After reading a spate of articles over the last few months about the rise of “sologamy” — the practice of falling in love with and marrying oneself — I decided to give it a try. It seemed a great alternative to the potential disappointment of Tinder and Bumble; and besides, when you date yourself, you’re never “geographically undesirable.”
I knew there could be drawbacks. For one, it would be hard to lie about my age. Still, I pressed on.
I soon realized that the first step — asking myself out — might be the hardest. As a shy woman, I’ve never asked anyone out, except for invitations dropped subtly into conversation such as: “Hey, Jackson Elementary is putting on ‘Antigone’ on Friday at 7:30, and I happen to be free.” I’d have to be more direct when I asked myself on a first date. But how?
I’d need to be confident without being arrogant. I’m very turned off by arrogance.
I decided to take a week to work up to it. I determined that I would do it on a Friday night in front of the mirror in my bedroom, after drinking a glass of rosé.
Then I balked again. I wanted to lose a few pounds first. Nothing wrong with extra weight, but I wanted to feel healthier in mind and body when I presented myself to myself. I decided to wait two weeks.
As the fateful Friday approached, I agonized over what to wear. It was important to look nice but not desperate. I found a solution: I’d ask myself out at 5:30 p.m., immediately after work, so I’d be well-dressed without seeming as though I were trying too hard.
On a warm Friday evening, I marched through my door, put on a Barry White MP3, stood in front of the mirror and said: “Hi. I was wondering if you would like to go out sometime?”
Inwardly, I cringed. It had come out so formal. What If I thought I was too stiff?
I pondered this for a while, then felt nervous because the answer was taking so long. If I was this insecure asking myself out, how good could the date be?
I took a half-hour to mull over the question and to give my cat a bath. Then I accepted my offer. After all, I had no plans for the coming weekend, or all of summer.
“Great,” I responded. “Have you seen ‘Wonder Woman’?”
“No, I haven’t,” I replied, already knowing full well I hadn’t seen “Wonder Woman.” This sologamy stuff was genius.
There was one more snag. Films in Manhattan have gotten expensive. The Saturday night showings were $17.50! I managed to find several theaters with Sunday matinees for $9. But did I really want to date someone so cheap?
Saturday night, I searched for a neighborhood that might be tolerant of sologamy. Even the East Village and Alphabet City are overrun with heterosexual and homosexual couples now. I found a theater in the Bronx.
I got there early on Saturday night and gave myself a pat on the back. I admire punctuality.
“I used to love watching ‘Wonder Woman’ reruns after school,” I told myself, sitting down. “It came on right after ‘General Hospital.’ Luke and Laura were like superheroes, too. They saved the world three summers in a row.”
I made myself smile, but then I had nothing to add. Maybe I needed to switch topics.
“I heard the Yanks are in first place,” I said.
“I’m not really into sports,” I responded.
When the movie ended, I talked to myself a little about some patronizing reviews I’d read, but people were looking at me funny. I took myself to a bar to loosen myself up.
At the bar, I grew tired of myself quickly. Truth was, I just wasn’t feeling a spark.
On the way home I realized: I liked myself, but I wasn’t in love with myself.
But how to let myself down easy?
At home, I sat on the edge of my bed staring at my phone, trying to figure out how to word a text rejecting myself politely but firmly. For three days, I debated what to say.
As I hesitated, the other side of me got angry about waiting so long for a text. How hard was it to send a simple text? Maybe I was really busy. I checked Facebook and Twitter to see if I’d posted anything in the past few days. I noticed some photos of avocado bruschetta that were a week old. Whew, clearly I was just busy. Besides, I had a life before I met me.
Finally, I came up with a solution – I would “ghost” myself. The other side of me was disappointed in myself for the cop-out, but eventually it was time to move on.
When the next weekend came, I made a decision: No dates at all. I ordered Asian fusion takeout, plucked a frosty pint of Ben and Jerry’s from the grocery store, and watched “An Affair to Remember” at home. As I spooned my frozen yogurt (and nothing else), I reveled in the lack of pressure and labels. It was the best Friday night I’d ever had.