Back In The Saddle Again…
Dating life, it can be absolutely a blast and equally daunting! I’m pretty sure this is one of the reasons people stay together for way longer than they should. Who wants to start over? Who wants to willingly put themselves in a vulnerable situation where their heart can get broken yet again? I’m a planner a person who analyzes everything and is constantly in a state of self reflecting. So of course before I even began dating I researched the entire subject through blogs and articles. Let me back up a bit here and pause for this very fact. I got married at nineteen! Yes nineteen. I had one boyfriend before that and honestly didn’t date. Take that in a moment… I sure have, over and over again.
So imagine I’m thirty eight now thirty nine and learning how to date at almost forty! I started the process when I was newly separated just to dip my toes into the dating pool. The first few dates were hilarious to say the least, I treated the poor gentlemen in front of me as though they were on a job interview. I quickly learned with no follow up dates that was not the way to approach this. I slowly started to learn a few things. One thing is don’t plan a dinner date on the first date, unless you want to be trapped for two hours if the date doesn’t’ go well. Second, you better be ready to date. You may meet someone great, someone special and if you’re not ready you’ve wasted your time and theirs as well. All which I learned quickly after three months of trying to figure it all out.
Next step for me was to retreat, to find peace and solace within. I learned about dating, what I didn’t want and what I was looking for. But I wasn’t truly ready. I was still one foot in and one foot out of the marriage even though we were separated. My head was in war with my heart. I still thought it could be fixed one day. So there was a little part of me, that believed we may get back together. So, I took ten months to be alone… no dates, no meeting anyone new and focused on me. I retreated into myself and learned about my heart, my desires and dreamed of my future, my second chapter or what I refer to now as my happy ending. I took time to say goodbye to my marriage, my dreams of what I thought my life was going to be like and laid to rest what was once my future.
I found love within, I began to heal and slowly I started to become a whole person not the broken person I was for so long. Don’t get me wrong, there are still those rare days I shed tears or feel broken but for the most part most days I feel pretty damn good. I realized I didn’t want a bandaid, I wanted to truly be seeking a life partner as a whole person. I didn’t want to still be crying every day or not eating because how can a deep relationship truly develop if I’m still in love and completely feeling shattered from my past relationship?
So after ten months of work on myself I realized I was ready to venture out back into the dating world. What I’ve learned about the blog and articles in my research is that everyone is ready in their own timing. I know my divorce is not final, it’s almost there. I also know our situation is not typical and is taking more time. What I do know is that the marriage was over a long time ago. Now people may have a problem with this and I am fine with that. Everyone must live their life as they see fit. I’ve also shared with my kids that I am dating. I’ve been open with them about getting married young and not dating. I feel it’s an important life learning moment for them. Skills to navigate what they want in life which includes a long term relationship when they are ready for that. I want my kids to know themselves first, and date for a long time to make sure the person they love is the right fit for them. I think it can also be beneficial to date many people so you know what you like and what you don’t.
What my kids have said… “Mom as long as he is kind and makes you happy, were happy.” There is no one in my life as this time I’m ready to introduce to my kids… that person will really have to be special and I’ll need to date them a long time before that happens. But for now, at least they know when I’m not with them I do go on dates occasionally and meet wonderful new friends. Introducing a special someone is something I’ll figure out when I have to cross that bridge.
This time it’s completely different. No more interviews, more natural conversation and honesty. No more holding back because I know what I want. This time my heart is open for more, for the right person. I realized to really start to date honestly, openly you have to have your shit together or most of it put together. You can’t be the best kind of person to a new partner if you’re not eating and crying every day because you’re still mourning over your past relationship. What I’ve also learned is that sometimes people come into your life for many different reasons and may help you in your journey. This is what has been the best gift about dating. What I’ve learned and continue to learn as people cross my path. I’m thankful for two people especially that I’ve met along the way. Both have really taught me things I may not have learned otherwise if I had not met them. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It’s a beautiful thing to be completely transparent with someone about your needs and what you are looking for in a partner. That’s the best part about dating now. People have learned from their mistakes and know what they want and not afraid to lay the cards out right away in our age group. Each new date I’m open, I don’t expect to find my life partner, I don’t have expectations that, this person is the “ONE” I just go and experience it for what it’s supposed to be. Online dating can be quite intimidating if you let it, or it can be a fun crazy ride where you meet some really awesome people. It’s all about perspective. I think I’m also ready to venture out from online dating and go with referrals… ha ha! I’ve joked about this to close friends, I need a dating referral service. Know of someone who may be a good match?? (wink, wink)
Whether I’m dating or not, the bottom line is to be happy and content within. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin took me some time but I’m there. I don’t need a bandaid, or another human to heal my wounds but I’m open to love, open to lessons and open to what the universe has next for me.