Dating is weird.

The internet just makes it all the stranger. Sure there are benefits – Ability to target certain types and demographics. Certain lifestyles. But I have trouble with the logistics of it all. Looking online, you have no idea if you have chemistry with these people. If there’s a “spark”. Add to that the fact that when you meet, there is added pressure and ideas of what may or may not go along with a date that keeps organic connection hard to recognize. Maybe others don’t experience this, but I know my anxieties make a lot of noise in my head. Are they attractive? Maybe. Are we conversing alright? Sure. But I don’t know this person, and for me, it takes a –long- time to feel comfortable around people. Experience has reinforced this as well. When you meet someone in real life first, you at least get some kind of sense of who they are before there’s this expectation.

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I definitely feel more comfortable at home on the weekends when my kids are at their dads. Binge-watching a new (or old) show. Lately I’ve been watching Twin Peaks – I was told I HAD to see it after an in-depth discussion of Stranger Things brought out the fact I was not familiar with David Lynch. Season 2 is on now as I haphazardly type this. Point is, I was made for long-term relationships. Someone I know and trust, where we can still have adventures, but the key moments are in comfort, at home, with a glass of wine and a little bit of intimacy. But in my situation, you have to go out to do that. To meet people. To…date.

OkCupid lures you in with “stats” though I’ve often found the percentages do not necessarily coordinate with romance. Getting along sure. As friends, sure. But I have yet to find even a trace of a spark through various attempts of the years to use the site.

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I’ve had quite a few experiences dating (via OkCupid) and my best date was mildly pleasant at best. The worst? Well… That could be a whole other blog. This last weekend I went on three dates. A lot, yes, but I have very little kid-free time, and like trying on clothes, well, I knew many don’t work out J My kid-free weekends are always a toss-up in that I can socialize, stay home and catch up on writing, cleaning…So many things. Dates frustrate me (or did this weekend) because I just don’t feel “the thing” and then I feel guilty if I know I’m never going to see the person again. If they’re just looking for friends, sure, but a lot of times..That pressure is evident. There’s an unsaid expectation. The first date I went on was horrendously awkward as it had this in spades. I ended up in my car, upset, and wondering why I went out at all.

The second date was the opposite. I will add it is fun to have someone to try new places. Places I might never have gone to otherwise. This date was pleasant enough. But for its lack of awkward expectation, there was nothing exciting either. The third date we had some great conversations, but ultimately, at the end of the night, if I had to weigh them against a night of comfort in my sweats and a book, the book would win.

I guess my long, convoluted point is that the internet doesn’t really work for me to meet people. I know for a fact it works for many. But I went many years without finding my tribe. Finding the writing community has lead me to better, deeper relationships from the get-go than most I had before. There’s an overall general understanding – of being introverted, of loving stories, of loving to learn.

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It’s also a bit soon, for me anyway. Other stuff. Life. I am starting a new job this week. There are many transitions going on and a lot of stressors still boiling. Not a rolling boil, as they were this summer, but simmering still. I am content to wait for a bit. While it sounds funny to say because I love staying in, I want to WANT to go out. If that makes sense. I want to feel the twitters in my stomach, a flush in my cheeks. When I date again I want to be excited about it. Yes, there will always be a gluttonous little demon on my shoulder telling me to stay home with some wine and a book, knowing that is –always- enjoyable. But I’ll make it out one day. I do like to meet people organically. I like feeling the connection, whether it is as friends or there lingers a hint of something more.

Yes. After two failed marriages, I’m still a sap. An idiotic romantic. But I’m also very happy with my life as is. My kids take up a lot of my time. My friends get my free time. I want that long-term romance one day. And I know one day I’ll have it. But I’m not chasing it on the internet anymore. I still believe in the universe. In crazy random happenstances. I believe everything happens for a reason, after everything.

I believe in a thing called love.

I am going to take the things I like from dates, and sprinkle those things all over people I do enjoy spending time with. Friends and family. I love going out. Having tasty crafted cocktails with delicious baked goods. I love Sunday markets. I LOVE petting all the cute and cuddly looking dogs people take to Sunday markets.  I love coffee and discussions about tabletop games and bad art.

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And after I finish season 2 of Twin Peaks I’m going to find this diner and have some cherry pie.

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