What limbo feels like
Hi folks, it’s been a while since I posted, but I have been a silent reader all that time. Your wisdom and advice never fail to give me comfort
It’s been two years since my last LTR ended and it really feels like being single is the final chapter for me. I tried to date last year, and I did it with real commitment, going on lots of dates and playing the game. It wasn’t all bad, and I had fun with it, but ultimately, I found myself drained and empty, with nothing else to give. Especially after a relationship which showed great promise ended abruptly last November.
Weaning myself off dating has taken a while but I finally did it. I am standing on my own two feet, no longer seeking validation from another human being and trying to accept being alone, possibly for the duration, and find contentment in myself.
But boy it’s hard! I love the freedom, the sense of being in control, the limitless possibilities, and I certainly don’t miss the arguments, the compromises and the personality bending that being in a couple entails. But on an emotional level, something doesn’t feel quite right. I feel…awkward. I miss the companionship and intimacy and the feeling of being part of something bigger than just myself. But then I have to remind myself that being in a relationship is not necessary a synonym for all the above!
It really feels like I am stuck in a rut, not wanting to settle or risk yet another heartbreak but at the same time struggling to cope with this loneliness. I guess I just need to hear from you that this ambivalence of feeling is normal…and that it will settle eventually!
7 comments posted: Sunday, July 24th, 2022
A rite of passage
I haven't been much on here but have been busy having a summer romance
Which crept up on me when I was not really looking.
I gave up on Online dating a couple of months ago but continued chatting with a guy who lives 2000 miles from me, on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic. He was handsome and charming and we could talk for hours.
Last week he flew in to meet me and, although the week we spent together was pleasant enough, it didn't quite match the expectations. It became apparent, after a couple of days, that we were far too different for a LDR to work. We still had a nice time, but as the week went by, I felt more and more detached, and the initial chemistry had all but evaporated.
To be fair, there were some glaring red flags: he was generally very self-centered and monopolized the conversation. No stable employment which might be ok at 27 but not at 57, and seven kids from three different women...you know where I am going with this.
But do I have any regrets? No, I don't. It was everything a fling should be: fun, exciting, unpredictable and...short
I think this has been a rite of passage for me because it is the first time ever, since my LTR ended last summer, that I was able to let myself go and felt something. It is now time to go back to reality
5 comments posted: Friday, July 30th, 2021
Dear SI friends,
I am timidly dipping my toe in the sharks infested waters of OLD again, not to lose my conversation skills if nothing else, and one thing has become apparent to me.
With age, we naturally become more discerning where dating is concerned and our requirements are more strict than they would have been, say, in our twenties. Also, time has become such a commodity that we are not prepared to give it up for just anyone. The people we talk to are likely to be equally as fussy and unwilling to compromise, and this creates a paradox within the paradox, whereby the overwhelming choice doesn’t necessarily equate to loads of quality people who meet our criteria and whose criteria we also happen to meet. So my question is: do we strive for greatness and concede defeat if we don’t find it, or do we compromise a little and settle for ‘good enough’?
Case in hand. I had a date last Saturday with a perfectly nice guy. Conversation was easy and he was equally easy on the eye. Driving back, I was unsure if I wanted to see him again. I felt quite ‘meh’ about it. By the time I got home, I knew that would remain a first and only date. But that got me thinking: what if I never find someone who ticks all the boxes? Or someone who is perfect on paper but doesn’t give me butterflies? Or gives me butterflies but is unreliable? Is it even legitimate to expect all these things at this age, or is ‘perfectly good enough’ what I should be aiming for? Is being selective the same as being greedy? And is OLD to be blamed for a certain chronic indecision?
I’d be interested to hear your opinions
52 comments posted: Monday, May 3rd, 2021
Do I give this a chance or walk on?
I met someone IRL. As crazy as this sounds, it really happened and it created a conflict within me that I can’t seem to be able to settle. I hope you can point me in the right direction with your infinite wisdom!
Let me give you some background. I split up from my long term boyfriend last August, Covid being not the main factor but certainly an accelerator. It was the typical relationship where you spend more time trying to convince yourself that things are not so bad than actually engaging in said relationship. So I left the house and embarked on a self-discovery journey which has been wonderful and insightful in many ways. I found peace and serenity and self acceptance, or at least the key to unlock them all....
I decided early on that I would take time on dating, at least until I was strong enough, and happy enough in myself, to enforce boundaries if necessary.
And then four weeks ago, it happened. I met someone in the Hospital where I work (a patient, nonetheless), and things have progressed very naturally towards a friendship that has the potential to become something more. This guy is sweet, mature and a good listener. We talk easily and he is engaging and soothing at the same time. We have been having coffees and, today, he drove to my town and we had a very pleasant socially distant walk in the local park. Last week he sent me flowers at work (‘to a beautiful friend’), however, he’s never overstepped the mark.
Now to my dilemma. Do I stop this in its tracks, and carry on with my reconnaissance, or go with the flow and see where this leads? I really like this guy, but at the same time I am not sure I have done enough work on myself to be in, and sustain, a healthy relationship. For now, it’s just a really lovely friendship and it will stay one if I decide so.
Can you guys help me figure it out?
34 comments posted: Sunday, January 31st, 2021
My newest beginning
Lovely SI folks, I haven’t been much on here in the last three years, and it is so nice to be back. There are some familiar ‘faces’, a lot of welcome new additions, and the usual amazing collective wisdom that, four years ago, helped me navigate the darkest period of my life.
After separating from and then divorcing my XWH, I threw myself into dating, thinking I was ready. I guess we all do to a certain extent....only to realise that all we have done is slow down the recovery process and add some more damage to our already pretty broken selves. So I was no exception and, after only a few months of absent-minded, fickle dating, I started my first proper post-divorce relationship. Glaring red flags, and those of you a bit further down the line giving me some hard truths but no, I wouldn’t have another failed relationship to my name.
I ended up staying with SO three and half years, and although there were some good times, I couldn’t help feeling dejected and swallowing the ‘better than nothing’ pill on an almost daily basis.
The biggest mistake was to join forces (or weaknesses) with someone who had recently separated but was still living with their XWW. They eventually divorced, but this man had clearly chosen resentment over forgiveness, bitterness over compassion, and wasn’t going to let any of it go any time soon. And whilst I was easing into a better, more civilised relationship with my XWH, he persevered with his hate campaign against the ex, to which he had even enlisted his own children . To witness this first hand prompted me to work even harder on forging a good, long lasting relationship with the father of my children - I guess negative examples are, often, the most helpful ones.
I read stories on here of people who are at the beginning of the process, still so raw and vulnerable, and wish I could scream out loud, don’t do it, take some time off, get your bearings, don’t expose your vulnerabilities to people who don’t have your best interest at heart. Except that would be hypocritical and everyone learns at their own pace.
My most recent relationship made me realise that, as betrayed spouses, we are conditioned to think that, so long as the other person doesn’t cheat, or is not overtly abusive, then we must count ourselves lucky. We choose to ignore the signs, the more subtle forms of abuse, until we get so drained that leaving becomes a matter of survival.
So I have been single since the summer and this is my NNB. I have made the conscious decision not to date for a while and possibly ever. I am allowing myself time for self-reflection and self-love. Whatever I feel like doing, eating, reading, watching, spending money on, goes. And I can travel without being frowned upon....what a relief! After years of self-negating, singledom feels pretty awesome for sure
And not only am I thriving, my kids are too. I waded through so much crap to find my diamond, only to discover that it was here all along.
[This message edited by Karmafan at 1:28 PM, December 23rd (Wednesday)]
7 comments posted: Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020