When I first got married, I’m going to be totally honest, I was a little bit sad to be giving up that feeling of potential that you could meet someone.

You know the one I mean: The one that makes you put a little bit more time into your hair before going out to dinner with a new group of people. The one that floods your body when you first walk into a party where you know you won’t know everyone. The one that says, “You could meet the one tonight.”

Of course, I saw the irony in this: I was sad to be losing something because…I had found it? Brains are weird.

But the point is, a very small part of me realized I was forever losing something that had been defined by excitement and hope, and that made me a little sad.

For the record, this is not the same as regret. I did not and do not regret getting married when I did. I’m just sayin’, it’s one of those funny life transitions that you don’t really consider until after the fact.

Now, though, I have such a different feeling about it.

The thing is, there is quite a bit of power in realizing that you don’t really care if you impress. In knowing that it doesn’t matter one tiny bit if that good-looking guy at the bar finds you attractive or annoying or what. I can be totally, 100 percent honest and myself because, when the conversation is over, I get to go back to the person I love who loves me more than anything.

Nowadays, if a guy tries to chat me up or flirt or whatever, I respond in exactly the way I always wanted to (but for whatever reason felt like I couldn’t because, well, “maybe” is a powerful thing). And that’s pretty cool. The idea of being exactly who I am without caveat is so freeing to me.

And the really funny part? I find I have much more meaningful conversations, even with total strangers, the quicker I can clear up that nothing beyond a friendly chat is going to happen here. I’ve actually had guys who at one point were hitting on me end up sincerely asking me for relationship advice just a few minutes after finding out I was unavailable. It might help that I’m just a friendly gal, but I like to think that removing the tension of “could something happen between us” allows people to just be themselves on both sides and make an actual connection with another human being. Neat, huh?

So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re still in that phase of somewhat lamenting what you’ve lost, take heart. You probably never really loved the unknown all that much anyway.

4 Responses to Honestly unavailable

    • Justine Lorelle says:

      Thank you so much for saying that — I was worried it was only me! I almost posted this with a disclaimer saying: I don’t know if this is me figuring out something about life or sounding like someone who needs to be punched in the face. Such a relief you can relate.

  • Becca says:

    For me it started long before we were even engaged. But we lived together and knew that the concept of “us” was sort of a permanent thing. I missed the excitement of getting a text from a crush or the anticipation of a first date. The butterflies in my stomach didn’t come as often (or really even at all). So after much lamenting I started to come up with ways to get that feeling back. It may not be the exact same feeling, but when I make Dan belly laugh or I get a compliment from him when I put in the extra effort on date night (something that had definitely gone by the wayside over time) it gives me that same feeling of elation, even if it’s not butterflies exactly. So I think what you’re saying is completely true, it’s just a matter of shifting perspective.

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