Lesson: Next.

I won’t shed a tear for you, I won’t lose a wink of sleep, because the truth of the matter is — replacing you is so easy.

Of the three most recent men in my life, I haven’t been able to write about any of them. I thought that was the problem. I felt frustrated with it all because I couldn’t utilize this space to sort out how I feel, process my feelings and learn from the dialogue and feedback that comes with it.

Then last night, as I dozed in and out of sleep-deprivation-induced, half-conscious dreams on my flight back from a business trip, Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” came on my iPod. Call it some sort of subliminal, exhaustion meets slumber meets message-osmosis, but I woke up this morning with two distinct thoughts:

  1. I’m still entirely too exhausted.
  2. NEXT.

I say this all the time. I’ve preached “next” theory on this very blog. But I don’t do it enough.

These men — the problem hasn’t been writing about them, it’s that they’ve been intimidated by my blog; or it’s that I’ve been in fucking limbo with them; or it’s that they haven’t consistently reciprocated the honest, open interest I’ve shown them; it’s that, as my friend W has said before, “He may be a great guy, but he can’t give you what you need right now.”


Fucking. Next.

It’s time to start acting on it. There are more men and women in this city than the one you’ve gone on two dates with who is just so charming or smart or uniquely talented. Believe me, trust me– there are so many more. In my experience, as soon as you enact “Operation: Next,” they start coming out of the woodwork.

We think that if we feel an attachment with someone, a connection, an attraction, the benefits of that feeling outweigh the costs of the emotional turmoil, the questioning, the doubts and their other flaws.

Wrong. There are more men. There are more women. Next.

If your needs aren’t being met, I promise there are more men and more women. Next.

If you’re not going on dates but “hanging out,” leaving you unfulfilled and confused, there are more men and more women. Next.

If you’re not being complimented, not feeling even more confident and sexy and secure in who you are around the person you’re talking to/dating/sleeping with/have gone on dates with/would like to go on dates with, there are more men and women. Next.

If you’re justifying your date’s flaws with trade-offs of their strengths (or stamina…), there are more men and women. Next.

If you feel like he or she is only interested in you when it suits them and fits their schedule, there are more men and women. Next.

If you’re being stood up, even once, without a goddamn good reason and a rescheduling in that same moment, there are more men and women. Next.

If you’re leaving dates uncertain about his or her intentions and their interest in you, there are more men and women. Next.

And mostly, lastly, finally -

If they’re asking you to compromise or give up parts of yourself that make you who you are, I swear to god there are more men and women out there. Next.

I tell my friends I love the magic of endless possibilities before getting to know each other fucks it all up. But that’s the thing — when it’s right, getting to know each other won’t lead to justifications and doubts and confidence-testing challenges. It won’t. I’m so certain it won’t. Getting to know each other won’t fuck it up when it’s right.

But until then, I’m going to deal with the momentary, temporary shock to the system and pain of cutting the connection when it’s not meeting my needs and actually act on saying, “Next.” I hope you do, too.

Can I get a “hell yeah?”

This entry was posted in ending it template, lists, out with W. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Lesson: Next.

  1. Kate says:

    Tough to act on, but wise words!

    • C says:

      SO so true. It’s so hard to act on but incredibly worth it when you do. Although it sounds like you won’t need to anytime soon ;)

  2. Hell yeah! Good for you.

  3. I love this! It is something that I try hard to do myself…but sometimes forget. Thank you for the reminder!

  4. Don says:

    Amen. The only thing I’d add is that it doesn’t have to be personal or anyone’s fault and thinking that ending a relationship is somehow an indictment of the other person or a sign that you have done something wrong is unproductive. The world’s a big place and there’s a billion flavors of people. Just because someone isn’t right for you doesn’t make either of you bad, it just makes you not right for each other. So thanks anyway, have a nice life, on to the next one.

  5. Katrina says:

    Great post!! As always, you articulated what I wish so many women knew about dating (guys, too). I hearts it.

  6. [F]oxymoron says:


    (I should really leave more than one word to say I agree, and that I enjoyed the read.)

  7. Sarah says:

    Awesome. So true. Fucking NEXT.

  8. Pingback: Mission: Meet New Men | Dating D.C.

  9. I’ve been Next-ing for awhile (but not always as cleanly as I should)… reading this reminds me of the inevitable truths of “next”. Thanks for the pep talk!

  10. Pingback: Lesson: A True Player Doesn’t Try So Hard | Dating D.C.

  11. I read this a few weeks ago, but it keeps coming back to me. It’s wonderful. Thank you!

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