Why can’t dating come with a roadmap??? Avoid this area, don’t go here and watch out for this….pretty please Universe. I’m back in the dating world and trying to do things differently this time around. Honestly, I’m not convinced that online dating works, but I will say this – it’s great practice. So here are things that I’ve done and highly recommend that you avoid if you value your sanity. If you tend to learn things the hard way (like me) just remember that you’ve got a compassionate friend here who gets it.
First, make sure that the person you’re going out with knows your general age group. I have heard that I don’t look my age and that I don’t act my age. I don’t know what a 40’s woman should look like or act like, I just know me. Me kind of figured that everyone knew my general age group. I didn’t think I needed to confirm my age, until a guy who ended up being A LOT younger than me. Like cougar younger. He was hot. He was also immature and a jerk. He made the comment about how stupid men in their 40’s were and how they all had ‘sad Dad bods’. Me: “Ummm…how old are you?” His reply put him 14 years my junior! OMG. I could have been babysitting him in high school. Maybe the age wouldn’t have been so much of a deal breaker had it not been for his negative comments about people in their 40’s. Now you may be thinking that at this point I set him straight about my age. Nope. I felt like grandma and was so freaked out that I just waited for the date to end. Then I very maturely ignored his calls and texts. Take that young whippersnapper!
My next lesson; alcohol and dates aren’t a good combo at this point in my life. Alcohol is that crazy friend who will make you say and think things that aren’t true. There is a reason the term ‘beer googles’ or ‘whiskey glasses’ is out there. Alcohol can’t rescue a boring date, it just drags out the inevitable. Since trying this ‘sober dating’ thing, I feel like I notice more than I ever did with a glass of wine under my belt. I may be a little more anxious and nervous, but I’m also not slamming my drink to get rid of the uncomfortable awkwardness that is dating. Sober dating isn’t for everyone. I completely get that a drink can help relax some people. For me though, I am really trying to be present, authentic and have found that I best represent myself without alcohol while dating. The bonus, those thoughts that I always tell myself, ‘DON’T SAY THAT’ don’t actually fly out of my mouth! The bad news for the guys, I’m probably intensely staring at them and analyzing them in a stalker type of way. The bad news for me, I can no longer blame alcohol for any of my questionable decisions.
Another lesson I’ve learned has to do with ‘love bombers’. They’re the guys that come on super strong and fast. They are all about YOU until they’re not. They blow up your phone with adoration and flirty texts and “can’t wait to meet you.” Then after the date goes well, they cool off. Think of the Titanic hitting the iceberg. That’s how extreme the cool-off feels. They still text you enough to keep you interested, but the initial infatuation and feelings they’ve shown are gone. You think the initially emotive person must still exist, but they don’t! I think ‘love bombers’ are all about the chase. There is no first gear into second gear – it’s first gear into 5th! The problem is that it’s like cat fishing- they’ve done it to you and dozens more waiting for someone to ‘bite’. It’s not real and definitely not sustainable. The positive feelings feel good at first, but they’re not real and based on nothing more than a well-orchestrated game. In my humble and slightly jaded opinion, love bombers are also narcissists. Daters beware.
Dating today feels like that show about being naked in the wilderness. No, I’m not naked dating, that would be weird and not my thing. Dating just feels like everything is out there and you’re stomping through the wilderness getting beat up with nothing to protect you. I 100% understand my friends that have given up on dating. At times I still want to throw in the towel on dating. I’ve joined and deleted dating apps all in the same day. Same hour. If I knew of a better way to meet people I would do it. For now, I’ll date and continue to share my awkward journey. Oh, and I’ve heard my blog also scares men- so I’ve got that going for me too. 😉