The 2nd part of my solo dating slump is that I have been dating other people…as well as myself. It has been fun and exciting at times, and also confusing, discouraging and heartbreaking. I’ve met some nice people, but have also been hurt, disappointed and confused. I’m usually mostly confused. My sweet little boy’s heartache in my Part 1 post, along with dating heartache, really zapped my motivation for solo adventures and writing endeavors.
I’ve struggled with how to write about being in the dating world. In short, I don’t feel well suited for it. Learning what it’s all about for the first time, after being married my entire adult life is rough. 🙂
One of the ideas I’ve heard about dating is the philosophy that you should date a bunch of people at the same time, until you’re exclusive with someone. They say do this and have fun with it…This does not sound fun, it sounds exhausting. 🙂 My life is really full and busy with my kids, friends, full-time job, house, self-care and interests. The idea of maintaining a “mantourage”, as I’ve heard it called, sounds stressful. I understand this suggestion because finding a person who is a match is a numbers game. I’m just not much of a gambler.
I’ve been involved at different levels with people over the last couple of years. I have really valued and cared about these people, and even had moments of love. We’ve shared a lot of good talks, laughter, adventure, and intimate times. Each person has meant so much to me for different reasons, and I still care about them. We’ve also shared moments that leave me feeling disillusioned.
My heart was really broken at the end of last year. It was a situation that I chose to stay involved with for too long. I knew in so many ways I should walk away from it, but I didn’t know how to let it go. This is something I need to work on. A friend once called me a “Stayer”. He said I make allowances for people when I love and feel loyal to them. He wasn’t being cruel when he said this. It was an accurate, honest and loving observation.
I’m in a much better place about that particular heart break. My overall struggle is with the shifting sands of getting involved with people. They will pursue and be excited about you, there will be much fun flirtation and enthusiastic interest. You make plans, spend time, have fun, laughs and adventure. They make forward looking statements about things they want to do with you, and you start to open up.
Then, it happens. Suddenly, you’re no longer on that person’s radar. This can happen overnight. Communication with you is no longer pursued, and you start to feel it’s no longer welcomed. The communication starts to become like breadcrumbs or nothing at all. The breadcrumbs might be flirtatious in nature, or just checking in. Replies to your communication, if they happen, become short, more formal and polite. Or, you get ghosted (ignored) into oblivion.
This is a brutal process. Sometimes it takes a little bit for the reality that this is happening to set in for me because the people with whom I’ve been involved are very expressive and eloquent and they aren’t people I’ve just met. They are people I’ve known on some level for months or years. They are seemingly very sensitive, empathetic and caring people; so when I perceive the chilling of the connection, I make allowances. I assume that they would certainly tell me if they were just not that into me anymore. I would want to know that. I ultimately get the hint and respectfully let them be.
Whether it’s a flirtationship, friends-with-benefits-ship, situationship, imaginationship, or relationship, I mourn the loss of a connection that I enjoyed with someone I really care about. I also mourn the loss of another morsel of faith in what I think I understand about people.
It just would be very kind to politely tell someone that we had a great time, but I’m just not feeling this, whatever, anymore. Pull the bandaid off quickly and humanely. No big speech needed. It’s ok to decide you’re over it. Just say it with a couple simple words.
I know now that this abrupt switch from connection and fun to instant nothingness is pretty typical. It’s been a tough learning experience and it makes me not really motivated to date and put myself out there in that way. I know this isn’t a malicious thing and my feelings about this reality are my own. I just feel it’s an unfortunate way to handle a simple “I’m just not that into you” situation. Either you want to hang out, or you don’t. I’ll miss you, but I would rather someone tell me they’re not interested.
This blog started as a way to help me to embrace enjoying my own company. I feel I’ve come full circle. I now prefer my own company to being in the dating world. I’m content spending time on my own and pursuing my own interests. Spending time with, and focusing on my beautiful boys, is my priority. Choosing people who choose me, and making them my priority has remained of utmost importance to me. My family and friendship roots are healthy and strong.
I’m not saying I’m never going to date people again. I am saying that I’m not in a hurry to get back out there to rinse and repeat. It’s tough. I’m on a hiatus from dating, until I can get excited about it again. I’ll need to learn to stop making allowances and take a look at why I do that. Need some Kenny Rogers wisdom here:
My next posts will be more upbeat, now that we’re caught up about what took my solo dating energy away for a time. I’m going to write posts about what I’ve been up to with the people I love, and will get back to my solo dates. I’m grateful for the love and abundance that I have in my life and will continue to focus on and celebrate that.