After my last disaster of a relationship (realistically its been the last two but who’s really counting?) I decided to go on a hiatus from the dating scene. It wasn’t more than a few weeks into my celibacy that my close friends were adamant that I get myself out there again. Never being the type to rebound date it took me months to really even contemplate going out one on one with a guy. Five months later I woke up one morning thinking to myself that maybe I was now ready to go out and at least mingle with the opposite sex. As I went out with friends I began actually looking at the strangers around me, wondering “what if”? Not many peaked my interest. Those that did were either already locked down, lived long distance (not doing that again), played for the other team, or after a moment’s conversation just wasn’t meant for me.
On a random night, while my amazing roommate and I were having a glass (or two) of wine by the pool deck, he decided to try to bring up the whole “dating app” scene to me. He already knew that I was never a true fan of making up a profile to try to “find love”. He always poked fun at the way that I was set on finding the man of my dreams organically. This night however he decided to give the topic of conversation another try and this time I was more open to listening. He listed cons but his pros outweighed them. In his eyes it was the most obvious answer to what he called my dilemma. As far as I knew I was in no dilemma. Being single was good for me. It was only random periods of time in which I really craved having someone again. But like any other craving, as quickly as the wave would come, it would then again go. His advice wasn’t one I took seriously until there came a moment of sheer boredom.
On this particular night I had been extremely bored. I wasn’t in the mood to write or read ( I know! Can you imagine?) nor was I in the mood to binge watch Netflix or anything else that I had been using to combat time. I decided to open up a dating app and see what actually resulted from it. To be quite honest, coming up with the profile was to me the fun part. Answering profile questions, setting up a summary of yourself, pictures, ect.. that was all fun to me. The moment I hit the button to actually activate my profile was exactly the moment the anxiety crept in. Within just a couple hours I had 663 potential “matches”, a list of people who liked my profile and wanted to chat. About 400 of those people messaged, most messages being one liners like, “Hey mami..” or “Hi there beautiful. Wanna chat?” There were quite a few creepy messages, explicit and very to the point in what it was they were desperately searching for. I decided that instead of me sifting through all the crap, I would just scroll through and I would message the ones I was mostly interested in.
I was active on the app for about 2 days total. I personally messaged two guys and have since then gone on two dates with one of them. The other has been really trying to convince me to “allow” him to take me out but I haven’t been motivated to do much more than a little messaging here and there. Both great guys, yet neither have me feeling comfortable enough to join the “official” dating scene again the reason having nothing to do with them, and all to do with me.
Its been weeks now since I have discontinued my profile and I have officially stopped looking for a special someone to meet. Instead what I’ve done has been much soul searching and trying to understand exactly where I am at this point in my life and what I really want for myself.
My findings are honest and real.
Simply put, I am at a point in my life in which I want to be completely and utterly selfish. I enjoy spending time with myself focusing on the things I want to do and the things that make me happy.
I want to think that due to all the newness in my life these last few months (real single-hood, new home, new job, new friends, ect..) I have come into a new self. A revamped and upgraded version of me. I got rid of all that was weighing me down and it has only been just recently that I have found balance in this new life I lead. Changes as small as choosing who to keep within my inner circle or as big as taking a better job but with a slight pay cut affect who we are, how we live our lives, and what priorities we set in life. For the past few years I have sacrificed a lot of the things I’ve wanted to pursue or do because I place the importance of others and what they might think or say above my own needs. I relocated to a new city solely for a significant other (do not recommend it), I have quit jobs due to other’s disapproval of it, I haven’t taken travel opportunities due to a boyfriend at the time not “liking” the idea of them not being able to come along. Since being single, really single, there has been no one to answer to or keep in mind. If I have money to take me out, I do it. I choose where I go, who I invite (if any one at all), I decide how long I stay out for. If I decide to stay in whether due to wanting or needing to, I decide how I spend my time. There is no me feeling guilty because maybe I chose to go into my room to read a book. When I get ready to leave the house, I get ready for myself. I don’t get anxious about where I’m going, who I’m going to meet, what I should wear, will I say something stupid and embarrass myself (I mean it’ll happen, but I don’t care if it does.)? I don’t have to worry about meeting a guy’s group of friends and then their family (Will they like me? What if they don’t?) My days and nights are carefree and genuinely happy. I daydream of places I want to travel to and not of those places I’m compromising to see. I am not living out anyone else’s dreams, just my own.
I thought I was ready to hit the dating scene but now that I have dipped my toe in the water testing it, I know that I’m not. I have friends that tell me that maybe I’m overthinking it. “Just let them wine and dine you for fun… a free drink and some dinner never hurt anyone” but to me I don’t see the point. To find new friends is great and I’m always open to it, but to date for the hell of it, simply for a free meal and drinks? To me, that’s not only a waste of time but also asking for bad karma. To me that’s leading people on, taking advantage of their sincere interest in me in hopes for a future together. Instead I rather tend to go on dates only on the rare occasions in which I have money. That way I feel no guilt or any obligation. Being Miss. Independent I never want to leave myself at the mercy of others. I like to be able to contribute for half the check or at the very least, the tip. Yes, most times a man won’t take a penny in the name of good ol’ fashion chivalry but this lady also understands the meaning of hard earned cash and will be damned if she uses a man for a meal ticket.
There was promise with the one I went out with from the dating app, but my current financial situation hindered me a bit. One of the very first things he mentioned to me while on our first date was how he highly believed in financial equality within a relationship. Right now, what I can afford to do between paychecks is very minimal so for me that was just another sign as to why I should not be dating at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, he was quite the (handsome) gentleman and would always offer to pay for any date we planned for but if I’m not comfortable being able to hangout with someone due to personal financial reasons, then the simple fact that I feel uncomfortable is enough to deter me from moving things forward as an item. To be totally honest, this is probably residual trauma from the last relationship I was in where monetary issues ruled every important aspect of our lives from the very beginning. It left one hell of a sour taste in my mouth and therefore I always swore to myself that I would never allow money to play a major part in any of my relationships again.
The idea of dating to me signifies much more than a meal and a means to kill time. I’d like to eventually find that person to share and build with. We can make memories and be support for one another through our future stages of life. I look to add to their life and they add to mine. A solid friendship that’ll endure the test of time. A friendship in which we both can be comfortable in being ourselves and where we don’t impose unrealistic expectations upon one another. The compromises we would make would be out of genuine care and not because you feel as though you “have” to. I’d like to find that one who will make me smile and laugh much more than cry and stress out. One who I could do the same for as easily as it is to breath. I believe that in life, if you do not settle for anything less than what you hope to have, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. I believe that eventually it will happen and “eventually” works for me. Until then, I will continue to live my single-hood happily and in peace.