TAMPA, FL—Despite having been hurt more times than he can count, local kindergartner Kyle Gallagher told reporters this week that he's finally ready to get out there and start playdating again.
Gallagher, whose last serious relationship ended three months ago, said his decision to meet new children and return to the playdating scene wasn't easy.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous—after all, it's been a while since I've played spacemen with someone else," Gallagher said between small sips from a grape-juice box. "But I just can't worry about that kind of thing anymore. It's time to get back on that horse and see what's out there for me."
"I mean, I'm almost five and a half," he added. "I'm not getting any younger."
According to sources close to Gallagher, the small child has focused on keeping himself busy in recent weeks by drawing pictures of ninjas and searching for hidden treasures in hopes of distracting himself from the pain of his recent breakup.
Despite his efforts to forget about Jeremy and the time the two spent together jumping up and down on his bed, Gallagher admitted Monday that he missed having someone to share the things in his life with, be they his electric train set, or the "giant, pointy sticks" he would oftentimes find in his backyard.
"The playdating scene can be shallow, and you meet a lot of kids who won't think twice before lying to your face, but there's got to be that special someone out there somewhere," Gallagher said. "Look, I'm not going to say that it's not hard, because it is. But what am I supposed to do? Sit in the corner and cry all day?"
Added Gallagher, "Trust me, I've done that already."
Saying that all that he wants is someone to practice handstands with, or someone who has the same favorite color in common, the 5-year-old told reporters that he was just going to take things one step at a time.
"I'm not looking to get into anything serious right away," Gallagher said. "I'm not necessarily ready to open up about my dreams of becoming a fireman or someday owning a trampoline, but it'll be nice not to be alone anymore."
"Just as long as they treat me with respect, I'll be happy," he added. "I'm tired of playing games."
Gallagher said that his mother, Samantha, has been an additional source of frustration, due to her active role in his personal life.
"I keep telling her I'm fine on my own, that I'll start playdating again when the time is right," Gallagher said. "But she's always nagging me about this person or the other that she wants me to meet. I know she means well, but, give me a break. She treats me like a baby."
Despite the many challenges that lie ahead, Gallagher told reporters that he remained optimistic about finding a new best friend.
"Next year I'll be in first grade, and I'm starting swim classes, so I'll have some options," he said. "I just don't want to come off as desperate. I want to have fun, learn how to write, and maybe even get a puppy dog named Oscar. If I have time to dive into a new relationship, then great."
"After all, playdating is like riding a bike," Gallagher added. "Whatever that's like."