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It's that time of year. It's the "when it rains, it pours" season. It's the "let's see those tattoos" weather. We've entered Circle Back City to see who will still bite at the bait. Like Sandy and Danny, Summer lovin' had me a blast. And some are out tryna lock down that Summer shawty. Are my past dates and flings in that group? Negative. They aren't looking to wine and dine me (again) and they aren't looking for validation. Like 24 hours before a Southwest flight, they're just checking in.

Within the past eight days, five ghosts from my romantic past have risen from the ashes. Different from a Phoenix, they aren't seeking life after death. They've circled back either via text in the same way that they would communicate if they ran into me at Trader Joe's or by chance meeting in the wild west of New York City. I've gotten "Thinking of you, hope all is well", "Hey, can I pick your mind?", and "You're looking great and I'm happy for your move." I've gotten waves across street corners with "Hey, I didn't think I'd see you here".

They weren't great loves, or even loves at all. They're all shadows of situations and a collective of dates. They all have different paths to me with the same, standard and typical demise. However, the way they're all back is identical. They want someone to accept their love.

We have the handsome man who sort of resembles Shrek in his human form, who literally asks me to say “I love you” before we'd fall asleep. He wants those three little words in a sarcastic but deeply serious way. He wants his love to be accepted and only for small moments. He isn’t looking for a long game. He isn’t looking for his wife. But he wants to feel like someone cares, and to be totally honest...I do. We’ll play the role of long-term lovers for hours at a time with weeks in-between.

We have a western New Yawker who is as sweet as local honey and gentle as a sun shower. We didn’t click but that doesn’t mean I’m not appreciative of a good soul. He knows that. I know he does. He’s sent me flowers as a way to say “I’m sorry for your loss” post Panera Charged Lemonade’s discontinuation. I’m assuming he isn’t seeing anyone but he, like most, needs an object to direct his affection and care for. I’m the willing subject matter.

We have a geographically desirable neighbor who has come from across the globe. He didn’t circle back per say but I did create distance after our first meeting, which was a story all it's own. But alas, he has the same urge to be needed, and to give. We grocery shop and he offers to carry my bags We take walks to get sweet treats and share a cookie. We shoot a text to make sure each other has gotten home safely. Like myself, he is open to accepting more but hasn't quite found it. In the meantime, we can listen to each other b*tch and wish luck before big events as a way to not feel so alone in all of this.

But the question still stands...are we all desperate to have our love accepted?

No, we aren't. We're craving for our hearts to be held, but we're careful with the recipient. We're choosing, cautiously, humans who we know won't hurt us but will be appreciative of our offerings. We're sane, and smart, and patient. We know that giving our affections to the wrong person who accepts isn't painful whereas giving our hearts to those who fumble it can cause personal destruction. We aren't desperate...but we aren't crazy enraptured either.

And we're all just trying to live another day, go on another outing, and be enjoyed beyond our own company.

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