You don’t realize how much time you spend talking about dating until you’re not dating.

When you lock boxes of memories and store them in the back of your closets, ready to get on with life.

When there is no associate with whom you exchange the occasional flirtatious quip.

When your former “possibles” are settling into lives with partners and children.

When crushes fizzle in 72 hours because you forgot how exhausting those little shots of dopamine can be.

When there is just you. And you won’t go out of your way to change it.

You become a passive participant in conversations over wine and tapas. Listening intently while fighting the inclination to pepper the conversation with memories. Remember? You locked those up. Now is all that matters and now there is just you.

You treasure conversations about anything else. Work. Politics. Sports. Music. Your latest TV binge. Books. Ideas for writing projects. Your latest astrological discovery. The stuff that lets you explore ideas and find analogies and dig into nuance.

The stuff that doesn’t remind you you’re venturing into a way of life that may eventually leave you peerless.

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