We’re a third into summer and already I’m taking a break from dating. Actually, I tend to go back and forth – I set up an online account and maybe I connect with someone. And maybe it lasts a few months and then I don’t want to do it anymore. So I will spend some time alone and then I get restless again, and want to go out and do things, preferably with a companion. I’m never quite sure what is being ready.
In May and June, I decided to keep an open mind and just meet new people. I love meeting new people, and meeting new men is especially fun because there is that potential for something more. But I found I started freaking out again about hurting people accidentally. I know I have to get over it, and it’s probably just another layer of getting used to the idea of being in love with somebody new. Even though I left my marriage only a couple of years ago, it’s been more than that since I really loved a man.
I also forgot that I have a lot of plans this summer. A trip to Austin for work in July, Las Vegas in August, San Francisco in September. Then fall will be upon us. So sometimes I wonder if my life is even really conducive to dating.
I was idly reading through one of my books this weekend, “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay.” It’s a relationship book, obviously, but it was really helpful when I was deciding to divorce. There were a lot of similarities between us, which is why it worked for so long – and yet, I can’t say I regret the divorce. I get lonely sometimes, but not to the point that I wish I was back in it. We were good parents together, and thankfully, that is still true. He had a few of the key things I look for – smart, a good wit, good character – and yet it wasn’t enough. For one thing, I was never enough for him. It’s terrible to basically feel like a bad person because no matter what you do, you will never make the other person happy. And it’s terrible to work on your own happiness and the other person thinks it’s a waste of time. So the things I thought I knew about who would be a good match for me turned out not to be true.
But the other part was intimacy and emotion. I think most of my friends would say that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and with friends, it’s pretty true. But love for me is a slow road, it’s not because I am afraid to trust, but a person’s true being is only revealed with time. And the sex part – well, that can be fun without being deep. After all, it can be fun by yourself too – but it’s not particularly meaningful. In my marriage, I wasn’t sure what I wanted or what I needed, and so to keep up my end, I almost had a mental checklist. I initiated this many times a week, and now I can check off that part of being a good wife. It was fun and I also did it to make him happy – but it didn’t connect me to him as it did him to me. And I knew, I absolutely knew, that when the sex ended, that would be end of the marriage. So if I just kept up that part, it meant we were still okay. Except that we weren’t, and doing something I didn’t want to do, pretending the part of the good loving wife then I just wanted to curl up and die, lying to myself so I could pretend I wasn’t lying to him – it strangles you slowly inside. I could not accept that I no longer loved him. I could not accept I would be the kind of person to seek divorce. I thought I was a bad person, a horrible person really, that would love someone and then. . . not.
And yet, I have been genuinely surprised and touched with my dating experiences. I meet really interesting and really good people, and so my takeaway is that I must be somewhat interesting and good myself then. . .:). But yet I am not sure what a good match for me is. So taking some time to just let go and come back to it later seems like a good plan.