This whole dating thing is not to find a life partner. Certainly not a husband – because I really like my own space and probably more so than most and although it’s great having visitors, it is also stressful having people stay under my roof. I appreciate the company, but it is not easy, so living with a person is not an option for me.
In fact, what would be perfect is a selection of male companions, platonic of course, with a different range of interests and attributes that I could share various aspects of life with. You know, the gardening guy, the camping guy, the opera & theatre guy, the dance with me in random places guy (yes I need you), the BBQ guy, the book guy, the fishing guy, the hiking guy, the lets jump out of planes and abseil down cliffs guy, the dinner party guy, the come play with me in the shed guy and a big teddy bear of a man who is happy for me to just curl up on his lap quietly in front of the fire. I could drill down and find more, but you get the idea.
So this dating thing is a lesson – well a couple of lessons really.
Two of my biggest problems are fear of abandonment and an inability to be superficial. Doc spends ages trying to teach me to lighten up, that it is not appropriate to stare intently into peoples’ eyes and question them on their most profound, private and most meaningful thoughts.
Thing is, that is all I am interested in, people’s hearts, souls and the farthest crevices of their minds. I can be light-hearted, I can be fun but only if I feel safe to do so – you need to get past the grilling first.
So why am I doing it over the internet? Isn’t that a scary and dangerous space? Well, yes, it can be. In fact, it is quite a brutal space and coping with that is what I need to learn.
Because rejection is rife in this space. It is competitive, people lack manners, ghosting is common, and borderlines simply do not cope with ghosting.
It’s my baptism of fire in the rejection arena. It’s only been just over a week, and well, my body is screaming, and I have been wearing the same outfit for four days. I shower and change my undies, but … yes being exposed like this is humongously stressful.
Putting together a profile, well I don’t know how many times I’ve changed that. I have taken probably around sixty selfies and hate every one. I look like I should be teaching at Hogwarts! I have aged so much since the HE rejected me. I’m grey now, and I have as many lines in my face as an elephant has in its hide. I feel as though I look at least ten years older than my age. That lack of confidence alone makes things difficult. Putting myself out there in a space filled with gorgeous women, younger women and women who are quite open to having a bit of fun and knowing I am not … I do feel that I should be put out to pasture and there are days when I just can’t handle being up there, so I just keep deleting my photo and replacing it with random objects.
The superficial thing is a problem for me too. Be light, fluffy, expressive and entertaining when talking about yourself. Yeah right. Light, fluffy, superficial and fun about myself? The whole describe myself and what I like is so difficult. I’m still not fully formed here – I don’t know who I am yet – I am still fluid in my identity. I could change it multiple times a day, vary my likes, my dislikes, my beliefs, my passions, depending on the last song I heard or the last contact I had with another person. The unstable sense of identity is a big problem in this space.
But I am here and swamped with options. This is where my lessons on superficiality come in. I have to make judgment calls based on other’s profiles knowing they are doing the same to me.
I still have the default ‘if you’re hot, you’re out’ knee jerk mechanism in place. Yes, I have always had a problem with good looking guys. If they’re stupid enough to approach, they don’t get a growl I shred them with my tongue after the first sentence.
Crazy, I like strong, confident men but the good looking ones know they’re good looking and can be cocky so my default is eviscerate on contact.
I’m sure there are genuinely nice guys out there who happen to be good looking, but I don’t give them a chance.
The so the hot guys get sent into the bin, and so apparently do smart, educated men. Why? Because I freak out if doctors, scientists and men who are highly educated with similar interests, beliefs and musical tastes show interest.
I’m me. How can someone like me possibly be attractive to a smart guy? I didn’t finish my degree. I loved uni and was doing well, but I didn’t finish, so I have no right to spend time with highly educated men.
This, I know, is another barrier I need to push through. But I’m not there yet.
Maybe a pic of myself in work pants, work boots, paint splatters and safety gear wasn’t the best idea … a lot of bearded blokes with Harleys seem to like me. And blokes with tattoos who are into heavy metal … Um … another group for the discard pile.
Musical tastes? Well if you are going to limit yourself to Acca Dacca and Barnsey … Nope. You need to talk to me with music, and if your tastes are that limited, there is no hope for us. Span the decades and the genres with me. Limited musical tastes limit you as a person.
Finally, there are the normal looking, intelligent but not overly educated men with kind eyes. Ok. I may talk to them. But wait, there’s a sadness behind the eyes there. Poor man! Oh dear, he has been badly hurt. He needs a hug. I need to adopt him. I then fight the urge to send a message and offer myself up as a surrogate sister or auntie – it is a dating site, not a do you want an auntie site.
Oh boy! I still have a long way to go on this dating journey!