The dating world is like a giant rummage sale.
As unappealing as that might sound, I swear I’m not trying to diminish your faith in true romance.
When I was assigned to put this weekend’s Junior League Attic Sale on the nightlife and dating page, I initially didn’t see any parallels.
I’ve attended the event -- billed as Columbus’ largest garage sale -- nearly every year since I moved here. Held at the Columbus Civic Center, it includes everything from furniture to clothing to appliances. In addition to gently used items, new and quality items are also available at reduced prices.
Cash and credit cards are accepted. Proceeds “support Junior League sponsored projects in the community and operations of the Junior League,” according to the organization’s website.
I might peruse the offerings this weekend with my boyfriend. He hails it as one of the best deals in town. In the past, he’s bought clothes and other knickknacks at the sale. His treasures look new when he brings them home.
But they’re not. The items once occupied someone else’s bookshelf or closet, before being regarded as unnecessary enough to surrender to a new owner.
My boyfriend’s purchases aren’t too different from what some people call a rebound relationship. Daters dread the label.
Of course, unless your partner was previously cut off from the meet market, nearly every new relationship can be viewed as some sort of rebound.
That doesn’t make us oblivious to our significant other’s dating past, though.
Even when they appear new, a rummage sale’s gently used items sometimes bear traces of previous ownership. A stubborn stain. A secret maneuver to keep all parts in place. A small tear hidden under a seemingly perfect exterior.
Strangely, the same goes for dating.
We’ll occasionally showcase evidence of past relationships, even when those previous affections have died down. We might mention a vacation, or an inside joke from a date with someone else.
Those things remind our partners that we once belonged with someone else. The unsettling realization makes our insecurities surface. Maybe he was happier with her. Maybe she was happier with him.
I’m not immune to the thoughts. I’ll marvel at my boyfriend’s Attic Sale finds knowing they sit near photo albums that showcase his life before our relationship.
But the giant rummage sale of dating, we somehow ended up at the same place at the same time.
And that’s all that matters.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.