I have been divorced for almost two months now, but I have been separated from my ex for over a year. After being part of a couple for twenty five years, always having to consider someone else’s feelings, needs and schedule, being alone for one year seems odd. You forget what you were like when you were single. How you met people, what you did back then, what to do with your time without having to consult with another person.
What made you, just you, happy.
And let’s remember, online dating, texting and FB messaging didn’t exist when I was dating so long ago. We talked on corded phones, cell phones were just beginning, and had to hope to meet someone, somewhere, in person to be asked out on a date.
It’s a whole new dating world now. I’m like the ‘Man Who Fell to Earth’. An alien.
The idea of getting out there to date is not at the top of my to-do list, I’m still trying to get my future life together and take care of my kids so they don’t lose their minds while the ground shifts beneath them. But, I began to doubt myself after the holidays, now that the divorce is final, wondering if I was waiting too long to try out my new found freedom. I’ve heard of women dating while going through their divorce, not waiting, some getting married again within months of the ink drying on their agreement.
Married again? Are you kidding me? Let’s not get crazy.
But maybe I was ready to dip my toe into the shallow end of the dating pool? Maybe it would be good to see if I’m even “marketable” now that I’m single. I mean, it’s been twenty five years since I dated, and the goods are not as fresh as they used to be. Not to mention the “divorce twenty” that I’ve added to my waistline this past year. (that’s totally a thing, trust me)
The ads for dating sites kept popping up on my computer screen while I checked email, and I finally just had to know if there were actually single men, my age, that looked as good as they advertised “in your area!”. And would they be looking for a woman like me?
They can’t all be male models, can they?
On a whim, I clicked on the ad. I maneuvered around the site for a bit, not completely horrified not quite impressed, but still extremely curious. I texted two friends and asked what they thought. I’m not going into this alone or without a wingman, even if it is a virtual one.
I signed up for a six month membership, as I was coached by my experienced friend to do, because this will give me time to sort through the “crazies and scammers”. (That’s encouraging.) I made my profile and searched my laptop for decent pictures of myself. (Not to self: Get in front of the camera and not always behind it! I need to be in more pictures, that’s for sure. Should I use that photo from five years ago at the mudrun??) Time for a selfie or two.
I hit “done” and waited.
Suddenly…a wink. Then a “like”. Then a message. I was grinning like an idiot, relieved and excited. I was Sally Fields at the Oscars, “you like me! You really, really like me!” I responded to messages, did the flirty texting thing that I was way too out of practice with, and was getting more curious by the hour, by the day. I had a few “scammers” right out of the box – one looked like a male model. I think he was a catalog photo from LL Bean.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been on a couple of coffees and one lunch so far.
And I’m done.
Done. For now. The excitement I had in the beginning began to turn into terrifying reality. An uneasiness was creeping in with each message and text. A few of them are obviously looking for a real relationship, a life plan with someone. They were all nice, one or two a bit creepy, but…they kept wanting to talk to me. They wanted to see me again. They called me “beautiful” and sent messages first thing in the morning and at night before I went to bed.
What is wrong with these guys? Why do they want to keep talking to me and want to see me again?? Don’t they know that I’m a complete mess? I don’t have any friends, I’m a loner, I’m no fun and I suck the fun out of everything – at least that’s what I’ve been told.
Obviously, I’m not ready. And I’m okay with that idea. I’m more than okay, I’m glad that I know it now and the mystery has been solved. I was upfront and honest, sending messages to a few explaining that I’m just not ready and really don’t have the time (or brain space) to begin this journey. Then, I cancelled my subscription – five months ahead of time.
More therapy, more time alone and with my kids, more time all around before I consider it again. I’ve been a serial monogamist since I was 13, maybe it’s time to just be on my own and enjoy the peace, find out what truly makes me happy.
And then, maybe I will meet someone doing something or being somewhere I enjoy. We’ll talk and laugh and realize we have things in common. He will ask me for my number and we will talk on our cordless/cell phones to get to know each other better, and he will ask me out. We will take it one step at a time. I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.