Yes. I’ve been dating again. It’s proof positive that I am clearly not well. After all, my divorce isn’t even final. Never mind that my soon-to-be (or maybe not-so-soon depending on the length of the legal battle our attorneys wage) ex hasn’t spoken to me in nearly seven months. It’s been over half a year since he ghosted me. If being able to deal with being ghosted is a requirement to re-entry into the dating world, then I believe I’m as ready as anyone. I certainly have plenty of experience there. I’m not ready for relationship and I know it. My reasons for “dating” are not to pursue relationship so much as it is to provide a distraction from the loneliness and pain I’m feeling about the way my marriage has disintegrated.
There are many reasons people date after divorce, `or shortly before divorce as the case may be, without waiting that prerequisite one year. It doesn’t always involve seeking out “the one” or “looking for a relationship” or even “wanting to have sex”. Or maybe it’s only wanting to have sex and none of the rest of it. Maybe it’s all of the above or something else. In my case it is just something to do that is better than spending another Saturday night alone. For me, it is making the effort to fight off the depression and despair, to pull myself together and meet people and make friends. It is anything and everything besides wanting to be in a relationship or to have sex. Even I realize that level of trust and commitment is a long way off for me, so dating with a serious relational objective in mind is, for me, not even possible. I find I just can’t do it.
I have, however, dated (yes, gone on official dates) with a couple of people. One is a person I’ve known for many years. We met when we were both online dating. He was doing the coffee date thing with several people. We met, had coffee, hit it off, but someone else caught his attention more seriously than I did at that time and I was just really not that into him so things never went any further, but we stayed in touch over the years. When I relocated to this new city, I knew he lived in the area so I looked him up. He was unattached. I was lonely. We hung out. I made it clear from the get go that I was in the process of filing for divorce and was not legally available for anything serious. I also made it very clear going in that I was not emotionally available and I maintained this stance. I could and only ever intended to see him on a friendship basis and encouraged him to continue dating and pursuing other people. So, we hung out off on on over the summer and into the fall, until I got to the place that maybe we could entertain something serious and he decided he found someone else…again. (This has seriously happened between us several times now. It won’t happen again.). It was predictable. I was disappointed but only because now I had to face my evenings with myself alone. No distractions. Loads of pain, grief, anger and fear to process. I wasn’t disappointed that he found someone else who was more emotionally available than I, I was just disappointed that now I didn’t have that safety net of companionship to fall back on when being alone in a new city became a little more than I could bear. We aren’t a good fit romantically, and I know this, but we do have fun together. He did help me through the transitional months of adjusting to a new city and his knowledge of the area was incredibly valuable in helping me get to know my way around here quickly. Sometimes it just helps to have someone with insider information show you around. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.
Last night, a Friday night, he contacted me and invited me out. I couldn’t go and said so. I wasn’t making excuses. It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I have my children around me and there’s no way I’m leaving them. But he invited me out. This must mean his relationship didn’t work out. I find I’m feeling disappointed on his behalf if I’m right about that. I certainly do wish him the best, but he is solidly in my “friend camp” forever now. Though we were never intimate, I’m very clear that we never will be. Even so, I feel I’ve had that transitional relationship and can move on, even if moving on means moving on alone.
The other guy I went out with, I went out with only once. You’ll soon understand why. In order to get to know people in this area that are outside my circle of work associates, I have decided to join some interest groups on Meetup.com. I enjoy book clubs, writing, photography and cycling, hiking and exploring new venues around the city when I can. I thought this would be a great way to get to know other people of similar interests. My goal is NOT to meet men, but to meet other women that I can hang out with or go to coffee with so that I’m not forever doing these things alone. I can do all these things on my own and I don’t hesitate to do so, but I’m tired of it. More and more I just stay in because I don’t want to go somewhere alone again. That’s also not always healthy, so I felt meeting some other people and making friends would be a step in the right direction.
One such meetup I went to was a group of people who wanted to meet together at a local dive pub to listen to a local band that apparently was pretty good. I RSVP’d yes, dialed the address into my GPS and headed out. The pub was typical dive bar small and not fancy, but the place was packed and the band was good. It took me a little bit to find the group I was looking for. My first reaction was, “I think I’d rather stay home.” I ordered a drink and some food because I hadn’t eaten and sat down to see what adventure would unfold.
I introduced myself to all six people. One man in particular was funny and polite and asked me to dance repeatedly. I had fun. He message me the next day through the Meetup group site and we exchanged numbers. He invited me out to lunch for Saturday the next week. We set the time for 1:00pm. As the time drew close, I mentioned that I was going to need to push back to 1:15 and he texted back suggesting we reschedule because he had plans to do something at 2:00. Okay, who plans a lunch date and only allows an hour? “Sounds great,” I texted back, shaking my head and dismissing him instantly.
But he immediately texted back and arranged a time for us to go to lunch on the following Saturday. So Saturday arrives. I’m dreading this, even though he’s a nice enough guy. I text him as I’m on my way there, “Hey, I misjudged how long it is going to take me to get there. I’m enroute but will be about 10 minutes late.” He texts back “See you in a few.” I was half hoping he’d cancel again. But he didn’t.
I arrived at the restaurant. It was Indian buffet. I walk in, he waves to me from the table and I head toward him. As I near the table I notice that instead of waiting for me to arrive, he’s already made it through the buffet line and is halfway done with his meal.
“Oh, you’ve already started?” I made no attempt to hide my surprise.
“Yeah, I was really hungry. I haven’t had anything to eat today.” He responded without pausing in his consumption of what turned out to be a great Indian cuisine. We chatted politely. He suggested driving into the city to check out the market. I went along with the idea, but found myself wishing I’d just gone in to the city alone. We hung out for a couple of hours then parted ways. I haven’t heard from him since and I’m not disappointed. I mean, if he can’t even wait ten minutes for a meal with someone I would imagine you are trying to put your best foot forward for, what on earth would sex with that man be like? I just can’t even.
Posted on November 27, 2016, in Dating, Divorce and tagged dating, dating after 40, dating after divorce, dating disasters, dating during divorce, deciding not to date, Miz Insomniac, mizinsomniac, Sex. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.