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The One

I remember hearing the stories of how my grandparents met. How they smiled at one another from across a crowded dance floor and how quickly they decided to marry and start a family shortly after. And I remember thinking, “Wow, were they lesbians, too?”

I jest.

Actually I thought, “Wow, they just knew.” I’ve always found myself wrapped up in tales of romance and finding “the one,” just as my grandparents did so easily. I secretly watch romantic movies pretending I’m the girl who gets swept off her feet by the leading lady who always ends up being Mariska Hargitay. It’s so weird how she’s in all of my movies.

The problem with romantic movies, however, is that they’re not always realistic. Most offer a snippet of the highs within the ebb and flow of a real love story. Unless you’re thinking of Titanic or Brokeback Mountain, in which case make you want to avoid love all together. Rose said she’d never let go.

Rose lied.

What do we think happened after Sleepless in Seattle was over? Do we think Annie and Sam lived happily ever after? Was Jonah the perfect son? We will never know but we were all so happy when they finally met up at the end of the movie, weren’t we? My guess is Annie discovered Sam had to sleep with a CPAP machine and even though he accepted her restless leg syndrome and her terrible laugh, she found it hard to be intimate with him after seven months. She later became addicted to Instagram and it inevitably tore them apart.

I wasn’t always this cynical.

I used to be a hopeless romantic. I may still be somewhere underneath layers of sarcasm deriving from disappointments and heart-wrenching break-ups. That’s what happens when your expectations transcend reality. It’s hard being a romantic in a hookup/microwave love society. It’s even harder being a loud, emotionally expressive Italian woman attracted to older women who just want peace and quietude at this point in their lives.

I have to wonder now if it was really love at first sight or if my Grandfather was the only man on the dance floor all those years ago. I’d like to believe my Grandmother would have swiped right for him on Tinder despite a pool of other men on PlentyOfFish. Thankfully she never had to contend with such options. Of one thing I’m certain; she would have slapped the phone out of her date’s hand if he was rude enough to take a call whilst wooing her. Everyone knows you wait until marriage before you start ignoring your partner.

I still daydream about finding my person. My “one” who will love and support me unconditionally. I’m just not sure she’s actually out there.

What happened to courting? Was it cock-blocked by Grindr? For men, I believe it was. For women I’d like to create an equivalent mobile app called Cuddlr, which will send alerts when other women are close in proximity so I can become rich off all the ladies who just want to lay around and talk about their exes when feeling lonely: “Karen is 72 meters away and needs to be held.”

Lately, friends have been pressuring me to start dating again, suggesting that I’ve become jaded. Listen, I thought I was dating someone a while ago. We’d been intimate and exclusive for almost a year when she informed me that we weren’t a couple. “What makes you think we’re in a relationship,” she asked. “Oh, I don’t know, babe, maybe because you’ve been closer to my cervix than a team of gynecologists this past year.”

After that I gave up.

I don’t understand these new rules, I’m still old school at heart. All I know for sure is that dating after age 35 is basically HPV dodgeball, and that still sounds more exciting than having to share stories of my food allergies over dinner with a new date.

And if we’re being completely honest, I’m not anticipating learning all about someone’s genealogy or their last breakup as I sit and wonder how exactly they plan to eventually take it out on me.

First dates for lesbians can be foreplay to a marriage proposal these days. They can also be the demise of a second date if you jump immediately into a relationship. Or they can be the first time you go home with someone. You know what I mean. But maybe I want to eat my asparagus without worrying about how that will turn out for us later.

While nothing turns me on as much as hearing about how horrible your ex is over a plate of overpriced lettuce, (insert next ex’s name here) I’m exhausted and hungry for real nourishment and a different type of stimulation.

How can I make time to get to know someone while doing my best to stay hydrated, sleep, post inspirational quotes to appear enlightened to Facebook friends I’ve never met, meditate, eat, grow eyebrows, and march in a pussy hat? I need a bigger hat. I need pussy pants! I want to put myself out there again. I also want to buy the newest iPhone but I don’t really want anyone to call me. Maybe I am jaded.

I want to be courted and I’d love to woo someone. There doesn’t always seem to be a distinction between romance and codependency however, and I’ve lost the ability to trust my own intuitions.

My base instinct wants to blame heterosexuals for waiting so long to allow us to marry; causing promiscuity and Peter Pan Syndrome. That was a nice try, right?

The truth is I see many of us in this quandary.

For me, letting go has always been difficult. I can’t even throw away leftovers from my refrigerator without feeling guilty or wondering what could have been. For that I blame my Grandmother.

We invest so much time and energy with another person that when a relationship ends we’re left searching for our lost identity. We’ll either jump right into something else to numb the pain or we’ll shut others out completely. And we’ll repeat the cycle until we’ve taken the time to truly know, love, and trust ourselves again.

The evolution is in growing for yourself rather than changing for someone else. One of my first girlfriends told me I needed to learn how to communicate. I worked on it over the years until I thought I mastered the art of communication. And then the last girl I dated told me I talked too much. She said I couldn’t even stop talking in bed. I guess you can’t please em all.

If I can impart any of my therapist’s wisdom onto any of you in need it would be to stop waiting for another person to show up and do your job. Stop waiting for someone to love you. Stop waiting for a response. Let them leave your text on “read.” Let go of the fear of being alone and embrace yourself, flaws and all.

This way when the right person comes into your life you will already be complete and the rest will align as it should.

Some of us have been on a lifelong journey to fall in love with ourselves and there’s no shame in that. It just makes our story more intriguing. Maybe we’ll discover we are “The One” we’ve been waiting for. Perhaps my “she” has been here all along?

That was a beautiful thought to end on but if I find that Mariska is ever on Cuddlr I know I will throw myself at her with sappy stories of my exes in hopes of being held, or cuffed, all night long.

Chrissy Costa
Chrissy Costa is a local comedian known for her dry wit, satirical style of comedy, and big earrings. Before doing stand-up she studied sketch comedy at Chicago’s famed Second City. You can follow her on Instragram and Facebook. (She / Her / Hers)