When I first began dating again I listened to as many people as I could about how to make this easier on myself. Or, what would and would not work in the new and modern world of dating. There seemed to be a lot that had changed since I had dated before my 16 year marriage, I tried to soak it all in and learn from everyone’s words of wisdom.
My sister had a co-worker that laid out her rules for us. She had to many to recall, but the one that we still chuckle about was “if he does not call you by Wednesday for a date on the weekend then you need to promptly let him know that you are not available.” Her rationale was that you should not make yourself readily available, you need time for the anticipation of the date AND he needed to show that it wasn’t a last minute thought and he actually wanted to plan his weekend around you. This woman was the same woman who promptly quit her job when she got married and even though she had a Barbie doll figure, had what little fat she had removed from her upper thighs just a few months before her wedding. Not sure we saw eye-to-eye on anything.
Although most of the women I spoke to recommended keeping the ex-husband out of conversations with dates I quickly realized that very few followed their own advice. I watched other single-moms make spectacles of themselves at the kids school at parent exchange time. I went on double-dates and listened to the experienced single-moms ranting endlessly about their ex. It was painful to watch and listen to, I definitely did not want to be that woman. I’m sure over the years I’ve said to much. Often, I’ve said to little. But I certainly agree that my ex may have had a significant impact on my life but he is gone from it and there’s no need to reintroduce him into it.
I was strongly encouraged to date around. I’ve since learned that this is referred to as serial dating. Everyone seems to be doing this, but very few seem to be successful. I was told that there is nothing wrong with dating several men at once so that all of your eggs aren’t in the same basket. Date around and determine what exactly you want in a man and in a relationship. Personally, I felt like I was cheating every single time I did this. It was to stressful for me! I’m a loyal person, and I don’t feel that I was showing any type of commitment in getting to know someone if I was dating others at the same time. I’m still single, so maybe I got this one all wrong. I failed royally at this rule.
I came up with a few rules of my own; don’t go backward, don’t introduce the kids until the relationship is going somewhere, don’t date a co-worker and don’t be clingy nor date a clinger.
Everyone, single or not, had an opinion of online dating. Some thought it was a horrible approach, some thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I was both terrified and intrigued. It’s okay to be afraid, just don’t get stuck there. Have the courage to start again. So, I decided to give it a try!