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Reentering the dating world?

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Echo86 posted 1/4/2020 23:34 PM

Hello friends,

My divorce was finalized in December. Part of me feels in no way ready to get out there and the other part of me feels intense pressure to get my life going. I just donít know where to begin. Honestly, I don't know if Iíll ever feel ready so Iím trying to push myself a bit.

Iíve felt a lot of pressure to get on a dating app, but, tbh, thereís nothing I dread more than this idea. Something about seeking out a f* buddy or even something more substantial on an app just isnít for me - feels like a job interview I donít want to go on. Then again, all of my friends are married or in relationships so I donít have a group of singles to go out with. How did you ďget out thereĒ? Did it just happen naturally? Did you resort to the app life? How did the first time feel? Any words of wisdom would be great.

Thank you as always.

hopefullife posted 1/5/2020 06:29 AM

I want to hear the stories of others also. Same questions. I'm recently feeling a longing for companionship, but I know I'm not ready to date especially since I'm still technically married.

I know a lot who met their current partners via an app. I'm not sure if that's a path for myself when I'm back to being single.

WhoTheBleep posted 1/5/2020 07:03 AM

and the other part of me feels intense pressure to get my life going.

"Getting your life going" doesn't have to include dating. I got my life going by nurturing old and building new friendships, traveling, yoga, meetups, a divorce Care group, etc.

If you do decide to date, I'll be honest, it's really hard to meet someone organically these days. I swore I'd never use a dating app. Then I wasn't so put off by it, as every single person I knew was on at least one. This is just how folks meet these days. I decided I'd go in with no expectations, and just have fun with it. Meet some interesting people. Get out of my house. Blah blah blah.

Within 2-3 weeks, I "met" my now SO. He "liked" me on day 1, but didn't message for a couple of weeks (and I was too shy to message anyone, lol). Anywhoooo, we had our first date a couple of days later, and we've been an item ever since. He was my only OLD first date. I think I'm an unusual case in how quickly I found a keeper, but I know many who have had eventual success.

If you are truly ready to date, I say go for it. No expectations, just have fun!

Echo86 posted 1/5/2020 08:04 AM

Hi @WhoTheBleep - thank you for sharing. I agree with your definition of ďget your life goingĒ and feel that I've done a good deal of that already. Iím starting to think that trying the dating world is the natural next step. Do you mind me asking what app / service you used? I once downloaded Tinder and put up a picture of a pillow just so I can browse and see whatís out there and I was fairly appalled 🙁.

@hopefullife our stats are so similar. Hang in there, friend.

WhoTheBleep posted 1/5/2020 10:02 AM

Good on you for doing all the healing stuff first! And like you, I felt dating was a natural next step.

I used Match. I thought I might get better quality prospects with a paid site membership. SO told me that was his theory, too, once we started dating.

I've been told Tinder is known for NSA hookups. Not ideal if you're looking for a meaningful relationship. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that's just what I've heard.

I even met a good friend on Match, before SO, who was out of my age range. My young kids were a deal-breaker for him. But we kind of connected and struck up a friendship. (Yes, SO knows about him.). He is a quality individual.

I would go for a paid site. I think people tend to be more serious when they've laid out some money, haha. Good luck!

ShatteredSakura posted 1/5/2020 13:43 PM

once downloaded Tinder and put up a picture of a pillow just so I can browse and see whatís out there and I was fairly appalled 🙁.

I did that too, I don't know how people think they'll find a lasting relationship on there. Appalling is an understatement.

I met WW on Okcupid, and I think it's still worth checking out. Match and eharmony blur pictures if you aren't a paid member. It can get costly for memberships, so I can see why people might shy away.

Simplicity posted 1/6/2020 11:39 AM

I think how quickly you want to reenter dating depends on what you are looking for in dating. A lot of people on this site may disagree with my thoughts, but here we go:

My sister was very frank with me about dating and dating apps. She said every year after 35 the pool drops dramatically, and people (men, mostly) are very picky about the age of their women. I, particularly am looking for someone to start a family with, someone who doesn't already have kids of their own, as I do not either. I think her assessment is extremely correct, as I separated from my cheating XH when I was 34, and while I dabbled, I was not yet ready for something serious (in the middle of D, healing, putting life back together, etc), and now I see what she means, because it is harder, now that I have crossed to the other side of 35 (more people with children already, and most men who are looking for a wife to start a family filter at 35 and younger).

The dating apps dates do feel like a glorified interview, but so will any set up you have through a friend as well. If you can't stand that, do things you like for yourself that is also social and gives you chance opportunities to meet people. That is always helpful. I don't discount dating apps, I have met someone with which I have a lot of chemistry, and we are in an "it's complicated" relationship (mostly because my life is still in so much transition, it's hard).

Finally, if your goal is not to have someone to start a family with, then it's actually easier to wait and take your time. Just enjoy the time to yourself.

Remember to do things when you are ready. It's a painful event to have gone through, and it is tough to start dating after all this. Sometimes I lose my faith in humanity, but I keep thinking that if I exist, and I'm no special bird, there must be other like-minded people I can be with out there!

justabrokendream posted 1/6/2020 12:38 PM

Once I passed the 50 year mark I quit. I wasn't going to lie about my age. Correct about men looking for young women. LOL, I got a couple of dogs.

Fablegirl posted 1/6/2020 16:48 PM

I started OLD while separated (checked with my attorney first to make sure it was okay). I was pretty lonely, vulnerable and pretty hypersexual after being in a loveless marriage for a while and IHS. Also, I had just lost 30 pounds, so was feeling pretty confident about how I looked. I did Match. I met a few duds, one super nice man whose wife left him with two young boys (but not sparks) and then fell for someone pretty hard. We had a 5 month relationship that was very intense, which he ended rather abruptly. I won't say I am over him but now see that it ending was for the best. As it happened I met my SO at a fundraiser in my hometown, which was a fluke. In any case, I enjoyed my time on Match. I don't know if OLD will make you feel like your life is headed in the right direction or if it will feel like progress. What has helped in my own case is just simple time, therapy and travel with DD. I also took a lot of road trips on my own and reconnected with old friends. My advice is to take it slow. You can set up an account and not activate it until you are ready. I also found setting up a profile kind of fun in a reclaiming my identity sort of way.

Incarnate posted 1/7/2020 10:35 AM

OLD is a strange animal to me. On the one hand, there is a stigma attached to it, if we're being honest, like only trashy people use it, or that people on Tinder or Match or OKCupid or Zoosk are shallow, untrustworthy, etc, like "omg, you guys met on an app? I hope they don't rob you blind/break your heart/etc"

But then I see that there are LOTS of us, from here, on the different apps, so I KNOW it's being used by people who, like me, got out of LTRs and have NO idea how to re-enter the dating world.

I tend to gravitate towards Plenty of Fish and OKCupid and Match, but I also have Tinder and Zoosk and one other on my phone. I get next to no matches, so I'm wondering if my profile is a turn-off or whatever, and I don't have any really close female friends to look them over for me and tell me what I'm doing wrong.

I HAVE gotten a few mutual matches on Tinder, and I sent one of them a message this morning, which was both anxiety inducing and kind of exciting, but I haven't heard anything back yet. It's early yet, so I'm not freaking out about it, obv, but I'm also not gonna hold my breath.

The only way I've ever really 'gotten out there' was to go to a local bar that wasn't -too- seedy, just have a drink, and people watch. Sometimes i strike up conversation with some of the other patrons, but that is sort of a mixed bag. Most women that I see are going out with their boyfriends/husbands or with a group of other women, and are huddled up pretty protectively, and I get that. I don't want to intrude on them, and I know my stature can be intimidating. Perhaps I'm just hyper self-aware. Maybe it's just my anxiety. I dunno.

But yeah, I get the whole "How does one meet people?" conundrum. I never expected to be in a situation where I would NEED to seek another partner, especially not in this stage of my life (approaching middle aged). I very much so resent my STBXW for that, and that is a difficult veneer to remove when seeking a partner.

AbandonedGuy posted 1/7/2020 19:02 PM

Going out on the town by your lonesome is such a daunting task, but I think it's a good skill-building exercise. I'm not looking to rush into something and I don't have my twentysomething's libido, so there's no rush, but I think it's good practice just to reintroduce yourself to the world as a solitary operator of sorts. Plop your ass down, have a beer, look confident and like you belong despite that nagging inner voice crying out for you to get the hell out of there and retreat to your home base, and occasionally strike up a conversation with whoever you're interested in. I've made it a point to engage in these baby steps to come out of my little introverted shell and I'm slowly getting to a comfortable place.

As for OLD, I'm kind of at the point where I just want to try it as an experiment. What kind of women would match with me? What the hell would I even say in such an awkward introduction scenario? Can my ego handle a cavalcade of rejections? I have zero expectations, so maybe that will benefit the process.

RedHeadTemper posted 1/7/2020 22:30 PM

I get next to no matches, so I'm wondering if my profile is a turn-off or whatever

Incarnate- Go get a haircut (do it like how modern boy band guys get haircuts), then style it like a modern boy band does, then wear a nice fitted colored collered shirt and get some proffesional pictures with a neutral colored backdrop. It won't matter if you are over weight, old, and are irritating to look at. You do that, you'll get hits. I'd just say watch a few episodes of queer eye and you'll see what I mean.

I've never used a dating app. I'm a millenial though and from friends and stuff, it's pretty easy to know what's going down with all of them.

Google cnet rating dating apps. They break down what you're looking for and what you'll find on each app. If you're looking for NSA or friendships, or serious relationships, CNET does a good job explaining what you'll find on the different apps.

Defiantly give it a try though. Back in the good ol days, or so I'm told, you could only find a few people based on your proximity to them and them being in the same place (like the store) as you.

Dating apps streamline the dating process so it goes super super fast. You can literally hit 50 first dates in a summer if you wanted to (sounds like a movie!). Good at getting a big pool of people to see what you like and don't like about people. You'll see many personalities and can make some great friends even if it doesn't lead anywhere.

Lots of crappy stuff. But I'd say that's the best way to go starting out to get back into the game and see what the singles in your area are doing.

Incarnate posted 1/7/2020 23:40 PM

Incarnate- Go get a haircut (do it like how modern boy band guys get haircuts), then style it like a modern boy band does, then wear a nice fitted colored collered shirt and get some proffesional pictures with a neutral colored backdrop. It won't matter if you are over weight, old, and are irritating to look at. You do that, you'll get hits. I'd just say watch a few episodes of queer eye and you'll see what I mean.

lol. I am as bald as an egg. I actually keep it shaved so that it's less of an issue. If I let it grow out, it adds a solid 15 years to my apparent age. I just turned 35; I'm an older millennial myself. Not quite a young man (there's plenty of white in my beard), but not an old man yet.

But yeah. I'm working on shedding the 'marriage weight' one gets from marrying an Italian, cleaning up my beard, changing how I dress to be less 'comfortable dad' and more 'you clean up good.'

Queer eye is a good suggestion. Just about every woman I know loves it.

[This message edited by Incarnate at 1:01 AM, January 9th (Thursday)]

natwoodbron posted 1/7/2020 23:56 PM

First, don't let the part of you pressuring to get you "life going" push the other part that is not ready into something that you will have difficult dealing with. Take the time to allow yourself to wake up one day and say, "enough, I want to go and try something new now" I know it sounds unrealistic, but until you feel that way, you're not going to be prepared for the emotional turmoil of starting to date someone new. At first thought, I wanted to vomit when someone mentioned dating again. Then over time I thought it could be possible. Then my thoughts said, yeah, you deserve another chance at more happy days with someone beside you. Eventually, when someone suggested an app, I was actually intrigued enough to download it or maybe research it. The one I ended up keeping on my phone was BUMBLE. And that's as far as it's gotten. I don't like the resume thing either but like other posters have mentioned, it's the new age and the way people meet now. It's no longer the "we met at a wedding" or "he's the brother in law of so-and so". Unless you have several social groups in which you are active and are comfortable being around on your own, the chances of meeting someone who knows someone is more rare now a days.
And even if you do find that the brother in law of one of your friends is interested in you, don't fall into the trap that he is the one to connect for a serious relationship. He may just be a passing person in your life, like some friends are. Not all friends are lifelong ones or long term ones or even constant ones. Set your boundaries as what you want. Just because you agree to meet someone doesn't mean you owe them anything. And don't let someone else's goals undermined yours or even your timeline of readiness.

I can completely relate to how you feel about "seeking a f* buddy or something more substantial on an app". It feels weird. I don't want a f* buddy. And I know I'm not ready for a serious relationship. But I do want to try again at finding someone who might like how I am and whom I may like who they are. I've done a lot of self-rebuilding but I know I'm not finished; however I know that I want to go onto the next phase of my life as a divorced single parent and see what is in store in my future. I'm a little wary, but I'm more curious now. I'm glad I'm not scared anymore or anxious either, because, really, it will be ok because I am ok.

Shehawk posted 1/8/2020 21:03 PM

I am in the work on myself camp. Infidelity almost killed me literally so I had a lot to work on. I also made a list of non negotiable needs and qualities i would want in a man IF I ever dated.

I worked really really hard on myself. I acknowledged that I had gotten an "f" in relationships since I was married for more than three decades to a man who brutally and publicly betrayed me. I joined a couple of online groups. I learned a lot.
I exercised. I learned to take radically good care of myself. I learned to feel something other than searing pain again.

I travelled alone even when it hurt. I went out with friends. I processed my pain and felt my feelings. I shared my experience with other people. I hung out on in this group. I said I would never date.

Then I said "yes". I said "yes" to new experiences. I said "yes" to joy. "Yes" to peace. "Yes" to a man I had become friends with that I haf met at a conference who asked me if I would consider a relationship when I was free from infidelity.

Shehawk posted 1/8/2020 21:09 PM


I can relate. I spent a lot of time so angry that my can't be ex soon enough blew up our 3 decade plus marriage and forced me into involuntary celebacy after everything I had done and sacrificed for him.

Then I realized he gave me a gift...a chance for a do over...
a chance to be with a man who was not a lying cheater!

Best wishes for a beautiful do over.

HalfTime2017 posted 1/9/2020 17:13 PM

The dating apps are great. I'd whole heartedly suggest them.

Think about it this way. The app opens up endless opportunities for people like us getting back into the dating world. Sometimes, you know right away, and it just wont work, other times, its just fun and you're meeting new people for drinks. Either way, you're relearning a skill that you haven't been using for a long time (in my case). More importantly, it expands your circle by multiples of hundreds.... to me, thats the best thing about the apps.

Listen, we all go to work, have kids, and other requirements. We see a lot of the same people all the time, at the same places that we go, near our job and homes. YOu now have a new life, meet some new folks, learn a new skill, and find cool new places to eat that maybe your date can introduce you to. There's nothing creepy about it. There is more than someone for everyone. For the first yr, i was dating a lot from the apps until I found my current girlfriend. Have fun with it, b/c it really is fun. You'll see. And the app makes it easier and its a nice surprise when you pick up your phone or look at the app and see that you have a new connection. There are endless opportunities, and not everyone on there is looking for LTR or ONS, its everything and everything inbetween.

LoveTKO posted 1/10/2020 07:26 AM

I have a good friend who got divorced at age 42 and didn't want to do the whole online dating scene. He joined a meet-up group for singles centered around activities (museums, bowling, meet at a bar to see a game, etc.) He met his girlfriend at one of the events. Just another option.

I also think it would help to expand your circle of friends by doing something that you love. I love music so after Dday in 2015 I decided to go to an open mic night with friends once a week (honestly just to do something and not think about the A). I've met so many new friends there, men and women. I'm currently dating someone I met through these musicians years later. I have a single friend who loves skiing and joined a ski club where she's met a lot of new people.

You'll know when you're ready..

ChildAtHeart posted 1/10/2020 16:38 PM

Iíve been divorced since September. Itís been really hard for me. Iím relatively young (28), so I thought getting back into dating would be easy. Itís been pretty horrible. I tried Tinder. Ended up meeting a guy I thought was great, but then he ended up being one of those horror stories they make Lifetime movies about. Iíve read the other comments and I think that Match would be a better fit.

The best advice I can offer would be to take it slow. I rushed into it. I wasnít ready, I was just really really lonely. It ended up as a disaster.

Cheatee posted 1/15/2020 15:20 PM

I went OLD a few months after we split. Probably too early, but I was desperate for some affirmation.

It might be easier for men. I put together a very unique profile in rhyming verse, which featured:

* My disinterest in short term flings
* That I'm employed
* That I own a house (a nice one)
* That I have kids (that were grown by then)
* That I have progressive politics
* That I have hobbies (songwriting, performing live, nature and woodworking)

I got lots of interests and went out on many dates, some quite lovely. I admit it was a lot of fun and I did not eagerly rush into physicality.

Ironically, I found a profile of a woman I'd known previously. We chatted a bit, went on a few dates and really clicked. After our third date, we each declared we'd deactivated our profiles.

She's amazing, beautiful, Ivy League brilliant, shares my politics, she's a singer, but most importantly, she's extremely thoughtful and emotionally competent.

Long term serial dating was not my thing, but it was fun for a few months. I guess for women, there are tons of creepy ass dudes out there. I figured I could do well on OLD if I clearly was not one of them. So, no pictures of me holding a largemouth bass or a golf club.

If you go OLD, choose a site that caters to your level of hook up interest. Then, develop a profile that is unique and will weed out the kind of folks you don't want to waste your time on.

Good luck!

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