A problem I am having right now: even though I am feeling a very strong urge to be *doing* things to move toward the life I want to be living (specifically with respect to the building-a-family part of that), because I always feel less anxious about things when I am actively taking control of the things I can control, I also just, like, really, really (really) am not into the idea of dating.
Part of this is almost certainly that I just need to be nice to myself; I am still very much in the midst of healing from having my marriage end, and that is taking up a lot of emotional bandwidth, and it will tke time tomove through that.
But I also know that there has never been a time when the prospect of dating actually seemed exciting to me. It is just stressful to think about really, almost all the time.
To clarify: by ‘dating’ here I don’t even really mean ‘pursuing romantic relationships’ in general – actually hanging out with and developing relationships with people I like is great and not stressful. It’s the part where I go on first dates with people that I don’t know how I am going to feel about that I hate.
Ok, I mean, maybe most people hate that? I guess what I mean is more, like, it just straight-up doesn’t work, because that kind of dating doesn’t give me the emotional space I need to connect with people in the first place, somehow?
And I actually read a thing recently that threw thse feelings into relief for me. It’s a comment from this reddit thread:
Dating isn’t for everyone, I think. It definitely wasn’t for me. Friend-to-relationship is the only thing that’s ever worked for me
Which, like, this both does and does not apply to me. I don’t really need to have a developed friendship with someone first, and I don’t even think that’s the ‘best’ thing for me, but I kind of think that *all* of my romantic relationships (even with people I met on OKCupid) have come from a place where on first meeting the person, I wasn’t really looking for something romantic necessarily.
My first two romantic relationships were with people I had known for years. Then there’s my ex-spouse, who I met on OKC, but I wasn’t looking for anything serious at the time (oops). I had another short relationship with someone I’d known for years. I met another person on OKC (again, with a very “well, whatever” attitude going in). And my current boyfriend I met at party for a mutual friend.
…I don’t even really know what I’m saying here. The main point I wanted to make, though:
For whatever reason, reading the above quote suddenly made me give myself permission to reconsider the way I’ve been trying to think about approaching finding new partners. It’s ok for me to say “this approach doesn’t work for me”. That’s ok.
I hate that it takes someone else saying it openly and with self-acceptance for me to also accept that in myself, but it did.
Anyway, I think that for now I will be focusing my energies on doing things that let me expand my social circles and meet new people in non-dating contexts. And I’ll probably be taking even that slowly for now.
And I’m writing it down because I’m more likely to remember it this way.