Let me start a bit obliquely today, dear readers, by noting that I've found The Heisenberg Effect holds true in blogging as much as in physics and psychological studies: The very act of observing — or writing about — a human being (or an atomic particle) changes the nature of the person (or behavior) being observed.
I learned this the embarrassing way, back when I first started writing this blog, during the Sir Hugo episode — which some of you early readers might remember. Hugo was of the variety of hotness that when I first walked into the restaurant where we were meeting, and spotted him, I had to take a big breath and regain my composure before walking over. He was also quite charming, well-educated, and well-spoken — with an unsurpassingly sexy French-Croatian accent. And we had a really nice time together.
BUT ... I wrote about our courtship (if you can call it that) in real-time, day by day, blow by blow, anxious thought by anxious thought. I thought I was writing safely: This was way back when I first started the blog, as I've said, and I didn't entirely understand the power of Marie Claire. I thought that since he didn't know my last name or even which publication I wrote for, he'd never find it. Yeah, right. Apparently all he needed to do was pop "Maura" and "blog" into Google search to find me. So the morning after I met him, he tuned in ... and found a blog post all about how attractive he was. He subsequently read about my interest in hearing from him, my difficulty parsing some email he sent me, my anxiety about whether he was into me or not ... I came off like I had a complete crazy obsession with him! Which wasn't exactly a turn-on for him, believe it or not.
(In my own defense, I think I wasn't as into him as I was into writing about him.)
Anyway, eventually Sir Hugo told me he'd been reading my blog and the whole thing was just too weird — there would be no dating for us. Which made me realize just
how bad writing a dating blog can be for your dating life. So, after that rather sour experience, I decided I would tell you lovely readers a lot of stuff ... but not quite everything. It seemed to be in my best interest to keep my mouth shut about any guy till we made it through at least four or five dates — or maybe ten. Or maybe more. Otherwise, there was a good chance I'd mess up any possible chance I might otherwise have at a relationship. I also didn't want to GUSH about some guy, only to realize a week later that he was dumping me. Or that I actually wanted to break up with him.
But now ... the time has come for me to make a big confession, which probably won't be all that surprising to you after that preamble:
Although I am a dating blogger — who is supposed to write all about being single — I have suddenly become not so single.
It seems I have a boyfriend.
Believe me, I am as shocked about all this as you are. (Although perhaps not quite as shocked as a certain commenter will be).
Shall we give the boy a name, for ease of future reference? How about we call him Mr. Cup-of-Tea — since I turned him from a fanatical coffee drinker into a tea fiend?
Now, hold on a second. Before you start throwing confetti, blowing cardboard pop-out whistles, and weeping with happiness — before you start asking if you're invited to the wedding — let me say that we hit a huge bump in the road two weekends ago. For the sake of his privacy, I'd rather not go into too many details. But I told him what was bothering me, and we talked about ways we could work on it, and he responded in the best possible way. And since he is an adorable person who is unimpeachably sweet to me — and I believe in his capacity to change for the better, and he also happens to be kind and very smart (and have I mentioned cute?) — we're going to see what happens.
I worry that part of what is rolling around in my brain right now is the old fear of commitment. I think part of what is happening is that we're simply at the point where staying together means getting a little more serious — sort of past the honeymoon phase, when it was all fun and no games (!) and light-hearted. Now, however, we're moving into the realm where we've invested a lot of time in each other, and we've begun to depend on each other, emotionally. Which might be freaking me out a little. Sometimes I think I really might prefer being single (for all the reasons I mention here) to being in a couple. I think I'm more interesting and that I learn more when I'm single. But on the other hand, there is a sense of calm and psychological well-being that comes from a romantic relationship that's hard to beat.
Anyway, before long, I promise to tell you how much of my own advice I followed when I began dating Mr. Tea — like whether or not I abided by my sworn promise to wait two months before having sex and whether or not I stayed away from the Junior Mints. And in general, I'll keep you posted.