Back into the World of Dating
The hiatus is done. I am back in the saddle and ready to reenter the dating world. It has been five years since my last relationship, and I used that time as a chance to get to know myself and what I wanted. I wanted to feel comfortable with myself and have the confidence that I wouldn’t lose myself if I entered a relationship.
My time away started as a weight-loss journey, and trying to figure out what I could do to become more attractive. As the years went by, I realized that I don’t have to change at all – I just had to become happier and more comfortable with who I was and who I am now.
So, the past couple weeks have been trying to find my “person”. Unfortunately, the majority of the population that I surround myself with are already married or engaged. My friends have told me that the single individuals that they know are either not mature enough or that there may be a possibility of meeting them. So there is hope! The other batch of my friends say that I should try online dating apps. I have tried pretty much all of the dating apps from years ago, mind you there are more now than before. But even so, I haven’t had much luck.
Online dating has become more mainstream and the way to find the significant other as well as friendships. People aren’t so shy to say that they met their love online anymore, like they were when online dating first came out. It doesn’t feel like such a big deal anymore.
Here is my thing in regards to dating online and on apps: people can say what they want and appear how they want through a screen and keyboard. Sure, they have pictures and profiles that allow them to describe themselves and their wants/needs, but that doesn’t say about how and who they truly are. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are the few that actually are looking for a relationship and are nice people. Again, though, its seems and feels so far and few between. It can make dating a lot less fun and seem more like work.
I am not trying to bad mouth online dating, as I am currently using it and have many friends who have had success stories of meeting their husband/wife on dating apps. I just have my reserves about it. Meeting people in person is just the same. Meet people and they can be just as good or just as bad. What I am going to do is just simply go with the flow. I know it sounds cliché, but it honestly seems like the best course of action for myself.
Because I took the time to get to know myself and figure out what I want, I feel that I have a bit of an advantage. I am not going to project past experiences on people, rather I will take what I have learned and use that to distinguish myself and create more of a narrowed search. I know that I tend to dive head-first into things, wear my heart on my sleeve, and become attached too easily. I know this about myself and I know now to take things slower and to take pause with my emotions. I am taking things a lot more casually and I am not holding up my hopes. I am telling myself, when it happens, it will happen. Don’t force it and don’t try to control anything, go with the flow.
My most important lesson that I have learned is: if the person is interested, they will take the time to incorporate you into their life. Do not spend time chasing after someone who is not willing to meet you half way. Make sure that they respect you and your boundaries and never, ever let them make you feel guilty or pressured into doing something that you don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable doing. Don’t become blinded by your feelings because you can miss all the “red flags” protruding like beacons.
This brings me to my next preaching moment. Be honest with people, don’t lead them on and don’t “ghost” them. Those last two are the worst feelings alongside rejection. If you don’t like the person, or just want to be friends, let them know so that they know and can move on and continue their search. There is no sense in dragging someone along by their feelings, and no sense in being dishonest. I know I greatly dislike confrontation and hurting others, but I know that if I don’t say something then the latter will happen.
So, in all this I take everything into consideration and hope to find my person. It may take longer, it may happen right away – it’s hard to tell. I am taking this in stride and hope that I will find them.
There are days where I love being single and days where I would love to have someone to come home to, to share moments with. I don’t want a relationship for the sake of a relationship, or because I feel it’s a competition or a race to become married and have a family. I am looking because I feel it is time for me to have someone. Someone that is supportive, encouraging and loving. Someone who will love me for me, and all of my perfect flaws.
Written by: Holly Lagrou