Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

After life changes, when do you start dating again?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by avatar bondgirl 1 month ago.

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  • #716467 Reply
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    alafair

    I’m 41. When I was young I married quickly at 19, divorced when he cheated, and then met and married someone else within a very short time period. That turned out to be a nightmare of abuse for me that my children had to witness, and I vowed to wait until I was better before ever trying again. In the decade since my 2nd divorce I focused on my children – 2 of whom are in college now- my career, and fixing myself. I’ve had one relationship in that time frame but have been pretty happily single for the last 4 years.

    In the last 2 years I moved from one coast to the other, had a couple of health scares that led to surgery (had a tumor removed), and my best friend died unexpectedly. I don’t know if the sudden urge to consider dating is because of all of the changes in the last bit of my life, or if it’s something I should actually baby step into. I’m worried about how it will affect the youngest, who is 11 and has no memories of his mom dating. I’m worried about how the older 2 will take it, since they remember the abuse. I’m also worried because the last surgery was only 3 months ago, and that means I’m still changing physically. Is it even right to think about dating now, knowing that what I look like now isn’t going to be the same in 6 months or a year? (To be clear: tumor caused significant weight gain among other issues. My weight is changing rapidly now that its out. I feel so much better physically, but it’s quite unnerving to see so many changes so quickly.) Heck, I’m not even sure how to start going about dating if I do decide to. I guess my question is – when your life has been full of flux and just starts settling down again, how did you decide when was the right time to begin dating?

    #716468 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    What are you looking to get out of it?

    I would say, if you try it, just have *no* expectations. Other than maybe getting out once in a while and having a drink and some conversation. Dating has changed drastically for the worse in the past few years. It’s difficult and frustrating a lot of the time for everyone. If you’re looking for a happy-ever-after life partner, and would be adversely impacted by a lot of weirdness, rudeness, ghosting, and bullshit, don’t do it. With a poor track record of picking men, and NO idea what you’d be getting into with today’s dating situation, I kind of fear for you.

    I also think… you have a lot going on, personally, and also your kids probably need you around.

    Really examine your motivations for wanting to date and whether you’re strong enough to deal with a bunch of shit right now, and can afford to be distracted from your kids.

    (I’m your age, btw, met my husband 5 years ago online, it wasn’t great even then, and it’s gotten a lot worse). I mean, HE is great, and I’m lucky to have met him, but dating isn’t… I don’t know, *gratifying.*

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by avatar Kate.
    #716470 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Wait six months and reassess. As Kate pointed out, you don’t sound quite stable enough in your new life to risk the headache and heartache that is modern dating.

    #716477 Reply
    TheLadyE
    TheLadyE

    I agree with Kate and Wendy – honestly, you really have to have a lot of grit and determination to put up with how dire dating has gotten these days. I’m in my mid-30s with no kids and no major health problems, and it’s a hard slog for me. If you go into it with the expectation that you might meet some interesting men to pass an evening with and have a few nice conversations, maybe learn something about yourself and some other people, that will probably happen. I hate to say it, but if you go into it with the expectation that you’ll meet a life partner (which is the paradigm I’ve been operating unsuccessfully under so far), you will probably get very frustrated.

    Numbers wise, I’ve been on 23 first dates in the past 2.5 years. Out of those, only one turned into a relationship [over which I’m currently still heartbroken at its sudden end]. I’m still friends with some of the guys, and I have some great stories to tell, but it’s…tough out there. Go in with low expectations, for sure, when you do.

    #716510 Reply
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    TheHizzy

    @theladye I figured you were doing better since I didn’t get texts anymore 🙂 I hope you are!

    #716511 Reply
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    Janelle

    I totally agree with Wendy and Kate. You should get back into it when you decide you are ready. Dating these days is nuts. I avoid it. To the point that my family jokingly bought me a blow up man for xmas. I was equal parts embarrassed and amused. For sure ease in and go in with zero expectations. If you aren’t yet ready for zero expectations, which is so understandable, then wait a bit longer.

    #716514 Reply
    TheLadyE
    TheLadyE

    @thehizzy Thanks for asking 🙂 I’d say I’m *coping* better rather than *feeling* better. I am still really, really sad and disappointed. But I’m trying to channel all my energy into creative pursuits and my new church (and work) and I feel like those are good coping mechanisms for the foreseeable future. Definitely done with dating for a good while.

    #716539 Reply
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    alafair

    thanks everyone. I was leaning towards waiting some more, but I didnt know if it was because it’s simpler to keep life as it is or if it was because it was the right thing to do. I appreciate the feedback. Oh, and I’m not looking for any sort of fairy tale – a few productive years of therapy helped me put all of my childhood issues to rest – but eventually companionship would be nice.

    #716540 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I know, but honestly, even if you’re just thinking “consistent, nice guy to share life with,” I would drop that expectation. Not that it’s not attainable, maybe, but just… what you’d have to go through to find that.

    #716542 Reply
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    Miss MJ

    Where are places that people can go to meet people to potentially date that are not online? Not asking for me, but just from the comments in this thread and the awesome dating thread, it seems like a lot of the worst stuff comes from people that you meet online because its easier to consider a person just a picture or whatever instead of someone that knows people you know or is part of an organization you’re part of, so you would, at minimum treat them like a person. Is not doing online dating even still a thing?

    #716544 Reply
    Just Max
    Just Max
    Participant

    Sigh. I’m turning 40 this year and always backing out of even trying to start dating. Mainly because of what Wendy and Kate said, that it’s difficult and frustrating nowadays. And frankly, reading some of the letters people send make me think there is no point to getting into the dating pool at all.
    But I’d like to see some answers to Miss MJ’s question; where to go to meet people that are not online?

    #716545 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I don’t know, probably church is a big one, tbh. And meetups. Or at parties and events your friends invite you to.

    But the whole point of online dating is it gives you access to thousands of people you probably wouldn’t run into. And allows you to do some filtering before setting up a date, so when you do get dressed up and go out, you’re *meeting someone with potential.* At least in theory.

    I know online dating has gotten really bad, but it does have those advantages. My thing is, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to read up on it, figure out the system, and do it right. It seems like most people just jump into it with no idea what they’re doing, what’s a red flag, who’s a time waster, what to put up with and what not to, etc. So they waste a lot of time and

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