I have been around the dating scene for awhile now; longer than I would like or ever have thought I would be.
In that time, I have experienced my share of stories, and lessons.
I have felt hope, and had hope dashed.
I have felt connection, and then been pushed away.
I have been used, lied to, manipulated, and controlled.
I have been elevated, validated, and amused.
I have laughed, and smiled…I have had fun and have many good memories.
Along the way I have learned about me, about men, and about life.
As I move from date to date, occasionally relationship to relationship (no matter how short-lived), I try to extract from each experience a lesson that I can apply to the next one. And at each juncture, each new date or relationship, I secretly hope that this will be the last time.
I hope that this will be the last time I will have to introduce myself, have to remember what I put in my profile, AND have to remember what he put in his.
I dread the awkwardness of trying to connect:
- the butterflies in my stomach before I see him for the first time and process a quick match between what my imagination has concocted and reality
- managing the disappointment, or the elation
- the reminder to myself to keep an open mind
- the stilted conversation
- the effort of really understanding what he is trying to say while not reading too much into it all
- the uncertainty of calculating what is the “right” way and the “perfect” timing
- the fear that as I show myself for who I am that I will be misunderstood or rejected…maybe not now, on the first date, but sometime soon. Because it always seems to happen – eventually.
I resent the pressure that seems to pervade the process. Oh sure, I smile and wave and keep moving on down my own path no matter what happens; but, the pressure to be a couple with someone, to be one of two, to be a team is ever present and stifling at times. It makes it difficult for all of us on the dating scene to navigate new ground and be successful.
Most of all, I know now that I no longer need a man to complete me, to fill that void that was created from my divorce. I have grown and filled that void all by myself, thank you. Instead, I need a man to share “me” with, the “me” that has grown through divorce, and proceeded to grow more from each date, and each relationship of the past. Because it is the growth that has resulted from the trials and tribulations. The dating scene becomes a means by which to find the man who knows the same, at the same time and in the same place as me.
He is out there somewhere.
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