I'm a total weirdo for not feeling like monogamy is the greatest thing ever?

She's in her mid 40's, but looks mid 30's and is dating guys mid 30's. Says she's perfect for divorced guys that age, who don't want anything serious, because she's had her kids and just wants fun. No ticking clock issues. And she's old enough to be comfortable with her sexuality and her boundaries and needs to navigate the relationship well.

While I wish I could genuinely say that I don't care what the world thinks about what I want, I feel the disapproval. So it was reassuring to hear that other people out there are are walking the same path, having "friends" that are more than friends, but with relationships that defy facile categorization in less than three words. "No, he's not my boyfriend, but we have sex." Nice to hear that I'm not "damaged" for not seeking to fall into something serious, but, perhaps, actually sane for realizing I'd be nuts to even try. Nice to feel normal and understood.