Before Amal Alamuddin came out of nowhere and kidnapped George Clooney’s heart, I, along with the rest of the world, heard talk of how he’d never get married again. If, like me, you’re in possession of an embarrassingly massive amount of useless celeb facts, you’re aware that Clooney’s dramatic anti-marriage declarations once even prompted Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer to each bet him $10,000 that he’d get married for a second time by the age of 40. He won. After winning the bet at 40, Clooney returned the money and went double-or-nothing that he would be unmarried and have no children on his 50th birthday. He won again.
I never understood his aversion to marriage. I mean, God, Clooney. Quit being such a baby. So your first marriage didn’t work out. Get over it. Divorce is part of life. I figured he just wanted to keep his options open because he’s George Clooney and why would George Clooney tie himself down when his options happen to be limitless?
But now that I also have a divorce hulking blackly in my rearview mirror, I think maybe it’s more complicated than that. Clooney once said he’s not very good at marriage and now, as I contemplate the failure of my own marriage and attempt to date again, I realize that maybe I feel the same way; the thought of marriage fills me with a heavy dread.
I’m not very good at marriage. I don’t feel good at relationships in general, actually. Too bad there’s no one lining up to bet me ten grand I’ll be married before I’m 50. Because I just might win that bet and I could really use the cash. Divorce is a jerk-off to your finances.
So here I am, eights months after the divorce was final, sticking my toe in the dating pool. The water is warm, so it’s not like I feel nervous about dating after an 11-year hiatus. I like alcohol and good conversation as much as the next person so I don’t feel disoriented about the actual process of dating. It’s just that, regardless of what anyone says, dating inevitably leads to a relationship and I find myself paralyzed when it comes to the idea of being in another relationship. The whole notion of negotiating the living of life with another human being sounds exhausting, especially when limping out the failed negotiation of my marriage.