Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dating for the Right Reasons...or not dating at all

So, here I am, single at 30 in 2006. Frightening. It is not the fact that I’m single that is frightening, it is the thought of dating that is. I’ve been single for several years now, so long, in fact, that I honestly can’t remember exactly how long. Three, four years at least. In that time I have gone on approximately 5 dates. I kid you not. But don’t start feeling sorry for me this is mostly by choice. In the beginning, after my last relationship fell apart, I took a self-imposed dating hiatus. I just needed a break from all the stress that comes with dating. I needed to concentrate on me for a while. Since then, I have had moments when I’ve considered getting back into the dating scene, hence the 5 dates or so. But all it took was one not so good (or horribly bad) date, for me to realize that perhaps, I wasn’t quite ready to get out there yet.

My last date, if you could call it that, as it consisted simply of going for a walk to meet for the first time in person (oh the wonders of on-line dating), was nice enough. And to be honest, at that time, I was thinking I might actually be ready to get back out there. Then after informing him he wasn’t going to get very far with me physically very quickly, I never heard from the guy again. Yeah, I know, what a loss, right? But again, at this point I stepped back and thought “not so ready for this crap after all”. This was last summer, I haven’t even thought about dating since then.

Until now. It’s a new year, I’m all about getting out there, doing things, enjoying life, having a life. So, I’ve been considering the possibility that I might, maybe, just possibly, be ready to try this dating thing again.

Then yesterday I ran across this article titled “Dating for the Right Reasons” by Laura J. Schaefer. I believe you can link to it here:

She says: But as you decide whether you’re ready to date, make sure you are doing it for the right reason: You have a full life that you’d like to share with another person.

Okay, that makes perfect sense to me. I do indeed have a full life, but do I want to share it with another person? That, is the question. So I read on, and she goes on to list “bad reasons to date”.

Pay attention folks, especially those of you who are constantly telling me that “maybe I’ll meet someone” every time I go somewhere.

Reason No. 1: Your friends want you paired off.

OH, you know very well who you are! You want me to have a boyfriend, so that we can do “couple things”. You think that because you’re so happy in your relationship, I can only possibly be happy if I’m in one as well. THIS is not true. And besides, when you call me bitching and moaning about your significant other, I’m thanking my lucky stars that I’m single.

Reason No. 2: You can’t stand to be alone.

Well, I can pretty much skip this one, because besides going to the movies, I freakin’ love to be alone. This might actually a problem, I might like being alone a bit too much.

Reason No. 3: Well, he/she asked…

This is not an issue for me on several levels. Number one, I have no problem telling someone no, if I’m not interested. Let’s be honest, if it’s not there, it’s not there, and I’m not going to go on an “obligation” date. Number two…nobody ever asks. I REALLY need to get out more, because I don’t ever really meet any men, so I’m not really giving anyone the opportunity to ask, nobody knows I exist, curled up on my couch with my tivo.

Reason No. 4: You’re “that age.”

AH yes…the “time is slipping away” and I’m going to be an old maid thing. Yeah…there is an inkling of that. Basically, I’m perfectly comfortable being single right now, but I’m not so sure I’ll feel the same way in 10 years, and won’t it be THAT much harder to meet someone then? So, the “I’m not getting any younger” concern does play a small role, but really, not big enough to have me searching match.com just yet.

Reason No. 5: You want someone to fix your life.

I’m not even really sure I understand this one, and if she’s saying what I think she is, this one just pisses me off. “fix” your life? WHAT? How exactly? I’m going to just skip it.

Reason No. 6: You want to further your career.

Laughable…do women really do this anymore? I think she ran out of reasons, and wanted to have more than 5 so she just threw this in for good measure.

So, there you have it. And really, I don’t think any of these reasons apply to me, so I suppose I could start dating. Maybe I should try to find a list of the “good reasons to date”. Maybe that would help me decide.

I can’t tell you what it is that has made me so disinterested in love and romance. I think romance is great, I think love is even greater, and I do want it for myself some day. But I think I’ve spent so much time on my own, enjoying my own company, that I have a hard time letting go of the inner (and outer) peace, to get involved in the dramatics that always ensue when you date. The does he like me, will he ask me out, what should I wear, why hasn’t he called, what did he mean by “I think you’re great”, how many dates before we’re exclusive, can I trust him, does he want kids, does he want to get married, do our political, moral, ethical beliefs mesh, does he burp out loud, can I put up with that, who is that girl calling his phone, why hasn’t he introduced me to his parents, do I even want to meet his parents…drama.

I don’t know. Part of me is screaming “NO, stay away, you don’t want that”. But then, there’s also the part of me that’s thinking that hey, sometimes, those things are fun, and they get your blood pumping, and your adrenaline rushing. And what about the “he likes me, he smiled at me, what should I wear, he called when he said he would, that kiss was amazing, he thinks I’m great, he wants us to exclusive and all that excitement? Yeah, that’s fun too.

It’s an interesting quandary I find myself in. To date or not to date. I suppose I should start by leaving the house. We’ll see where that takes me.
Oh, and don’t worry, if I do venture into the crazy world of dating, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted of the good, the bad, and especially, the ugly. OH, what fun we will have.


karla said...

Ack, dating sucks. You're so right. But the #1 most important reason why a girl SHOULD date is so she has someone to do the small repairs around her house. Makes it all worth the hassle!

dan said...

Hey, I'm a 26 year old guy, single a little less than 2 years now and it's so good to hear that I'm not alone in enjoying being... alone. heh. There needs to be more support for people like us: there is so much pressure from everyone to date and no one seems to listen or care when you try to explain "I'm just not ready."