It was a Saturday late morning or maybe right around noon, well past the time for pajamas at any rate, and I was at the grocery store. I had to run out to pick up a kid from a friend’s house in the midst of my Saturday morning homework binge for the second time that day and realized I needed milk and a couple key ingredients for a cake I was supposed to make that afternoon so I swung by the store. No big deal. As I was walking in I noticed my reflection in the store doors before they slid open and I thought to myself “Yup, this is why I don’t get dates.”
I’m not a bad looking person but my over-sized, ratty hoodie & semi-pajama pants tucked into the tops of my clunky winter boots were not doing me any favors nor was my total lack of grooming (maybe not total, I did brush my teeth before going out). It’s not that I don’t care about myself or how I look, I do (really, I do!), but I have a very low level of caring about what other people think of me. Add that to never having enough time, running (late) in five different directions regularly, and often being sleep deprived…And, yup, I’m pretty sure this is exactly why I don’t get dates.
Truthfully I do get dates when I try. The two separate times I attempted online dating I got lots of attention. Some of it was even the kind I wanted and resulted in conversations and even a few dates. For a hot minute there back in January I actually thought I had a thing going with a guy I met online, like a dating-almost-relationship thing. It was pretty cool. Even though I didn’t go into online dating looking for a relationship I liked This Guy and we hit it off really well right from the start (I’m pretty sure he liked me quite a bit too). There were a lot of regular back & forth text messaging and phone conversations, and some good dates with only funny-awkward moments not bad-awkward moments. At one point I remember telling a friend that I was a little worried about how much I liked This Guy because surely he had a harmatia (basically a fatal flaw) and it was going to become apparent sooner or later and then I’d just be disappointed. This was the first time I saw possible future potential in a person I was interested in who was also interested in me. By long term potential I just mean the possibility of dating on the reg for an extended period of time. I’m not planning weddings or naming babies here, people. Been there, done that, got the
t-shirt divorce to prove it. No need to go back there any time soon if ever.
But then…dating This Guy fell off into the abyss. I’m not real sure what actually happened but I’m going to go with it was him not me. I think the craziness of my life freaked him out a little.
I have five kids and a lot of responsibility. I keep myself going 90 mph until I crash…then I pick myself up and do it all over again. That’s just the way my life goes right now. Yes, I realize some of this is my choice but I’ve got a lot to get done and this is just the way I do it.
So, even though the dude said he understood that I wasn’t looking for someone to jump in and really participate in my life, I think he got overwhelmed. I say I think because he kind of just got weird after having to cancel a couple dates (due to kid issues, which I totally get and was okay with)…
and then suddenly stopped. Yup, just stopped. But only (right) after he bought concert tickets a month in advance and then invited me to go. Seriously, the last conversation I had with him was via text when he asked if I wanted to and was able to go to a concert we had been talking about. He even sent me a picture of the tickets after he bought them.
Mixed messages much?
I was a little confused for a while. Clearly This Guy didn’t want to see or even talk to me anymore, but what about the concert tickets? Was he just going to pop back up in a couple weeks and be like “Hey, babe, how about that concert?” I didn’t think so but why buy them if he was already on the way out? Also, I really did want to go to the concert with or without him. I even texted after not hearing from him for a couple weeks and asked if he wanted me to buy the tickets off him. I got nothing.
After a bit of angry & confused ranting I realized this was a good thing.
It gave me a moment to really think about why I don’t get dates. Or, rather, why I get dates but then get The Fade out Why it seems like it’s good and then it just ends. It’s happened a few times to different degrees in the oh-so-short time that I’ve been dating and I can’t help but ask What am I doing wrong here?
Here’s what I came up with:
1) My initial enthusiasm is misleading.
When I meet someone new that I’m interested in and enjoy talking to I tend to “talk” to them a lot whether that be actual conversations or back-and-forth text sessions. I’m all like “Ohhh look, New and shiny!” and I get kind of caught up in that. Also, I don’t interact with many adults on a regular basis so this person becomes my new social outlet. Maybe that’s overwhelming to people…or makes them think I’m more needy than I am. Really I just want someone to play with.
2) I lose sight of what I’m looking for.
I got married when I was 20. I was married for technically 13 years and logistically over 11. I don’t really know how to date. Yes, I’ve heard you just do it and make the rules up as you go along, but I seem to fall into something exclusive and more serious minded way faster than I mean to. Maybe it’s habit. I know married dynamics, I don’t know what casually dating looks like from the inside. I really don’t want a relationship right now, I want someone to go do fun stuff with and spend time with on a semi-regular basis but the way I act when I start seeing someone might not be saying this. I’m not sure exactly how to make that different. It takes time to re-learn long term learned behavior I guess.
3) I really don’t have time.
On maybe the second date I went on with This Guy we were having a casual conversation about our respective limited post-divorce dating experiences. I mentioned that my lack time and availability was an issue in my previous attempts at dating. he immediately assured me that it wouldn’t be with him. Like me, he had gotten used to being alone, had other stuff (parenting, work, etc) going on, and enjoyed a certain amount of personal space so not being able to spend copious amounts of time together wasn’t a problem. A few more dates into it when things were starting to get a little more physical he made the comment that he didn’t want this to become just a physical thing and could see that happening due to the time thing. I think not having as much time or flexibility with my time made it weirdly intense way too soon which then makes it seem more serious than it should.
4) I date the wrong guy…over and over.
Every person dating, whether just casually or with hopes of finding “the one”, has a pattern that they tend to repeat. I’ve just realized what mine might be and can see how I really have been perpetuating it.
I’m not going to go into more detail than that right now because this is deserving of it’s own blog post methinks. Suffice it to say, I date the wrong guy…on purpose. It’s safe and familiar. But obviously it doesn’t work. I may need to convince myself that I do want something that can work.
So now that I see some of the things that might be standing in the way of dating success (whatever that means), what am I going to do about it?
Well, I’m going to take the lessons I’ve learned and try again armed with a little more self-awareness this time. …once this semester is done. I really am way too busy for any dating right now!
Oh and, in case you were wondering, I ended up getting my own concert tickets and going with my co-blogger (She blogged about it too). And I didn’t see This Guy there. Not that I was really looking. I just scanned,really, and it was a smaller venue. Pretty sure I would’ve seen him if he was there. Who wastes perfectly good concert tickets like that? Jeez!