Dating in my 30s: WTF

If only it were that

If only it were that “easy”

By association, being older makes you wiser. At least, that’s what I was lead to believe. I have learned, unfortunately, that this is complete and utter bullshit, especially when it comes to the matter of relationships.

I may be older, but I am by far the dumbest I have ever been. Relationships are a complete and utter mystery to me, and I’m not even sure why. I’m one more lousy conversation away from purchasing the entire “relationship 101” section at Chapters in order to gain an inkling of at least what not to do in all of this.

Truth be told, I went into all this knowing absolutely nothing. Before I started dating my now-ex husband, I’d never had a real boyfriend. Ever. And my 13-year relationship was hardly what I would call a “relationship.” We didn’t learn from one another. We didn’t evolve. We didn’t grow. We didn’t become our own people and by association make our connection stronger. Nope. None of that happened.

Oh, and we started dating when we were 17.

So, relationship experience for me? That would be zip. Nada. Rien.

When I thought about being single in my 30s I immediately thought about the ladies from Sex and the City. I mean, come on, who doesn’t think about that when they’re in their 30s and unattached?! OK, maybe it’s just me … regardless, I had ideas of grand romantic gestures, eyes meeting across a crowded room, reading newspapers in bed, surprise pickups at the airport after long tiring business trips.

It turns out, no one really looks at anyone out in the world anymore, we’re all too consumed by our iPhones (scratch eyes across a crowded room), no one reads newspapers anymore (we’re all looking at articles on our phones), if someone were to pick me up at the airport it would be too complicated because that would mean I’d actually have to hug them then walk to my car in the lot… Oh, and romantic gestures have been relegated to dick pics on Tinder and random Snapchats of body parts I’d rather not see.

How does anyone do it? Male or female. WTF is going on here?
For all my age and “wisdom” I feel like I’ve been flung back into my awkward (horribly awkward) high school days. I’m reading into things that are said, looking for reactions, staring at my phone waiting for that message or call. It’s pathetic. I hate it. I’m 31 years old. What. Am. I. Doing?

I also thought that perhaps with my “advanced” age, the seriousness of relationships would be a given. However, it seems the moment a guy learns of my age, then my current situation (mother and recently out of a marriage) they assume casual sex is all I must be in the market for. And while the idea of it is highly alluring (we all have needs) it’s never really what it’s cracked up to be in the end…

And so I feel myself shutting off and shutting down again. I hate that. I’ve grown and changed and opened up so much over the past year. And here I am shutting down again. I am consciously aware of myself doing it. Or of the fact that I’m putting on an act for the guy’s benefit, to make him feel like i care, like I want to be interacting. I don’t. I don’t want to put myself out there. I don’t want to get hurt, expose myself for fear of getting stung. And I know that’s silly. The whole point of dating is to explore new things, get to know new people.

It would also seem that the only men I seem to want to open up to are already attached. Am I doomed to forever be that girl? Please, please tell me it isn’t so. I’m beginning to think I’ve cursed myself. That this is some cruel and horrible punishment for the mistake I made. That I will forever be doomed to only fall for men who are already in relationships — like Atlas rolling the earth up an endless hill, I’ll continue to push against men who are happily connected to someone else.

What. Am. I. Doing?

I obviously don’t know. I’m looking in all the wrong places. Talking to all the wrong men (apparently). The men I’d have liked to explore relationships with relegate me to the “friend zone” almost immediately. I think that’s perhaps a much worse conversation than “it’s not you it’s me.” The “let’s be friends only” ensures a smile will stay plastered on my face but inside everything falls and I feel like something must be terribly wrong with me. First of all, for hitting on someone who’s attached, and secondly because I must have “BE MY FRIEND” written across my face because they started talking to me in the first place.

Then there’s the whole having a child thing. And I say it flippantly, but it’s rather a big deal when it comes to dating, and boy do I ever know it. I’m not going to be THAT mother, the one who has a revolving door as her child watches men come and go. No. It will take a long and serious interaction with someone before they even lay eyes on Owen in real life. He’s at an age now where he remembers and misses and questions when things are no longer around. I’m not about to have him bond with someone then have that person disappear forever because Mummy decided it wasn’t the right thing. No.

And so another layer is added to the stinky onion of dating in my 30s.

So, as I sit here alone in my bed (well, technically the cats are here, but that just makes this whole entry a bit more pathetic to mention it…), I’m at a loss. I’ve been told to “stop looking and it’ll come to you.” But the funny thing is: I’m not looking. And even then I seem to be doing it wrong…

What. Am. I. Doing?

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on May 31, 2015.

3 Responses to “Dating in my 30s: WTF”

  1. […] think. In fact, I’d like to never go through it again, actually. Dating is horrendous. And dating in your 30s is a fucking disaster. So, no thank you, I’d rather not have to go through it all […]

  2. […] balancing act for me. From learning how to live alone for the first time ever in my 32 years to entering the dating world for the first time since I was 17 (and let’s be honest, I wasn’t really part of it […]

  3. […] two years ago, I wrote a post about dating in my 30s and how messed up it was. Well, not much as changed since then. It’s the same, if not worse. […]

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