Comment: I am a 49 female and recently divorced and did the online dating profile thing went out on a few dates and more or less concluded that dating does not appeal to me right now. I am balancing full time work and part time school so I do not have much free time and my long term goal is to relocate closer to an aging parent so I can be available to help and to enjoy quality time while I can. Is it normal to still be interested in men but not that excited about dating? I worry that the longer I put it off the more likely I will end up just giving up and I know from reading your column that you advise women in my age group to set the bar low. I am not delusional about myself, I am average looking and nerdy with a better than average job and I don’t think I am going to land some wealthy dude who travels the world and speaks several languages. Do I date just for the practice even though I have low motivation or is it wiser to wait until I am motivated? I am not even sure what my dating goals are, I went out with one man who told me five-seconds into meeting that he did not want to get married again and I responded ” um that is nice can I order my coffee first”. I felt like mega rookie. What do you think?
While I think it’s smart to take care of yourself in times of stress, I do think some harm can come from giving in to Dating Fatigue.
When everything was going on with my parents last summer/fall, I definitely lost interest in dating and sex. I felt like it was wrong for me to pursue anything romantic or sexual because of everything happening back home. Of course, the sadness and grief and all that stuff weighed on me, too. You find yourself feeling numb at times, drained from all the emotion and worry and guilt and everything else that bubbles up to the surface in times like that.
It’s okay to cocoon yourself for a bit. I just wouldn’t do it for too long. Yes, you will probably end up getting so comfortable not dating that going back out there will be stressful. I ended up going on a date about right after my Step-mother passed away, a date I was going to cancel.I ended up meeting someone that I dated for several months. He sent me a text after the Boston Bombings to see how my family was, and we chatted about what he was up to. He had a new girlfriend, which I knew about because he had told me he had met someone who wanted what he wanted and he felt he had to pursue that. Which I understood. I walked away from that text exchange feeling a bit of regret, wondering if we had met at a different time, could I have given him what he wanted. The deaths of my Dad and step-mom were rough enough, but to learn that she had cut my sisters and I out of her will – something I know she knew would have crushed my father – really made me skeptical. You could love and adore someone your whole life, and they could still turn on you in the end. Even if you literally give your life for them. At the time, committing to someone seemed so pointless. Why? So you could just eventually betray me? No thanks. I’m slowly coming out of that place, but it’s a struggle.
Bu he’s happy, and I’m happy for him. I’m also grateful that I had him for the time that I did. He was a great source of comfort for me. And I think we need those people in our lives when we’re enduring heavy emotional stuff. Cutting ourselves off from that really just impedes our ability to be available. That’s why you shouldn’t engage in Dating Detoxes and Breaks and what not. It’s too easy to become completely closed off. There’s never going to be the perfect time. Ever. I know people – and I’ve done this myself – who say, “I’ll wait until I lose ten pounds/get a job/am totally over my ex to date.” That ideal point in time rarely ever comes. It’s just an excuse to not date and have to risk rejection. Date for the practice, date for the experience, date because it’s fun and a great way to meet new people. Just date. Don’t wait.
I went out with one man who told me five-seconds into meeting that he did not want to get married again and I responded ” um that is nice can I order my coffee first”. I felt like mega rookie.
Hah. He’s the rookie. Not you. He’s the one with issues. Not you. He had to unload all his junk on to you on your date. That’s a Bad Dater.
Also? Don’t try and decide what men will or won’t find attractive. There are so many guys out there who find nerdy girls beautiful and attractive. Truly. Don’t get in your head like that. Yes, it’s good to have appropriate expectations, but don’t completely cut yourself off at the knees like that. I’ve found that many women haven’t a clue what men actually find attractive or what they notice or don’t notice.