I’ve been thinking a lot about dating lately. I’ve been single for much of my adult life and I am not one of those people who finds casual dating to be a ton of fun. I’ve read articles that say Have a good time with it! Dating is supposed to be fun! At least you’re getting a free meal! When you find the right one, you’ll know! etc. For me, dating is and always has been a means to an end (marriage). I’m not in it for a free meal—and honestly, I think that is a terrible way to market it. Am I wrong in thinking that it sets us as women back a couple decades to assume we’re that hard up for a fancy dinner? I mean, I sincerely hope that if you’re ready to find the love of your life that you can already support yourself financially…? Maybe that is not the way some people look at it, but it’s the way I look at it.
I am registered on a dating website right now, and more often than not, I see this kind of opener from men:
Women!! What are you really looking for? So many expectations! I need a man to be like this and this and that. You need the financial security. You need the man to write a paragraph message cause hi, your beautiful, hey how are you, isn’t good enuf. Gotta have purfect spelling and grammur. Lol. Your obviously not looking for True Love. True love has no expectations. The richest person is the happiest person. The richest couple is the happiest couple. You never know when the chemistry is going to explode. If we did we wouldn’t be on here. (Username omitted to protect the sexually frustrated)
But…as a woman who has searched high and low and not yet found “my kind of weird” in a partner, I have to say that it is imperative that I trust my gut, and if that means a hundred first dates a year, then so be it. I think that some people are assuming that because I’m taking my time and going on so many dates, that I’m blowing through dozens of perfectly good guys. Maybe she’s not willing to work at a relationship. That is not at all the case. I’m very aware that relationships take work, but they have to start with a strong foundation first, and that means going on lots of dates, and it means allowing myself to be picky.
Unfortunately, online dating is not necessarily helping me in the way that I want. It’s like someone gave me a catalog of shoes and said, “One or more of these will fit perfectly. Some will not fit at all. A decent amount will do the job. Take what you want!” I was hoping to narrow down my choices…now I am getting choices I never even knew I wanted! I’m seeing the ones who are offering a financial free ride (but you can’t leave the house without their permission), I see the ones who have great grammar and spelling (but are looking for a leather-whip-loving-submissive-bottom-fetishist in the bedroom [Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s just not my thing.]), and of course I see the ones who set me up for what seems to be a great guy, but ends up having so many red flags he’d get kicked out of a soccer game. What’s a fabulous single girl to do? I guess I keep trying them on until I find the one that’s juuuuust right.
The truth is that I can’t wait to give my whole heart to someone. I can’t wait to hear a love song and feel the same way that singer feels. But I am willing to wait, because what I don’t want is to see myself down the line marrying husband number two because I rushed into the first one when I felt a little insecure. I realize no relationship is infallible, no matter how hard you try, and that I can’t control everything in my life, as much as I’d like to, but I am thankfully in charge of who I marry, so all I can do right now is keep on clickin’ and know that I am loved, husband or not.
I found this article written by Dr. Christiane Northrup today on my Facebook scroll. She is always an inspiration to read, but this post in particular struck a very sensitive chord with me. It began with her describing a workshop with Jill Rogers that started like this:
Jill started the workshop with a ritual in which she looked deep into each of our eyes and said, “You are whole, complete, and lacking in nothing.” Tears welled up in my eyes as I felt the truth of this statement from both a soul perspective and as a deep sadness because I still hadn’t found the love (spelled MAN) I was looking for in my life.
I pride myself in being incredibly independent, but there are times when I break down in sadness because I feel I am lacking something in my life. These times may feel like despair at the moment, but actually I think they are a choice made by my body to acknowledge my emotions, which is a very good thing. So often I lose myself in my activities and other people, and while they are truly a blessing for my body and soul, I recognize that there is a part of me that uses them to avoid facing the emotions inside of me that are not so happy-go-lucky.
In the moment that my feelings overwhelm me, I have to remind myself that this is healthy. This is a part of my journey. Life is built on all experiences, not just the good ones. It is a comfort to me that others are on a similar journey, and their words help me work through the sadness by facing it and not running away, as well as by giving me inspiration for new paths.
I will never stop learning. I will never stop building on this life. I will never be completely satisfied with the whole. This is what makes me human, it’s what pushes me to be great, what pushes me to keep looking for more. I love sharing my journey with my tribe, because connection with you is one of the most important parts of my foundation.
I urge you to read the post in its entirety, whether you are happily in love with a significant other or looking giddily forward to what the universe has in store for you next.