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I’ve moved past the embarrassment of telling people that my last relationship (and first real one) was six years ago. Time flies when you’re living single. Admittedly, I moped about the lull initially, but by being an observer of the mating game rather than a participant, I’ve picked up on some pretty nifty stuff along the way. Here’s what I’ve learned about myself and the state of dating from watching, reminiscing, imagining, and reflecting during my love life sabbatical.

The concept of “girlfriending” has escaped me. I don’t remember how to be a girlfriend anymore. The old feelings I had as one are foggy when I try to recollect them. The idea of being someone’s lady seems so thrilling in my head, but I can’t help but feel that when the opportunity comes knocking, I’m going to be an awkward turtle. He’ll be dating an inexperienced pre-teen all over again…

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