It’s hard to have a fresh start when the past dwells on your mind and tries to ruin your present and future. It’s hard to write about a sensitive topic that men are not supposed to talk about. Until now, most of my life had been occupied by ambition, passion, and drive for everything that I did, leaving barely any space for personal or social life. Fwiw, I’ve never had any regrets regarding that. I am today because of the amalgamation of experiences, wins, and losses in life, and I would never trade it for anything.

That changed last October when I gathered the courage to sign up on a dating app called “hinge.” I did not think of it seriously for the most part, but I still invested 20 – 30 minutes each day trying to understand the dating world. I did that because nothing in life worth having comes easy, and I didn’t mind that before going to bed or when I was kicking cans around in work corridors. It’s also scary to reveal many personal details on an app because you have no idea who or what kind of a person is on the other end. You get to look at six photos and three small prompts or texts written on a profile, and you make a judgment if you want to initiate a conversation with the said person.

It was okay, and nothing most came out of it because rarely any person was invested in having a “real” conversation. The ones I did manage to have – ended up seeming entitled and wanted a pen pal rather than anything beyond that. There is a whole dynamic that plays on the app – where people need to be good at smooth-talking than real talking, have to be attractive enough, and lastly, it is a numbers game. As much as I hate to admit it, I am pretty bad at them. I am way too old-school to have, build, or create genuine relationships.

That all changed with a person, I managed to talk to in mid-week of February. She was an NP (Nurse Practitioner) for children with chronic diseases, and I couldn’t help but have a sense of respect and admiration for her. She had gone through a rough experience in her childhood, a condition that led to a device being connected to her at all times. (Even today) Her bad past powered her to become an NP. Using your passion towards your goals is one thing but using the pain and trauma of your childhood experience so that someone else does not go through the same is a trait I couldn’t help but adore. We ended up talking for three weeks and going on a date which was pretty decent in my point of view.

Out of all the 300-400 people I talked to, this one seemed like a person I could talk to like a normal person. I shared about 1-2% of my life and hoped to share more as we progressed to make sure I did not freak her out. This average person seemed like I could envision something real in a long time. Sadly, something fell off as things progressed – I should have listened to my gut. I bought something for her cat and planned a date when she came back from her trip. Being hopelessly romantic does not help in this case. But it all came crashing down when she told me that she had gone out on a date with a person before me, and they talked a few days back, and things had started to get serious. Yeah, that hurt.

It hurt not because I wasn’t the one – it hurt because someone I respected so much somehow found it normal to date multiple people serially. It was the same day I got covid. So yeah, emotionally, mentally, physically, and psychologically, it was a bad experience. If I wouldn’t want a guy to do that to my sister, I wouldn’t do it to anyone. A trait that throws my morals out of the window. Somehow in her books, it was okay to do that. I still do not think she is a bad person; I am not someone who speaks badly about anyone or generate hate. I’ve had enough experience in hate to know that it does not help anyone. Since then, my mind and heart have been fighting their own battle – The mind wants to hate, and the heart wants to forgive. It’s easy to hate but harder to forgive and let go. And honestly, I couldn’t hate this human being even if I wanted to.

It will be harder to trust people, but I’ve decided to give it time. That said, I couldn’t be happier for her as everyone deserves to be happy. I hope she is elated with the person she found and hope they have kids and a few dogs running around the house in a few years. Because at the end of the day, If I can’t be happy for someone, I like or care about in some form, even if it is without me – what kind of a person does that make me?

Covid hurt less than this.

It’s already been a rough start to the year with everything and I can only hope it gets better with time.

Love doesn’t need to last a lifetime for it to be real. You can’t judge the quality of a love by the length of time it lasts. Everything dies, love included. Sometimes it dies with a person, sometimes it dies on its own. The greatest love story ever told doesn’t have to be about two people who spent their whole lives together. It might be about a love that lasted two weeks or two months or two years, but burned brighter and hotter and more brilliantly than any other love before or after. Don’t mourn a failed love; there is no such thing. All love is equal in the brain.”

Krystal Sutherland, Our Chemical Hearts