If you’ve been following my blog then you know that up until this point my stories have been those of an abusive relationship in which I lost myself and dissolved into a person I didn’t recognize. Those moments still pop up frequently and John is still an aggressive, angry man. But it’s been a year now since my divorce was finalized and in that year my story has changed more to that of a woman who is rediscovering herself. I will never be the person I was before John…. but that’s ok. I’m a new and stronger version of myself… and I’m only growing stronger each and every day.
My marriage was a marathon of loneliness. It was empty of compassion, intimacy and love… both in the emotional and physical sense. Despite this, my moral compass kept me faithful until the day our dissolution became legal. But you better bet that the first thing I did the day we were legally divorced was to begin my adventures in the dating world. I attribute a good part of my recent growth as a person to these adventures. I wish I could say that growth was a result of dating amazing people who renewed my faith in men…. but as you will read my growth has really been a result of meeting more of the wrong kind of people and learning how to recognize that they are not right for me and that I deserve better.
I have yet to find something more awkward in life that online dating. First you choose a few pictures that not only hide your love handles and double chin… but also show you have a fun side, a serious side, a humorous side, an intellectual side, a responsible side, a care free side… I don’t know how people can be expected to have so many sides! Once you choose the best pictures you can muster up, you then have to sum up your personality and interests into a little blurb to basically sell yourself to people you have never met. It was like being a used car salesman… only the thing for “sale” was me.
I had no idea at that point what to include in a profile. Interests? I had none. I used to have some …before kids…. but let’s be honest… my life stopped being my own the minute those kids came out of me. Every second of my life was (and still is) spent driving to appointments, going to dance, cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking dinner …. do those count as interests? I’m lucky if I get 5 minutes to go to the bathroom alone. I do enjoy that time when I get it though. Does that count as an interest? I wonder how “peeing alone” would come across on my profile. I barely remembered who I was as a person. How could I possibly explain it in a few words to a stranger?
Somehow I managed to put together a profile that was somewhat ok. Then the painful process of starting conversations with strangers began. Do people really enjoy this? Does it really work? How am I supposed to talk to a total stranger over an app on my phone for a few days and know if they’re worth my time and energy? Or if they’re even safe to meet up with?
I was surprised by the amount of people who reached out to me within a matter of hours. Within 12 hours I had already received 116 messages. Some of the messages were nice… some were vulgar… most of them just said “Hi”. I was not ready for that kind of interest or attention. I made it all of 17 hours before I closed that account.
A friend suggested I try an app called Bumble because it was easier to manage who you spoke to. Men could not send messages until I reached out to them. That seemed a bit better in regards to getting my feet wet so I gave it a try.
That is where I met the man that I went on my first date with and where my journey of learning why I tend to gravitate towards the wrong men began. I know you are sitting on the edge of your chair waiting to hear all about it, and trust me it’s worth reading. BUT… you’re going to have to wait until my next post ;-). To be continued….