Dating is a Roller Coaster (hint, hint: metaphor for life)

Courtesy of Kevkev44 (Flickr)

Dating is a roller coaster.

Bad dates. Good dates. Damn, if only I could get A date.

Good nights. Bad nights. At 26, am I already older than everyone in this f*@!#%g bar?! nights.

Total, unshakeable "I'm fabulous" confidence (fellas: fill in the equivalent manly descriptor). Vulnerable, I'm not good enough, what am I missing, what am I doing wrong doubts.

Relaxed and calm. Sad and frustrated.

Single life ROCKS, soak it up baby! GAAAAHHHH ifiseeonemorecouplecuddlingi'llexplode. I started this post as a follow-up to my "Dating: Do you go for Quality or Quantity?" piece in August, then quickly realized you could replace the word "dating" with relationships, marriage or life - and it would still probably be true.

Life is a roller coaster. Dating is no exception. How am I doing since my post in August? Great!!! Most of the time. This week was tough. It was tough because I felt those pangs of loneliness that I'd built such a great wall of "Single! Fabulous! Loving it! I'll totally meet someone! I'm not even looking! I'm so patient! Dating? What's that?" around myself. This week I realized that while part of me is completely calm, clear-headed and having a blast, part of me is still emotional and FEELING. God forbid I let myself FEEL things.

Here's a message for both of us (that's me and you, reader): it is perfectly okay to feel your feelings. You don't have to be happy and positive all the time (or at least I'm learning to give myself permission not to be). Venting is good. There is value in paying attention to emotions that show up - positive and negative - just make sure you don't give negative thoughts more air time than they need in order to work their way out of your system.

The key to the roller coaster - in dating or life - is not getting stuck in the highs and lows. When you become attached to an expectation or your mind starts spinning stories that aren't helpful, get off the ride. Cooking up some elaborate story about why I'm single and asking guy friends to confirm it doesn't serve me. And who am I to analyze? My job is to go with the flow and enjoy the ride. Badum-Ching! </end cliche, carry on with dating and non-dating and everything in-between>.