I’ll just say it. The last time I dated there was no Facebook. There was no text messaging. I am old! There was online dating…it was new! But you still had to call people. There were still dating “rules” that included, among other things, not calling for at least 3 days. This was the appropriate amount of time to not look too keen but not look disinterested. Dinner was not a first date – too serious. You certainly didn’t have sex on the first date! This could be expected maybe around date 3 or 4, sometimes even longer!
Dating this time around is very different. Everything is instant. Instant messaging, often with the ability to see if your message has been sent/delivered/red and OMG THE HORROR – NOT REPLIED TO!
I’ve yet to meet someone who has shown a genuine interest in getting to know me rather than just get in my pants. Some of them I have let into my pants, because hey, a girl’s got needs too and sometimes the company and attention is nice.
But the one thing I have realised is that this time around, I don’t have time for bullshit. I don’t have time for “maybe that annoying habit will grow on me”. I don’t have time to settle for less than exactly what I am looking for. And I don’t have time to let people treat me like anything less than a princess. Which is what I’ve been letting people do.
The problem is, it’s not as easy as it seems. There are so many things, as a single parent in her late 30s, that have to align. Child-free weekends is a good start! If you have alternate child-free weekends, it is pretty much impossible. You know, unless you have really good babysitters or really understanding exes.
The next challenge is meeting someone who is on the same page and in the same stage of their life – moved on from the past and ready to settle down for the future. Anyone who just got out of any lengthy relationship is probably not really ready to embark on another. I know I certainly wasn’t. It’s coming up on a year now and I feel like I am finally ready to meet someone I want to keep around for a while.
Actually being attracted to each other is hit or miss. It would be easy to find a date online for every night of the week, and it might even feel like there is chemistry online, they look cute in their pictures, but rarely does this translate into real life chemistry (it did twice for me so far and I reckon I’ve been on at least 9 dates from online).
Then, finally, you have to have a similar level of interest in each other. One can’t be over keen because it scares the other one away (been on both ends of this one and think I am currently on both ends of it). I have met someone who ticks all my boxes and who I feel there’s a connection with, but I am not sure it is reciprocated. And I met someone who has flat out said that I tick all his boxes, but I already know I don’t feel that connection/spark. And while I know sparks don’t last, I think they need to at least be there at the start. Right? Or am I wrong?
And then after going through all this, I kind of think maybe it’s just easier/better to be on my own. I am a pretty cool chick, and quite the catch. I could do much worse than myself. And hey, my schedule will never conflict.