When and if you decide to start dating again, you know the road isn’t going to be easy. It wasn’t easy in my twenties, why would it be easy in my forties? There will be times that it’s fun and there will times that it will hurt. This week it hurt, but here’s me trying to learn from the experiences.
Entering this world of dating apps, building profiles, and remembering which direction you’re supposed to swipe is all new to me. None of this existing the last time I was single.
I’ve learned that if I don’t feel a connection on the first date, I don’t need to go on a second. When I say it was fine that is code for, he’s nice but it wasn’t that great. I must repeat this one to myself, I don’t owe anyone a second date just because they are nice.
One person I went out with until I could sense it was starting to fizzle out. I suspected he felt the fizzle too. We weren’t communicating or making plans like we did in the beginning. Instead of calling a spade a spade, I put the ball back in his court and asked him how he felt about it. He told me no, that he’d just been busy lately. Then I never heard from him again. I never messaged him either, but I was correct the first time. In hindsight, I wish that I had told him that our relationship had run its course and that I appreciated the time we spent together. This helped me realize I need to be intentional with my boundaries and what I will accept.
Which brings me to my newest lesson. Until the last person, I wondered how ready I really was to be out in the world of the mingling singles. Everyone I met had mostly been just fine (so not great). Was I capable of caring about another person yet? In general, I really like sarcasm and use that to deflect more than I’d like to admit.
We dated about 6 weeks, we had fun when we went out, we (gulp) talked about our feelings, and texted when we our crazy life schedules didn’t allow us to see each other in person. It was all going pretty well from my vantage point, until it wasn’t. I received a seemingly normal text message last Monday morning to which I replied. Then nothing.
I checked in Tuesday evening. Nothing. Tuesday and Wednesday made me feel like a crazy person. What had I missed? Every time my phone dinged, I thought it was going to be him. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t. By Thursday, I realized I was allowing this person to take up too much space in my head. I enjoyed the time we spent together but unless he was in a coma there was no excuse for ghosting me like this. Even if he’s in a full body cast at the hospital he could still yell out, ‘Hey Siri – text Emily.’ Thursday evening, I sent a text to gain the closure I was craving. Even if he wasn’t going to reach out to me, I could still send a message from my side. I let him know that I had to assume he was ghosting me at this point, that it was hurtful and unnecessary, but I learned that I am capable of caring about someone else. Then I wished him well in his search for whatever it is he’s looking for.
Thursday night I finally slept well knowing I’d done everything I could have done. I was open, I was me, and I didn’t self-sabotage. If he doesn’t like me for me, that’s okay. I just have to keep my heart open until I find someone I can fart in front of, because that’s when you know you love each other.