Serial Dating

I joined three dating sites, but forget the passwords half the time — not to mention the names of the dates themselves.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

The dating is spinning out of control. Ever since the ex dumped me, I've joined three dating sites, maniacally clicking through headshots and profiles in the same fashion that I skim through jobs. Half the time, I forget the passwords anyway.

In my mind, I keep thinking I am a job hopper, and now I'll be a serial dater, too. Next, next, next. There are 10 dates now, which I rotate from one to the next in a la carte of the day-fashion.

Yesterday, I ran from work, to subway, to pool, and then jumped out of the chlorine universe around 8 p.m. to meet the next date on the assembly line: a ping-pong-eyed middle-aged man who chased me down in midtown Manhattan with flatteries and his business card two months ago.

He said that he saw me and became infatuated much in the way one falls in love with Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts. Stalker alert. I've been trying to shake him off like lint on the jacket. He's been emailing and calling, and finally, I agreed to dinner. I cheapened my worth and figured that at least it was a free meal. How easily I am bought.

Over sushi at a neighborhood Japanese eatery, he said he was looking for a relationship, someone to get to know. "If I wanted sex, I wouldn't be here because you know I could get it anywhere," he said, as he asked for my hand. "Come on, please, I just want to give you a kiss," he pleaded. I shook my head and turned into an icy cold ironing board.

For conversation, I told him about the broken-hearted friend of mine who can't get over her ex-boyfriend. "Tell her that men come and go like buses," he said. I didn't laugh. I think he's dead serious.

I wolfed down the platter of spicy roll as he went on about how he could just tell I was "the one." He asked me why I was so closed, so unwilling to open myself up. He looked at me as if he were in a trance, and I asked him if he was married and had kids. "I'm divorced and I have kids, but sure, I'd like to have more," he said. The guy was insane. Only the second date, and he wants to marry me and have children.

It got me wondering why I was here. Why wasn't I sitting at home, writing a to-do list, meditating, researching the latest and greatest meds? Why wasn't I taking the ADD more seriously? Why wasn't I trying to get better, so to speak.

I've lost track of the names of the dates, and tried to find a way to organize them in the same way I attempt, with much failure, to organize job contacts or the emails of friends. I've packed the week with a date every night, hoping to suffocate the scraps of free time. I fear that I will call the ex again and ask him if he will pretty please get back together with me.

The other day I rang the wrong Dave, flirting when I first called, when in fact it was another Dave who I barely know. I am shameless and impulsive. Is it the ADD, or is it the 32-year old-woman whose biological clock now feels like a ticking time bomb?

It got me thinking that maybe I should date a fellow ADDer or, better yet, marry one. In a lapse of loneliness, I emailed one of the guys from the guinea pig group, and asked if he wanted to have drinks some time. Finally after a phone tag marathon, we had drinks at a bar.

He's in his late 40s and repeatedly said he was self-conscious because of the bridge work. He asked me if I wanted to get together some time again, just for fun. I knew we'd have a lot to talk about. We'd be able to swap war stories, relate to everything from jobs gone awry to relationships gone astray.

It was very tempting to get together again because misery attracts company, but somehow I kept thinking that two ADD people equals disaster. I had images of piles of dirty dishes, mountains of unwashed clothes, and a flurry of unpaid bills. He called again and again, leaving messages, and the third time, I answered and made up an excuse. I said it's been all too crazy at work. Sorry, I said. Not this week.

On a broader issue, it also got me fretting that maybe I'll never have an intimate relationship, and walk down an aisle. The ADD me gets bored of someone too nice and attainable. I need a human Bunsenburner, someone who can be romantic one minute and cold and aloof the next. In many ways, it's no different than the job situation. I need tough love, which, in the end, doesn't sound very romantic.

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