Burning Out Burning Out For You Baby
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a girl between the ages of 6-19 in the year 2008 in possession of a regular hormone cycle, must have rocked out to the Jonas Brothers song 'Burning Up.' Even in the year of Our Lord 2020, the Jonas Brothers concerts that happened in January/February used this song to close because you absolutely cannot beat perfection.
However, when I sing this, I may change a few lyrics to fit my experiences. I usually sing "Burning Out" rather than "Burning Up." After 6 years of dating and a whole spreadsheet worth of experiences, I've definitely felt the effects of burn out. However, I like to think of myself as a highly functional person who surrounds herself with good people. That's one of those fake things we about presidents when we actually know nothing-"he'll surround himself with good people." For me, it has meant consulting with adults who have more of a perspective than I do at 25. It's meant having mental health professional involved and asking religious questions of religious advisors. It's meant having good friends who will be honest with me.
I'm not going to lie and say that staving off burnout is easy; it isn't. It's like the Jonas Brothers trying to remember that there's a fourth brother, they have to struggle with it for years before they get it right.
But I try. Kevin tries. Joe tries. Nick tries.
There is a trend among guys I date (sometimes I wonder if they all get together and plan things) of not trying at all. They've sunken so far down into burn out hell that they can't even see that they are there. They are literally, the dog and the fire meme.
In this case the flames are emotional things they need to deal with and are just NOT DEALING WITH.
It's usually pretty easy to tell when a guy is burnt out. A guy, we'll call him "Algebra 3" (because he liked math and was useless) called me once to set up our date. We talked a little bit and he asked me if I am a coffee drinker. "Nope." I responded. "I don't drink anything hot. Just water or juice for me." "Hey me too!" was his response.
The fateful night of our date arrived. He pulled up to my apartment and opened the door for me. Now i knew basically one thing about him: he didn't drink coffee. So where could we be going? I live in Manhattan, the possibilities of restaurants, parks, museums, and cultural events are literally endless.
We drove to a random coffee house in Harlem. Not a Starbucks, where, at the time, you could at least purchase a myriad of flavored drinks.
A random coffee shop where we had the choice to get black coffee or water.
Neither of us drank coffee. And that was all we knew about each other.
So we sat with Poland Springs water bottles for the next 70 minutes until I took a long bathroom break to play games on my phone and scream and give him the hint that the date was over (this was before I had discovered using Panda Sex as a way out of dates.)
Algebra 3 had one job: set up a date in which we could both enjoy ourselves and get to know each other in a nice setting. He couldn't even get it together to do that. He signaled to me that he was so burnt out from dating he couldn't even take the two seconds to figure out an anything but coffee date. That, or he was so tired of spending money on dates that didn't go well that he decided that my time and my experience didn't matter. It was just another experience that he had to endure.
Another guy, we'll call him Seinfeld (because the shadchan told me he loved Seinfeld and his political beliefs were straight out of 1992,) took me on a nice enough date to a restaurant where he proceeded to tell me why its the fault of all the single women out there that they aren't married yet. For example, the girl that he was dating who desperately wanted to see a certain very expensive Broadway show. He took her to see this show and afterwards she dumped him. This experience opened his eyes to the fact that YES ALL WOMEN are monsters who are out to eat the innocent souls of men.
While this does sound like a painful experience, I didn't do this to him. I'm just a new girl who is out here vulnerably looking for a mate like everyone else. By refusing to deal with the burn out he is experiencing as a result of his failed relationship, he makes every girl he dates feel similar feelings of frustration and hopelessness.
This is also the guy who turned on to my street (a popular street for single girls) and said: "I think there's a girl who hates me in every single one of these buildings."
So proud. You get a mitzvah note.
Then there was a guy, I'll call him Beauty and the Beast (because he was half an hour late to our date at 16 Handles so I had to chill and watch the 16 Handles tv which was playing, get this, Beauty and the Beast.) whose burnout convinced him that brutal honesty was the answer.
I'm a Sagittarius. I live for brutal honesty. This was too much for me.
We had met previously at a singles shabbaton where we had spoken briefly about hashkafa. The conversation was fine, it was no "Pick me choose me love me" but it was a good entry level conversation.
Midway through our date (on which, as I may have mentioned, he was 30 minutes late to arrive) he asked what I thought about our conversation.
"Um it was fine. We covered some of the early stuff I guess." says me.
"I thought it was stilted and awkward." he responded.
Wow ok. Thanks for letting me know. I guess I'll work on it? But maybe you could work on getting here on time and not telling a girl on a first date she's stilted and awkward? Just a thought.
Even the Jonas Brothers burnt out once. Exhausted from their years at Disney they all set out on separate projects. They found themselves, found stable relationships, and found a new love for their music. Now, they are back and better than ever.
Learn from the Jonas Brothers. Take the time you need and surround yourself with others who will help you to see your blindspots (Frankie.) I don't want to be singing "Burning Out" under my breathe when I could be screaming "Burning Up" at a residency in Vegas.