Who’d have thought dating could seem so much like, well, hard work?
Now, the obvious point to highlight from the off is that I can only speak
for myself; if Brad Pitt or, errrrrrr, Harry Styles somehow found themselves on
Tinder or Plenty of Fish, chances are it might not be much of a chore. But, for this 40 something from Middlesbrough,
it ain’t easy I can tell you. Even for a
Brian Cox lookalike….
In the first flush of single life entering the brave new world of
online dating (well, new to someone that has been in a relationship for 19
years anyway) the overriding sense was one of excitement and possibility. And, in spite of an odd detour (see here for
gory details: http://4d74.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/dating-bloody-hell.html
my first experience of online dating – where I met a wonderful woman very
quickly - turned out to be far from representative of the reality of seeking
your perfect partner online.
Now, cards on the table time – I’m a bit weird. Although I’m not detecting many sharp intakes
of breath here let me explain what I mean by that: I’m not interested in casual
relationships and one night stands. I
know I know I’m a bloke but what can I say, faulty wiring I guess.
I’ve always been the same, I prefer to get to know somebody and want to
meet somebody that I can really connect with, someone that I can laugh with as
we navigate life’s ups and downs together.
Someone whose presence in my life makes me a better person and brings
out the best that I have to offer. So
you see, basically I’m soft as shite.
Anyway, so far she’s not on Tinder.
Or Plenty Of Fish. Or OK Cupid…
Hell, I’m getting depressed just typing those out. And really, I didn’t do too badly I
suppose. I met around 8 or 9 people for
dates, and there were others that I was talking with that could have lead to
dates but didn’t for one reason or the other.
One week I had dates with 3 people planned. To many that might sound great.
But you know what? It isn’t.
Well, not for me anyway, because it’s not about numbers, it’s about
meeting somebody that’s right. And that’s
harder than I guess I thought it would be.
Don’t get me wrong, I met nice people.
I don’t have any dating disasters to speak of. And I’m glad for the experiences that I’ve
had – in the end you learn from them and when one day in the future I am with
that special person I expect I will appreciate her all the more.
But when you are looking for that special someone, especially at a
relatively advanced age and after nearly 9 years of marriage, it can all get….
dispiriting. The dating treadmill has
tired me out. And not in THAT way…
There are only so many times that you can get to know somebody new,
only so many times you can go on a first date, only so many times you can have
the same conversation with different people… And, there are only so many photos
of 40 something women pouting – or suffering the effects of drinking vinegar - that
I care to see.
Dating in your 40s isn’t straight-forward, particularly for single
parents where finding a mutually suitable time to arrange to meet can be
difficult. One of the things that has
shocked me is just how many women with children have ex-partners that see their
children very little if at all, and through the father’s choice. No love is more special than the love between
a parent and child and walking away from that is something that I can’t get my
head around at all. Seems Candi Staton
knew what she was talking about:
“Love only breaks up, to start over again
You’ll get the babies, but you won’t have your man
While he is busy loving every woman that he can….”
Who knows what the future holds?
Being single has its plus points but ultimately I know what I want. I don’t need a relationship to make me complete
– I’m complete as it is (and for any Blankety Blank fans out there, by all
means fill in the blank – ‘I’m a complete ……..’).
But for me life is richer when it is shared with someone special, with
somebody that you know will be there for you no matter what, somebody with whom
you can share both the good and the bad, growing closer through each. Somebody to whom you can give the very best
One thing I’ve learned – this can’t be rushed. It will happen in its own good time and in
the meantime I’m striving to learn the things that this – my longest period of
adult singledom – has given me the opportunity to learn. Lessons about myself, about what I want in
life, and what I want in a partner.
And whilst doing so, to appreciate the virtue of patience, of allowing
things to happen when the time is right.
And, to quote my favourite band, Suede:
“When I start my, new life,
I won’t touch the ground.”
Soundtrack: First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes
Labels: Brian Cox, dating, divorce, internet dating, online dating