After not dating for thirteen years, I started dating… a lot. I came to the realization as my son reached adulthood that I had an opportunity to have a grown up social life. I could go anywhere and do anything and keep it separate from my home life. My son had moved out of the house and working from home had allowed me to go out, spend more time with friends and left me thinking exhaustively about what my life could be. During the endless hours I spent dreaming about traveling, writing and experiencing everything I felt I had put on hold to raise my son in a stable, financially secure environment, I found that I didn’t want to experience those things alone.
I was surprised by the growing yearning I had for companionship. I had always prided myself on my independence and self-reliance. I knew emphatically that what ever life threw at me I had always found a way to get navigate my little family through the stormy and tumultuous periods in our lives safely. But now I found myself longing for a partner, someone I could share the new period of my life with, so my search began, my search for someone who would be with me because I they wanted to be. Someone who would be as dedicated to me as I was to them and stand by me through thick and thin.
When I started dating a year ago, I assumed that dating would be much easier now that I was older and that establishing a healthy long term relationship was just around the corner. It was not. Dating was hard and confusing. I struggled with myself, trying to stop the habit I had developed at much younger age. I always tried to make a bad thing work. After an unsuccessful attempt at sustaining a nonexistent relationship at the beginning of the year, I was left heartbroken and afraid that maybe I would be better off by myself after all. I didn’t have very much control over my emotions and tried too hard to build a relationship feeling everything for myself and my intended partner.
After a significant mourning period (which now seems silly even to me) I decided that I might try to date more casually taking the pressure off of myself and developing my own method of controlling how much I felt for a given individual. I went on many dates. I would date a man once or twice. Although men often continued to ask me out, dating for me was an exercise in self control and I became very good at it. I actually became pretty good at dating. I wasn’t nervous and had few expectations when it came to what would happen when I went out with men. I stopped worrying about how I would be viewed and simply enjoyed my time with the men who requested I spend time with them.
I was ready to try again…