I recently told someone, before meeting in person for the first time, that I’m not looking to date.
That’s half true and half bullshit, but I am in super-shy/protective mode right now.
I cannot stand the Tinder/Match/Bumble/OKCupid kind of dating anymore, in which (as a woman) you’re bombarded with messages and flattery and if you move to the chat stage, you might get a dick-pic or invitation to come to his condo for your first date. (Or, “date”?)
Or you might meet for drinks or something, both resigned to getting through it, hoping for a spark, and both having more dates with others on your calendars because there are always Oh So Many Possibilities.
Yes, I’d very much like to be in a relationship again. I’ve had two pretty good relationship-type things (how do you define a relationship?) since my marriage ended — and then something brief but really shitty. I wouldn’t call it a “relationship.” I’d call it — well, doesn’t matter. It was short and shitty and made me feel like crap.
It didn’t help that I was at a low point in my life (depression flare-up) and therefore not as strong as usual.
The first person I’d met “organically” (I think that’s the term for it, when you meet through friends but not because they set you up, you just happen to be on the same camping trip or something). It lasted about a year, a little more. It was so much fun, so many adventures. I felt like I was being reintroduced to the world again — skiing and weekend trips and concerts and camping and spontaneity. We’re still close. The second person, I met on a dating app. There were strong feelings but it had to end, but we’re still occasionally in contact.
The shitty person, I won’t give details. Reminder: I was at a low point. So my confidence was low, and instead of reacting like I normally would and walking away with some well-placed retorts, I put up with shittiness. I don’t otherwise know why I’d put up with that. It didn’t last long, thankfully.
But I now approach the world with “I don’t want to date,” which isn’t actually true. I just don’t currently trust my sense of, “Is this reciprocal?”
So then I meet this person — friend of a friend, a situation much more appealing and promising than an online thing — and whoa. It was an interesting and funny and at times intense hour over lunch. For me, at least.
But probably starting out with “I’m not looking to date” before we even met was stupid. And my schedule for having any kind of a dating life isn’t great (because at this point I’m mostly happy to mountain bike with my people any weeknight I’m free, plus weekends, and I have been so out of the social loop for so long that I don’t know what normal people do on weekends if they’re not weeding and cleaning their basements and watching Netflix, alone).
So. I tried to express enthusiasm post-lunch, via text. But, you know, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.
I’m still starkly single. And not sure what, if anything to do about it. Online dating — while I’ve met some great people, including a couple of Match people I am still lightly connected to nearly 15 years later — can be fine, but for me right now, it’s not what I want. And I don’t want to rummage through all the possible shared interests/schedules/etc. in meeting someone. And it seems that single parents meeting other single parents leads to maybe one night per week both people are available, so the ROI seems like it has to be high for both (not to get gross about it, but isn’t that what it comes down to, when your spare time is limited?).
I don’t know if I will ever find my Person. But I want to. I really, really want to. I miss closeness and intimacy. I miss connecting and sharing my day and hearing about someone else’s day, and having someone to care about, and having someone to care about me. I miss sex. I miss cuddling.
And…I want someone to want all that with me.