“Dating is pressure and tension. What is a date, really, but a job interview that lasts all night?” ~ Jerry Seinfeld
Yesterday, a friend of mine posed the question on Facebook asking if people would accept a date from a potential suitor, if he sent the invitation via a text message. This sparked a lively debate between those who would accept the invitation and those who would decline the invitation, based solely on how the invitation was issued. Never one who is at a loss for words and one who is usually up for a good debate, I weighed in with my response, “If I ever get asked out, I will let you know.” Then, today, another friend of mine asked if I were dating anyone and smiled sympathetically when I said, “No; I’m not, but it’s okay”, and I suddenly felt the need to reassure her about my single status.
It has been almost a year since our divorce was finalized, and if I had a dollar for every time I have been asked if I am dating anyone yet, I would be wealthy beyond words. The last time I was asked out on an official date was by my ex-husband when we began dating in 1990, unless you count the two good ‘ol redneck boys who were buying a carton of cigarettes and a case of beer at a local gas station a couple of weeks ago. As I got ready to get back into my car to leave, one of the men yelled to me from across the parking lot, “Hey, do you wanna party with us?” I smiled and politely declined, and he responded, “You can’t blame me for trying, can you?”, before heading off to party the night away. Blame him? After 22 years, I wanted to thank him!
During this past year, in addition to being asked the dating question repeatedly, I also have been the recipient of enough unsolicited dating advice from well-meaning people in my life to write endless volumes of books on this topic. The advice has ranged from “You need to get yourself out there and meet some men” to “You need to focus on yourself and your kids and forget about dating for now”. My tell-it-like-is college roommate took a different approach by stating matter-of-factly, “I think you’ll be alone the rest of your life.” I have seen friends find true love via internet dating sites, blind dates, reuniting with ex-girlfriends/ex-boyfriends, and chance meetings, and I have seen the loneliness of friends who long to date and fall in love, yet they have not made that special connection with someone. I also have witnessed those friends who have survived horrible dates and who have mourned the end of dating relationships. So, with all of the things I have seen and over the past 12 months, in addition to my personal experiences of dating back in the day, I should be more than ready to date, right? Are you or can you ever be truly ready for dating, though?
I thought dating as an awkward teenager was tough, but it pales in comparison to even the thought of dating as an even more awkward adult. Things have changed for the better and for the worse in the dating world with the additions of social media, cell phones, texts, and other modern forms of communication and stalking. Suddenly, you can find out a treasure trove of information about a date and vice versa, and you can be courted, judged, and rejected in a variety of forms. As if dating in the real world weren’t already complicated enough, now you have to navigate cyber space and a host of other modern-day situations and dilemmas. I am exhausted just thinking about dating, much less actually doing it.
That said, I am not opposed to dating, but I am not sure that I am ready for it, either. I know the relationship I would like to have with someone and the qualities and characteristics I want in a partner, but I don’t know that I am ready, willing, and able to go through the rigors of dating to find who and what I want at this point. Without knowing how I am going to get there, I have a very clear vision of the life I want to create and enjoy with the person who is right for me, and I am going to trust my intuition and heart to guide me toward that vision. In the meantime, in case you’re one of the few people who hasn’t asked me yet, no, I am not dating anyone, and it really is okay. I take that back; it is more than okay actually, and so am I.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story