My online dating profile went active with a mix of excitement and shame. Really? This is my life? I am shopping the online catalog for a date?

My sponsor isn’t really happy with my decision to swim in the dating pool again. “Can’t you wait?” she asked.

No. I can’t.

“I know I can’t tell you not to date because you’ll do it anyway. But, can’t you at least give yourself a week?”

No. I can’t.

I admit: my profile is a distraction. I don’t want to think about Chef Man. When the longing thoughts enter my brain, I push them away. Or, I try to. I’m an alcoholic — pushing thoughts away doesn’t work for me. I am powerless over my obsessive thoughts.

I don’t want to have the thoughts. I can’t have the thoughts. I shouldn’t have the thoughts.  I’m not supposed to covet someone else’s man. He belongs to someone else. It was all a fantasy — not real, nothing was real.

He’s attached. Don’t think about him, I tell myself. I even went so far as to say a little prayer, “God, let him know I miss him and that he was important. But… don’t bring him back to me. Help Chef Man find peace and help me let him go.”

I have even had my screaming match with God, kneeling in the adoration chapel at my church. In the silence and reverence, I have my best fights with God. Always one sided.  I scream, silently.  God listens. If the little old ladies kneeled next to me knew my prayers, I would probably be thrown out.  Of course, they may be screaming, too.

“Why the f*** God did you bring Chef Man into my life? What the hell were You thinking? First you give me The Wizard, now, Chef Man. Really, God? Really? You have got to be kidding me. I specifically asked You to show me who was supposed to be the man in my life. The next day, Chef Man appeared. I trusted God. I thought that’s what You wanted. How the f*** am I supposed to know now? How am I supposed to trust when You send me the losers? What is so wrong with me that I attract the losers, the liars, the cheats? Why, God? Why?” 

The tears poured, dripping off my nose on to the pew in front of me. The angry words gushed through my thoughts as I bowed my head. When I looked up, an older lady had glanced my way. I wiped my eyes and hoped my thoughts weren’t too loud. I resisted the urge to turn to her and say, “It’s OK. I’m just having a fight with God. He’s got broad shoulders and can take it. We always make up, but I just gotta do this.”

There’s peace in letting God have it all — the good, the bad, and the profanity.

When the obsessive thoughts enter my head, I remind myself that even if Chef Man were to leave the girlfriend, even if he were to enter extensive therapy, even if he were to “fix” himself, I would never trust him. Ever. That isn’t the relationship I want. It isn’t the partnership I desire.

So, I shop online. I email the pilot with the adorable puppy. I text the humorous tall guy. I visit on the phone with the film buff guy. I take a walk with the computer analyst with good taste in coffee. I cancel the coffee date with film buff guy because he turns out to be shorter than his profile first revealed. I listen for my gitchy feeling that tells me something isn’t right.

And, I compare them all to Chef Man, both his good and his bad qualities. He’s my benchmark until I can create a new benchmark.

“Will you at least ask God to help you know what to do?” my sponsor asked, exasperated but loving me unconditionally.

“Yeah, I will.”

Hey God, I’ve been prayin’ for somebody I’ve never seen. And I don’t care what he looks like as long as he loves me. No I’m not particular. But could he have blue eyes just like the sky and blonde hair, wavy and light and 6 foot 2 is my favorite height… Oh wait… That’s the song. God, I’ll take a nice guy, preferably tall, who wants to be a partner in my life.