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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dating Game...

I hate dating.  Okaaay...I don't hate dating.  Because dating can actually be a lot of fun.  I've met some really nice guys recently--and had two dates with one of them last weekend, and I've already made plans for a date with another for a week from Saturday! What I hate is the "predating" ritual that we put ourselves through--when our self-esteem is really tested, and when the way we feel about ourselves can really help us or hurt us.

When I got married in 1992, I thought I was done with dating.  And then I got divorced.  I dated a little between the time of my divorce and the time I moved to NC.  There was a long-term relationship that was also long-distance, and like most long-distance relationships, it fell apart.  Then, in 2008, I met James, eventually got engaged and again, I thought I was done with dating.  (I've got to stop thinking that!  It seems to curse me! lol)  

I don't know how people meet other than online, which is where I've met the three guys I'm talking to now. (Yes, there's a third, but I'm not going to talk about him now!)  If you've never gone to an online dating website, I recommend that you check it out, if for no other reason than to realize how much work it is!  Most websites ask applicants to complete a rather lengthy application and find matches through complicated algorithms.  

The online applications are complex, but the real work begins when you actually make a connection.  There's the challenge of making small talk.  There's deciding what to wear.  There's deciding where to meet.  And then there's the self-doubt.  Is he going to like me?  Am I pretty enough?  Young enough?  Thin enough?  Smart enough?  These questions used to plague me.  I never felt attractive enough.  I always felt overwhelmed by self-doubt.  Today, I am less so, but it does still haunt me.  On one hand, I think I'm a pretty good "catch"...I'm attractive, smart and thinner and happier than I've ever been.  But on the other hand, I have spent the bulk of my life fat and feeling very undesirable.  And old habits definitely do die hard.

Yes, dating is scary.  Really scary. But I'm still out there--trying different guys on for size, hoping to find one that "fits".  If nothing else, I'm seeing some good movies, eating some good food and having some good laughs.  I may or may not have found "the one", but at least I'm out there looking.  Are you?

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