by: Adam Guerino
Serial Dater is a dating column inspired by a year long sabbatical from dating. The author went from compulsively dating to abstaining from dating and decided to write about it. Like a food critic writing during a hunger strike. Though the fast has stopped, the saga continues as the author finds all of his dating problems waiting as he begins to date once again.
To say my life suffered a sort of upheaval in the last few months would be a hilarious understatement. As per usual, my dating life reflected this. I was worried about my job but not worrying about myself. In fact, it’s safe to say I was worrying about other things because it was easier than worrying about myself. So, like before, when things got bad, I had the all-consuming negative relationship to distract me. After readjusting everything in my life from friends and work to living situations, I realized I needed to readjust my dating priorities too.
About two years ago, at the same time that I was transitioning into not having a full-time job and relying on my shows for an income, I also was moving from my apartment, which recently came under a flood, ruining many of my things. At the same time, I was surprised by the coincidence that I was in the worst relationship of my life. From day one, I was catching him in lies and throughout the duration of the relationship, he was constantly lying and cheating. Yet I stayed. It wasn’t until I broke up with him and focused on my life did I stabilize everything. Whether or not the bad relationship makes everything fall apart in my life or I find an unhealthy relationship to mirror my life, I’m still not sure. But now I see the pattern and the solution remains the same, I need a stable life before I have a stable relationship.
In the hierarchy of basic human needs, dating isn’t listed. This is no oversight. If you’re worried about things like a place to live and food, don’t worry about dating. This is more than a philosophical view, it’s a practical approach. I imagine the hilarious conclusions of a first date conversation in such a state would sound like this: “What do I do? Well, I’m currently in between jobs. Actually, I’m in between places too. I’m in between a lot of things but what I’d like to be is in between you.”
I’ve lived in three different apartments in the last three months. One I lived in for two years, one I lived in for a month because my friend had an extra room and within the last week, I moved into a new apartment. The cost of moving fees and saving for a security deposit etc has caused me to pick up a new job and drop one of my shows. The idea of forgetting it all and going on a date is more than appealing. I like dating, meeting someone new is one of my favorite activities. And, of course, flirting is an ego boost. But mostly, a date is about the future. It’s a way to forget about the here and now and imagine an intangible, far-away place with this person. But more than pointless, dating someone is false advertising. If you’re not ready to date–don’t. Don’t let someone fall for you when you’re not equipped for the follow-through. It’s just mean.
I fully intend on having a healthy, happy relationship but no matter how great the other half of that equation is, it can’t compensate for my lack of readiness. So, any effort put toward something other than stabilizing my own life, is a step in the wrong direction. It’s time to sort my priorities for dating, even if it doesn’t include dating.
Adam Guerino is a writer in Chicago who works nationally as a stand-up comedian and event producer. Guerino is the creator of OutLoud Chicago a production effort bringing queer entertainment to the mainstream. Guerino will host Word Is Out: Outrageous–stories you have to hear to believe on September 18th at Town Hall Pub 8pm in collaboration with In Our Words Blog and OutLoud Chicago. His benefit series We Are Halsted raises funds and awareness for queer homeless youth. For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, www.adamguerino.com.