we'd all like to think of our dating lives as taking place in a vacuum.
we'll never run into friends while we're on a date. we'll never unwittingly date a friend's ex. and most importantly, we'll never date the same person that an ex-love has dated.
tonight when i received the text message, "this is the second OkCupid date i've met who has already dated you," it felt as if my separate worlds were crashing in on me. how could this be? my ex-love, who i loved for so long and who doesn't do online dating silliness like i do, is now being silly and dating, online, people who i've online dated. ((gulp))
couldn't he find some other dating website? couldn't he find some other city?
but no, that's not how it works. i am happy to have an ex-love near me to be a lovely friend, and i'm happy he's dating and meeting good people. and it was only a matter of time until we overlapped, because there are only so many nice, cute, smart guys in one city. and apparently i've dated all of them.
fortunately -- thank Buddha -- both dates told ex-love that i was nice to them, that i am still a friend.*
everyone is connected -- or will be, sooner or later. Friendster (remember that site?!?! not if you're under 23!) taught us that. it would take only a few people to link you up with that guy who was in that low budget movie you liked. or your ex's ex from 3,000 miles away. yeah, she's in your network! and within one city, it's even worse.
Philly is a small city. it always happens, eventually. and it isn't fun; however, i must admit that there's a small comfort in already knowing the person with whom your ex-love is going/has gone on a date. you can tell yourself, "ohhhhh X won't like that Y does C" or "Y once told me that he likes A and X isn't at all interested in A." those aren't codes, so don't try to figure them out. (oh, all right, A was a code. some people don't like asparagus. like my friend S, who won't even try it with her boyfriend.)
tonight the world seems just a little bit smaller than it did yesterday, but it's a nice reminder that what we do will not be contained in a vacuum. how i treat Mr. Friday could perhaps matter some day, such as when he chats with Mr. Hopefully Next Saturday, or worse yet --- the ex-love. it's dating karma. what you put out into the dating universe...
it's a small world. i don't like it, but that's just the truth. the only solution is this: let's all try to be nice to one another. OR just keep moving from city to city (you know i tried!).
*i'm glad i called THAT guy...