So, it’s official I went on a date this week with someone other than myself, and it was good!
I’ve made excuses for years about why I don’t date – “I’m not ready.” “I still have shit to sort through about myself.” “I don’t have time for that.” “I want to have it more together.” “I’m not about that life.” “I become a different person when I’m dating.” “I need to be more secure in who I am.” etc. Every excuse imaginable I have come up with and closed myself off to the idea of dating.
So, what changed? I don’t know….
I went to a Long Reads club this week, which is like a Book Club, but instead of reading books, you read long articles. We usually read about the holocaust, or gay people’s rights, or what the Torah (Jewish Bible) says about tattoos, but this week, I picked the article and topic, so we read an article published in Vanity Fair last year about “Tinder and Hookup Culture”- because hey, why not? I wanted to read it in this group with my peers as someone who has never been on a dating app and is pretty anti the whole dating app and online dating scene. I think it’s weird, and I’d rather meet someone in real life and talk than swipe through pictures and pick you out based on how cute your dog is and how tall you are- that just feels weird to me.
But lo and behold, a week later and I am on my first dating app and going on date(s)- yes, that is plural!
To my surprise, I feel more ready to date now. I’m not sure why. It has been a year since I started dating myself seriously and got engaged to myself, but I wasn’t really planning on dating when my year was up. I still wear the engagement ring as a symbol to myself that my wants and needs come first, and I have to do what’s best for me and what is comfortable for me. That is still very important to me. But as my 25th birthday is coming up tomorrow, I also feel it is important to try new things, challenge myself, and sometimes sit in discomfort, which dating tends to bring up a lot of in me. It reminds me of all the things I have been trying to avoid- like what men think of me, how I feel when a man is attracted to me, nervous energy, fears, excitement, basically any emotions- hah! I’m just kidding, but it brings up a lot- I see my insecurities, and I also see what I do and do not want in a relationship.
The guy I went on a date with last night was seven years older than me, which was very appealing to me, he was polite and kind, and asked me what I wanted. He was also honest and upfront with me about his situation. It was a very cool experience for me and taught me how I interact and how nervous I get. For now, this dating thing is a very good experience in being more self-aware. It also feels like good practice in going out with new people and trying new things. I have no goals or expectations and feel like for today, I’d like to be friends first before I enter into anything more. I’ve been joking, but it’s kind of like job hunting, and I’m not really looking to fill this position yet, but am open to the idea of having it filled one day should the right candidate show up with his A game 😉